We are still looking at the Escape from Cultural Christianity. Today Morley talks about "Discipline: The Shakable Kingdom."
The scripture passage at the beginning of this devotion is easy to take out of context. "See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. Heb. 12:25." Who is "him who speaks?" Are we supposed to listen to anyone who happens to be talking? Nope. This passage is talking about HIM who speaks. In preparing his notes on the New Testament, John Wesley wrote "Him that speaketh - And whose speaking even now is a prelude to the final scene. The same voice which spake both by the law and in the gospel, when heard from heaven, will shake heaven and earth." Whoa! This is Hebrews. Most of us probably thought that Revelation was the book of apocalypse, but here it is in an epistle! As the scripture continues, it shares a message of God's power over all creation, both heaven and earth. (Remember that in Genesis 1:1 God created not only the earth, but the heavens, too.) All that was created can be shaken. Anything that can be shaken can be removed. When that happens, the only thing that can remain is that which is unshakable.
For me, one of the most insightful parts of Wesley's comment is the way that he ties the voice of "him who speaks" both to the law and to the gospel. It is a wonderful and marvelous realization that God is One. Past, present, and future in Him are all one. The God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament. There is no conflict. One does not exit stage right as the other enters stage left. This is an eternal God with an eternal nature. Wow!
One of the most insightful parts of Morley's devotion today is when he points out that cultural Christianity gets its toe-hold in that which is shakable. If our "spiritual" walk clings to stuff (read that as creation or shakable things), then it isn't spiritual at all. On a true spiritual walk, we cling to Christ. We are grounded in the One who isn't shakable at all.
It is important to bear in mind that when Morley talks about "discipline" in today's devotion, he is talking about the corrective actions that a parent uses in training a child, and not to the ordered, "disciplined" life of spiritual devotion that gave rise to the name Methodist. When the "shakable" stuff in our lives is taken away, it may be a part of God's discipline in our lives, the corrective actions for training us to seek holiness in that which is unshakable and a more perfect walk with our perfect Father.
Dear Lord, thank you for being "HIM who speaks." Thank you for speaking to me. I want to hold to that which is unshakable, to cling to your words alone. Give me wisdom to discern between that which is shakable and that which is unshakable. May I always plant my faith and my life in that which is unshakable so that my life in this shakable world will glorify you alone. Amen.
Grace and peace--