“After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with Boldness.” Acts 4:31 (NLT)
“Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgement. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.” Jude 1:23
When I was growing up, a bottle of cough syrup medication carried this label: “Shake well before Using.” We had to shake the bottle because the heavy medicine had settled to the bottom and the lighter liquid rose to the top of the bottle. The two ingredients had to become one substance for the medicine to be useful. I remember that Bubble Gum flavor medicine as a kid. You guys remember that? Oh man it tasted so good, I might have been an addict as a kid! Ha!
Anyone who knows me knows that I love Jesus, Food, and Sports! I love to cook and eat! I’ve used multiple dressings, marination, sauces that on the label read “Shake Well Before Serving.” I saw it and it got me thinking about the purpose behind it. Now you’ve tapped into the mind of a preacher, we are always observing for anything and everything to become a sermon or blog. LOL. In this blog, its Italian Dressing! So what’s the purpose of the shake? When a bottle has been sitting on the shelf with no movement, the heavier ingredients sink to the bottom. The creator of this Italian dressing will tell you, for the fullness of flavor and for it to be served with its intended taste, YOU MUST shake before serving.
Have you ever been upset at yourself because you feel like you’re making no impact? You’re finding it hard to have a passion to do anything? You’re marriage is dull? You love your church, but don’t feel qualified to jump in and help? Your walk with God feels like you are just sitting on a shelf?
Two great things we can learn from the scriptures in Acts and Jude up top…
When you find yourself frustrated in your inability to help yourself and others – find a meeting place that leads you to a place that Shakes You and then Get out and Serve Immediately!
Whenever I need to be shaken, which is more than I want to admit, I find a meeting place with just me and God so we can collide. I put on my headphones, crank some worship and either drive, walk, or run until I find my breakthrough. Then immediately, I find a way to go serve somebody somewhere. Many times its been my wife that I serve, the church, or I just go by myself to the local laundry mat or car wash to give out quarters. I’ll head to the local jail and go into the pods to minister one on one. There are many more things you can do, but that’s just to name a few.
You may think to yourself, “I can’t do that”, “No one would listen to me,” “I don’t know how to serve someone cold turkey or even witness to them.” Can I encourage you, You are like the bottle.
You have all the ingredients in you to do what you are designed to do, you just need some shaking.
The Holy Spirit will speak to you in that moment of being shaken. The entire purpose of Acts 4 was to pray for the courage to go reach people (Which is our greatest calling as a believer). They received their boldness after a moment of shaking. Pray, worship, read to find breakthrough & then go serve. You will be blown away at how that feeds and strengthens you.
Serving and giving is also fun and rewarding with the right mindset. “Give & you shall Receive”… Define what receive is. Its not to receive for personal benefit. No, it’s Kingdom minded – not self driven. When we give of ourselves through serving others, the gift we receive is partying in Heaven together. Why? Because HEAVEN IS WORTH IT ALL!
Here’s my challenge to you this week (and for the future): Where can you go to be shaken? Where can you go to serve? The local church is a great place to serve. At Elevate we have multiple areas to start serving. If you aren’t a part of Elevate and are just finding this article online… I’m sure the local church you’re apart of has opportunities to serve as well. If your church has multiple services, serve one for others, attend one for you. There’s no greater joy than being shaken and getting out to do what you.