Summary: The world will not stop shaking us. We have to be shaken by God. Then we will have the courage to shake the world.
The church turned the world upside down. They went from a small band, to being all over the roman empire by the year 200. How?
1. They were shaken by the world;
2. They were shaken by God;
3. They shook the world
I. Shaken by the world
How do you get in a position where you shake the world and it does not shake you?
(V. 23) "When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them."
What had they said? (V.29) they had been threatened.
What can civil authorities do? They can take away freedom, property, take away life, take away family.
Life, wealth, family, and love, and freedom. Because of these threats, they were visibly shaken.
How do we know this? Because in verse 29 they pray for boldness, because they were scared.
You don’t pray for boldness unless you are scared and thus immobilized. Their lives were being shaken. But as they prayed, they came to understand the true problem. They understand why they are so shaken. It was not the civil authorities alone; it was the world itself.
They don’t pray against the civil authorities, or their circumstances, but just for boldness. Something more fundamental is needed--they need a boldness that goes beyond their circumstances. They want to be unshakable, no matter what the circumstances.
The reason we don’t have greatness of heart is because we are trying to stop the world from shaking. When we pray to get into a certain grad school, or get a certain job, or house, our a type of success, we are often trying to stop the world from shaking. But the world is always shaking, no matter how we try to get it to stop.
Who would have thought the soviet union would be gone? What about the British Empire on which the sun would "never set?"
Every civilization will fall apart. Every corporation will fall apart. You are falling apart... Mountains are falling apart...
Our problem is not the authorities, or your boss, or a friend. It is life--everything is shaken.
[Example about returning from Africa to a dead starter in the truck, a rear-ended Suburban, and awful side effects from malarone.]
Also, the church is being shaken financially. You are being shaken financially and in other ways.
II. Shaken by God
(v.23) "When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them."
The first thing they did was return to their own people, their community, to pray. When tough times hit, they ran to the support of their community.
Do you do this? Or do you drop out for a while?
Second, They realized they could not keep the world from shaking. They realized that some things are unshakable. Even though they are threatened by the Sanhedrin, they realize there is a higher power.
Their first word in prayer is "sovereign Lord." There is a higher throne.
He is also the Creator of heaven and earth and the sea (v. 24.) He has created the foundations on which we stand.
He is the God of history, over all kings.
They quote Psalm 2:1-2
"Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,"
(Psalm 2:6) "As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill."
There are some things that are fixed.
Psalm 103: 15-17
"As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,"
What is it that is not shaken? The word of God, the Love of God, the promise of God. These last forever.
(1 Cor. 15:58)
"Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain."
There is something on which the sun will not set.
Some of you are being shaken. Don’t look at the circumstances and say that is the problem. The problem is much deeper. He is shaking you to teach you what can’t be shaken.
Their prayer is that their hearts will be grounded.
After their prayer....
(V. 31) "And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness."
After a response to their prayer, they were shaken.