SHAKEN OR STIRRED
II Thessalonians 2/1-3
Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,…
Soon shaken in mind – This scriptural ‘turn of phrase’, I have highlighted by underlining it, as you can see.
Because, regardless of the subject it refers to – the experience of being shaken in mind is one we have all had.
There are many examples of this – ranging from spilling a glass of milk – to hearing that a friend has been suddenly taken ill.
Momentarily shaken, (spilling milk) or being shook up for a prolonged period of time (struggling over a friends predicament).
We all know that James Bond preferred ‘shaken’ and not stirred.
But there is a good – being ‘stirred-up’ – and a bad.
The bad – being ‘stirred up’ – is when anger, bitterness and resentment takes over and we seek revenge.
The good – being ‘stirred up’ in mind, – is when we sense fresh resolve welling up within our beings to once again set ourselves to do what is right and good.
Christian or non-Christian can experience this kind of ‘being stirred up’.
Athletes failing to win their race, can feel stirred-up to win the next one. A child failing an exam, with good encouragement from a parent, can feel stirred again to pass the re-sit.
Rescuers trying to reach those trapped, can suddenly feel stirred again by a noise coming from the depths of a pile of rubble, and so redouble their efforts at rescue.
Someone whose father or relative was destroyed by some overcoming weakness or addiction, follow in their footsteps, or get stirred up to resolve that such a thing will never happen to them.
They stir themselves to not be similarly duped.
So when we are shaken, is it followed by being stirred up?
It certainly is a preferable state of mind.
But notice in this passage of scripture that the shaking referred to can come as the result of different things.
The first source is a ‘spirit’.
Many have come under the deception of spirits – unseen – that propagate lies. Often of the most subtle kind.
Part of the deception they are under is to find it incredulous that spirits even exist.
Many sit with an incredulous mentality that is dismissive of anything spiritual.
Such folks are the easiest to deceive, and spirits know this.
After all if I want to do damage to you, and you know nothing about the source of it – then I have an even greater victory, and can expect no resistance.
Next we are told not to be shaken by ‘word’. There are many voices in the world crying and vying for your attention – many speak to shake us up, to harm us, to get unfair advantage over us, to scare us into submission and so on.
Next we are told not to be shaken by ‘letter’. We can mistakenly assume the source of certain messages and mis-appropriate their source to the wrong person(s).
But many times there is no mistaking the source of the venom.
Emails, social media and all the means of 21st Century communication, take the place of plain old pen and paper, in letter writing.
But they are letters just the same, and can shake us with their content.
Being shaken is similar to being under stress. Many people seem to have no inner resources to call upon as an antidote to stress.
Thankfully Christians can appropriate Christ’s inner strength by faith.
But often as a result of mental shaking – a nervous breakdown can ensue, and many Christians similarly prone to such an experience, testify that it was only their faith in Christ that brought them through.
Shaken by spirits, shaken by words heard, or letters read.
This is where a post such as this is limited, in that, I have highlighted the experience of being shaken, but as yet, have only hinted at solutions.
There is much to say on how to stand, having done all to stand, in these days, when things are beginning to be shaken all around us.
Other blogs may need to be written.
But we know as human beings that avoiding the ‘all shook up’ condition is not always easy.
We spill the milk – and stir ourselves with the words: ‘No use crying over spilt milk’, – sorted – we soon forget it, and move on.
Many in the past, and in the present day, have been shaken to the very core of their beings, and no common quip is going to solve their problems.
In the scripture quoted above the Christians are told not to allow themselves to be shaken from the truth. The truth – as it was communicated at that time – was that Christ as yet had not returned.
Concerning The Second Coming of Christ, we are not to be shaken from what the scripture reveals to us.
There is to be a ‘falling away’ first, and a deceiving, plausible spirit with words and doctrinal ‘letters’ will appear and will deceive many.
Don’t be shaken from believing it to be so, but don’t be shaken either by that same malevolent spirit, who has come to steal, kill and destroy, as he works through men.
In light of the anti-Christ spirit already at work – Look up – all you who believe that Jesus is the Christ – for your redemption draws near!