Have you noticed how many products you must “shake well” before using? Whether it’s orange juice or stove cleaner, paint or salad dressing, many of our most-common solutions need to be shaken. The reason is simple: the contents settle. When the container is at rest, gravity takes over and the heavier parts of the solution collect on the bottom. A good shaking is needed before use.
This line of thought caused me to reflect on the times that God has shaken me. (If you’re like me, you have found that his creativity is inexhaustible in ways to get our attention.) Most certainly, this season we are navigating as humans has been a time of shaking and disruption across the face of the globe. In most cases, when we are shaken, we can find an area where we have settled. We quit moving, grow still or lose balance, and God reaches down and shakes us. Painful? Yes. Necessary? Definitely. Would we have chosen shaking as option #1? Probably not. We, as humans, prefer the feel-good moments. Too often we accept an emotional stirring rather than longing for a spiritual shaking.
When we consider what Christ offers, it’s hard to imagine that we would content ourselves with less than more of him. He has “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3). We “are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:10). And “his divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3). But still, we settle for less than the best Jesus gives. He offers life in abundance (John 10:10), but we want abundant lives without an abundance of him. Like a student asking about the minimum standard (“What’s the least I can do and still pass?”), we approach God in a similar fashion. It is as though we ask, “How close can I get to you and remain the same? Stir me, but please don’t shake me.”
It reminds me of a quote from the writer Wilbur Rees:
“I would like to buy $3.00 worth of God, please. Not enough to explode
my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk
or a snooze in the sunshine…I want ecstasy, not transformation; I want the warmth of the womb, not a new birth. I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack. I would like to buy $3.00 worth of God, please.”
How we could settle for so little is astounding. The Infinite King of the Universe offers us adventure with him while we busy ourselves with paper dolls. How deeply do you desire to walk closer to him? Perhaps the more accurate question is this: how much of you does Christ have?
Do you need to be shaken well?
We would not become lukewarm in our walk with God. – Revelation 3:16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
We would not turn away from biblical truth to pursue pleasant-sounding, but incorrect, messages. – 2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
We will have a growing passion in following Christ. – Romans 12:11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.