What Is God Doing Right Now?
Jarrod Cooper shares some thoughts about global events in this remarkable time.
“Some things broke my heart but fixed my vision” – Anon
I know of no period in my lifetime, when the following passage has seemed more relevant globally, how about you?
“See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:25-29
In this most unusual of seasons I believe many of us are experiencing a turmoil, a shaking, major chaos and upheaval, but I think what is most confusing is that the shaking actually comes from many different sources. Several distinct things appear to be happening at once, some natural, some evil, some divine.
I can see at least five dynamic shakings at work right now. There is…
- An agitation in the heavenlies (demonic realms/beings).
“Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens” Hebrews 12:26 says. There is a heavenly realm of spiritual beings and authorities that is being stirred up at this pivot point in God’s divine purposes. (See Ephesians 6:12)
- A shaking, a groaning on the earth.
Romans 8:20-22 says “For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” The earth is being distressed by natural disasters, plagues and pain. The very earth itself is groaning, in the throes of a natural longing, awaiting the revelation of the sons of God.
- The voice of God leading to the promise of a new era.
“See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks” Hebrews 12:25 tells us at the start of this chapter’s headline passage about a “shaking”. As God speaks, it is more than mere information. He is unfolding, birthing, shaping the world. There is often an accompanying shaking.
In Psalm 29 we read:
“The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
Sirionlike a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord strikes
with flashes of lightning.
The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;
the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord twists the oaks
and strips the forests bare.”
When a being with God’s limitless and unrivalled potency speaks, He may adjust Himself to bend down and whisper in your ear with a still small voice, but when God chooses to bellow His commands with a full-throated roar, universes are birthed, stars are flung into space and entire new dimensions are formed! No small wonder then that our little world “leaps like a calf” and our desert lands shake when He raises His voice!
In every shaking season, go in search of the voice of God. He’s trying to get your attention! There is a voice in the shaking taking place globally right now, and we must give time to comprehend Him.
- A judgement (correction) of God to the Church, as He lifts us to better ways ready for a new era.
The fourth shaking at work right now is a judgment, or correction, taking place in the Church. Some Christians talk as if God no longer judges, punishes, chastises, or brings discipline. This merely reveals a lack of Biblical literacy and a probable over-emphasis on the doctrine of grace, without the appropriate tension towards judgement and holiness of conduct we find throughout the New Testament.
“For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17
John 9:39 states “Jesus said, ‘For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.’”
John Piper writes in explanation of Jesus talk of judgement, “This is at first jarring because Jesus said in two other places that he did not come to judge the world. In John 3:17, he says, “God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” And in John 12:47, he says, “I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.”
But the contradiction is only apparent. It’s not real. When Jesus says that he did not come to judge, he means that condemnation is not his first or his direct purpose. He is coming to save. When he says, “For judgment I came into the world,” he means that inevitably, as I save people by truth and love and righteousness, a division happens and rebellion is revealed and people are confirmed in their unbelief.” (1)
Of course, God’s judgements are always seeking to redeem, restore, mature and improve our lives. He has “no plans to harm you” as the fridge magnet and prophet Jeremiah 29:11 states! So judgment for the Church is equivalent to the naughty step for your 4 year old – He is out to grow us up and line us up for blessing!
In a few chapters time we will investigate some of the key area of judgment God is confronting the Church with in this day. I think you may find it enlightening.
- The judgements of God in the world – justice issues & the unveiling of sin.
Similarly, globally we can see God is shaking the world to unmask sin, collapse ungodly ideologies and even hand some over to the eventual consequences of evil behaviour. While God’s grace is revealed in great patience with the Church and the world, eventually we all “reap what we sow” (Galatians 6:2) and passive or even direct judgement is often the result. The widespread unveiling and judgement of sin often comes with great societal upheaval, and you can see that is at work around the world right now, but more about that later in the book.
A Voice in the Shaking
Note in Hebrews 12 that while it speaks mainly of “shaking”, it’s context is that God is Speaking: “Do not refuse Him who speaks” is the lead point in verse 25. The shaking then, often contains God’s voice, even though grief or even evil may also be at work.
In all these terrible trials and turmoil, I most want you to see that God is speaking. Despite the turmoil He is speaking. Not everything that is happening is from God, but God will use everything. Even some of the justice issues He is bringing to the surface at this time may be muddled by man, confused or even swing towards revenge rather than justice – but we need to listen to God speaking through these events.
In the middle of this turbulent time, I have seldom known a more prophetic season. Visions, dreams and words from heaven seem to flow easily, every time I remove myself from the irritation and distraction of the world’s shaking and give myself again to the stillness of His presence in the eye of the storm.
What to do in a Shaking
It is not the first time God’s people have found themselves in a season change shaking. Some have even experienced lockdowns, but eventually found great deliverance, favour and renewed purpose has flowed, when they’ve discerned God’s voice in the storm.
When Noah went through a storm season, he was saved, not by the Ark, but by His righteous walk with God (Genesis 6:9). The result was he went through the tumultuous season safely, into a bright new day of promise.
This is a time then to develop your intimate, personal walk with God. It will keep you calm when the world is in chaos, and carry you through to a new day. If you hide in the “Ark” of your walk with God, you’re going to find He brings you out with favour and increase.
When the children of Israel went through the turmoil of the confrontation between Moses and Pharaoh, 10 plagues, and a period when things got worse, not better, at Passover they were to “hide under the blood” till the judgement had passed (Exodus 12:22). Then God led them into a powerful season of new glory, purpose and promise.
We too should hide under the blood of God’s forgiveness and protection while this season passes by. If we stay close to Him, He will bring us out with plunder and blessing, ready to walk towards a new Promised Land.
When the disciples went through the turbulence and shaking of the death and resurrection of Jesus, they hid away in prayer, waiting for the promised power of the Holy Spirit in that upper room (Acts 1:14 & 2:1+). When the Spirit fell in fire, they were launched from lockdown into a season of promise and glory!
We too, must find our upper rooms of prayer, repentance, intimacy and devotion, that a fresh outpouring of power and presence would propel us into the new promised era as well.
This pivotal season of shaking has biblical and historical precedent. Let’s dwell in the secret place of our walk with God, listening for His voice in the shaking. Let’s hide under the blood of Jesus with repentant and soft hearts, willingly seeking deeper purity and maturity. Let’s wait for the release of the Spirit empowering into this new era in God, knowing that this could lead to His glory, harvest, revival, fulfilment and the Kingdom coming in the world!
Haggai Goes a Step Further
When the unknown author of Hebrews is writing of the shaking in chapter 12, he (or she) is quoting Haggai 2. Haggai’s version is a tad longer, and with a significant conclusion as its finale:
“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty. Haggai 2:6-7
Haggai reveals that the purpose of the shaking is that God’s glory fills the temple – you could say the Church!
Haggai goes on:
‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.” Haggai 2:8-9
Divine shaking, it would seem, has the capacity to lift us to new glories, where the weight of God’s favour, blessing and power propels us further than ever before, the latter house becoming more glorified than the former.
If we could just co-operate with the great pause that we have found in the eye of this pandemic, what could take place? If we surrender to the Refiner’s fire, if we are adjusted and upgraded to a place where we are ready for a fresh move of God, then I believe the result could be an outpouring of presence, power and glory that leads to a harvest of souls and the Kingdom Come in society. That is surely a worthy purpose for the shaking and storms we are living through?
AN EXTRACT FROM THE DIVINE RESET available in paperback/kindle