In September 2006, we considered part 1 of a topic titled SHAKE IT OFF. It was based on the events recorded in Acts Chapters 27 and 28. Today we shall take its part 2.
By way of a recap, Paul was being shipped to Rome to be tried by Caesar but the ship conveying him and others got wrecked off the Island of Malta but no life was lost. They were subsequently well treated by the Islanders but as Paul was relaxing and enjoying the warmth of the fire made for them, a snake fastened itself around his hands and people concluded that he must be a murderer. He did not panic as one would expect in a situation like this. All he did was to simply SHAKE IT (i.e. the snake) OFF into the fire and he escaped unhurt. For this reason, he was called a ‘god’.
Today, let us pay a close attention to the expression SHAKE IT OFF. It means to get rid of something, often by shaking or to get away from a harmful thing or person.
As Christians, there are many things disturbing our lives that God loathes and he wants us to shake them off so that we can enjoy his full blessings. Let us consider some them here with biblical examples now.
1. POVERTY. In 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, a man called Jabez was restricted by poverty in all ways until he made up his mind to SHAKE IT OFF. He asked God to bless him and to enlarge his coast and God granted his requests. He later became more honorable than his brethren. Perhaps poverty (e.g. of money, ideas, progress, etc) is restricting you or you are now finding it increasingly difficult to pay your bills and mortgages or to meet many of your financial obligations-don’t worry; I advice you to SHAKE IT OFF today by asking God to intervene as Jabez did and he will not let you down. Remember that what destroys the poor most is their poverty (Proverbs 10:15) and that God does not want you to be poor anyway (3 John 2).
2. SICKNESSES AND INFIRMITIES. In Acts 5:12-16, Peter was superbly filled with the power of the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus such that his shadow alone healed people as he passed by. From this account, we can safely deduce that those who came to him at that time were tired of their sicknesses and infirmities and they were prepared to SHAKE THEM OFF and they were all healed. Are you suffering from any sickness or infirmity? If you are, then SHAKE IT OFF today. Ask Jesus Christ to heal you and he will. Remember that he is always ready and willing to heal us (Acts 10:38).
3. SHAME AND SORROW. In Luke 9:37-42, a boy was tormented by epilepsy which is a disease of shame and sorrow. With time, his father became tired of his condition and he decided to SHAKE IT OFF. He approached Jesus Christ for help and that very day, the boy was set free. Is anything causing shame and sorrow in your life or in the life of someone close to you at the moment? If yes, then SHAKE IT OFF today. Talk to Jesus Christ about it; he will listen to you and do your bidding.
4. SIN. Sin prevents people from enjoying God’s abundant grace (Romans 6:1-2) hence we must SHAKE IT OFF. Zacheus was a Chief Tax Collector hence, a big time sinner. One day, he sought to see Jesus Christ. From his action, we can infer that he was tired of his sinful nature and he decided to SHAKE IT OFF. Jesus forgave him and he was saved that very day (Luke 19:1-10). Remember that we are all sinners (1 John 1:8) and we face imminent death if we continue to wallow in sin. That is why we have to vigorously SHAKE IT OFF and seek eternal life through Christ Jesus (Romans 6:23).
Finally friend, I implore you to look inwards today? What is it that is making your life hard? Be ready to SHAKE IT OFF. Go ahead and discus it with Jesus Christ in prayer right now and he will intervene robustly on your behalf. He is waiting and willing to set you free (Matthew 11:28). Please avail yourself of this unique opportunity; another one may not come your way in a hurry again.
Jesus is Lord!