Andy Hollifield 5-20-17
Luke 21:26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Exodus 35:21 And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord’s offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments.
Shaken———(1) to move or sway with short, quick, irregular vibratory movements (2) to tremble with emotion, cold (13) to agitate or disturb profoundly in feeling. (14) to cause to doubt or waiver; weaken. to shake ones self-esteem.
Stirred———-(stir) to affect strongly; excite: (4) to incite, instigate (7) to rouse from inactivity, quiet, contentment, indifference, etc… (12) to become active, as from some rousing or quickening impulse. (13) to be emotionally moved or strongly affected.
The word shake is in scripture 39 times, shaken 22 times, shaking 8 times, and shook is used 12 times. If you look at the above definitions and then read the scriptures using each word, it becomes apparent that shaking is not at all a comfortable process. In scripture, with the exception of just a few times, it is used to demonstrate God’s judgment. We often use some form of the word shake to describe our own emotional trauma. We get “shaken to the core” upon hearing that someone we know has been killed, hospitalized, or is suddenly in poor general circumstances.
Stirred however is a different story altogether. Most of the time it is used to describe the motivation of God’s children. Paul told Timothy to “stir” up the gift of God that was in him. Peter preached that we should “stir up our minds by way of remembrance”. Peter goes on to say that when we see all the things that God has said would happen, we should get stirred up in the Lord. If you look at the definitions above, I believe that stirring is a lot less violent action than being shaken.
The term “shaken or stirred” is a term used by bartenders that refers to how a cocktail is prepared. It also has a spiritual application in the fact that the one we are affected by the most is determined by our walk with the Lord. If we live our spiritual life haphazardly and half-hearted, we are setting ourselves up to be shaken. On the other hand, if we try to live a dedicated and consecrated life to the Lord, we are putting ourselves in a position to be stirred in our spirit. We all at times get shaken by tragic events such as a sudden death, some kind of major illness in us or someone we love, or some other traumatic event in our lives, such as maybe the loss of a job. Every one that has ever lived has had to deal with these types of events at some point in their lives, but how we respond to them truly is determined in large part by our spiritual walk with the Lord.
A lot of times when we think of the word stirred, we often think of getting “stirred up” or angry or just uptight or aggravated about something. It is interesting to me, that the first time “stirred” is used in the bible is in Exodus 35:21 and is referring to the building of the tabernacle in the wilderness constructed by the Israelites after they had left Egypt and refused to enter the promised land. It says in that verse “everyone whose heart stirred him up, and everyone whom his spirit made willing”. Even though as a nation they had sinned against the Lord, they were still capable as individuals of getting excited about serving the Lord. They probably got excited because they had most likely not had a place of their own to worship since Jacob (Israel) and his family had first resided in the land of Goshen over four hundred years before. They were getting “stirred up” about having a work that they could do for the Lord. That much has not changed. God will still use whatever ability you have for his glory if you will submit yourself to him. If you continue to the next verse, even women that had the ability to spin goats hair were stirred up because they were able to make cloth to be used in the new tabernacle. Whatever ability you have, God can use. For several years now, H.O.P.E. Ministries has had senior ladies in our supporting churches knitting and crocheting scarves and toboggans to be given to Veterans in residence at the ABCCM Veterans Restoration Center in Oteen, NC. We realized a few years back that we had folks sitting in every one of our supporting churches that had an ability they could use for the Lord that most younger people don’t have and they could use it for the Lord without ever leaving their homes. The response over the years has been tremendous and they were “stirred up” about doing something they enjoyed and using it to bless others in service to the Lord.
That is just one example of getting stirred up to work but even more important is getting stirred up to worship. The Psalmist David said in Psalms 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. Again in Haggai 1:14 the Lord stirred up people to do work in the house of the Lord. If you get stirred up about doing work in service to the Lord, it is easy to get stirred up about worshipping the Lord. If you just stop and think about where you would be and what your life would be like at this point without the Lord being dominant in your life, it takes no effort at all to get stirred up to worship him. If you haven’t accepted the Lord as your personal Savior or if you have not allowed him to be Lord in your life, getting stirred up about worship is not going to happen. You are in the dangerous position to be subject to being shaken. As I mentioned earlier, we all get shaken by things in our life. The only difference is that when you have the Lord on the throne of your heart reigning as the dominant force in your life, there is a great peace that comes even in those times just knowing that he is still in control. I have mentioned Job and written extensively about him recently, and even during the time he was being shaken by events in his life at the hand of Satan, he realized that God was still in charge. Like us, he didn’t understand why all of his problems were happening, but he still trusted the Lord through it all. Imagine how hopeless he would have felt had he not been trusting in the Lord during his time of being shaken.
As I mentioned earlier, Paul told Timothy to “stir up the gift” that was in him by remembrance. In Genesis 2:7 the bible says that “God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” Without that breath, Adam the first man, had no life. That is still the benchmark of life. If someone is not breathing they are presumed dead. That means that now just as then, that breath is the gift of life from God. If you are breathing right now as you read this, and obviously you are, you have a gift from the Lord. Without him and his mercy, you won’t get your next breath. Job even mentioned that in Job 33:4 when he said “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” He also said in Job 12:10 “In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.” The psalmist said in Psalms 150:6 “Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.” If you don’t think God has given you life and breath, get strangled or choked one time to where the next breath isn’t coming, and see how long it takes you to realize the importance of that gift. It is very likely that you will immediately, if only in your mind, seek the help of the one that gave you the last one and ask him for the next one. Just that one gift is cause for us to be stirred to worship.
I could go on and on about the gifts of God. By the way, that phrase is used 12 times throughout scripture. The first one in Ecclesiastes 3:13 “And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.” That is not referring to alcohol by the way but rather to the fact that God has given you life to enjoy. In Romans 6:23 Paul told the Romans in his letter to them “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” He also told the Ephesians “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: but it is the gift of God.” It is probably said best in John 3:16 with just these words, “For God so loved the world that he gave…” Just those words sum it up. That is all the reason we need to be “stirred to worship”. Just the fact that God gave, not only his Son, the breath of life, but “also freely give us all things.”
I don’t know about you, but I would much rather be stirred by him than shaken by him. I hope this is a blessing and encouragement to you, and especially if you are going through a time of being shaken. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!
Andy Hollifield 5-20-17