Last night a powerful thunderstorm rolled through our area. It was so powerful that I received a FEMA warning through an app on my iPhone. Right after the FEMA warning was displayed, a clap of thunder exploded over our house. I have lived in the Caribbean and lived through some very loud and intense storms, but to be honest, this was the loudest and most house-shaking thunder experience of my life. Jan and I were stunned when the thunder shook our house to the foundation and sent our cat running for his life.
This morning, as I reflect on the storm from last night, the air is now still and calm. No sound of a storm remains, but the memory is still fresh in my mind. It reminded me of the writer of Hebrews trying to explain the power of God and the sound of His voice that will shake what is not secure in His Kingdom and defined by His love.
“The earth was rocked at the sound of his voice from the mountain, but now he has promised, ‘Once and for all, I will not only shake the systems of the world, but also the unseen powers in the heavenly realm!’” (Hebrews 12:26)
Every political and social condition not in line with God’s heart will experience a shaking like the thunder that exploded over our home with unimagined power. This shaking will expose and destroy each dark and malevolent power that rules individuals and culture from behind a veil of deception.
Most of us want to see God as a tender, gentle and compassionate God. He is all of that. But He is more. He is also powerful, almighty and consumed with a passion for His people and the Earth He created. There are times when this tender, gentle and compassionate God will roar out in His holiness against those things that try to separate His creation from Him. When God’s voice becomes a clap of holy thunder and shakes our world, He is not trying to destroy people. He came to save, not destroy people. He is reminding us and warning the powers and rulers of a dark and unseen kingdom that He will not allow them to go on forever controlling and deceiving.
We are about to experience the awe of God – an awe-inspiring revelation of His holiness that will stop us in our tracks just like the thunder that shook our home last night. This will not create an unhealthy fear in a follower of Christ. Neither will it create a list of people who we choose to see only as our enemies. The thunder of God’s voice will shake us free from our foolish pursuits and short-sighted determinations and bring us to a place of awe and worship in the God of Heaven. That encounter will change everything.
“Since we are receiving our rights to an unshakeable kingdom should be extremely thankful and offer God the purest worship that delights his heart as we lay down our lives in absolute surrender, filled with awe”(Hebrews 12:28).