Let me start with a story.
After the second world war as the world returned to normality,
China was experiencing the tremors of change:
the followers of communism were on the march.
Christian missions had built their compounds
and divided up the country into geographical areas for each mission group.
The Chinese church was under direction and control of foreign missions
who had never reached the level of faith to admit Chinese leadership,
in spite of men like pastor Hsi, John Sung, Watchman Nee and others.
But as the missions structure fell apart under the tsunami of change,
the churches founded by the spiritually quickened Chinese believers endured.
As the communist forces overran the country and the old order disappeared
a question inserted itself "Can we pray against this catastrophe -
or is this disaster God judging?"
Now let us jump forward seventy years to our day.
Again the world around us is shaking
and we do well to ask ourselves the question:
Have we in our lives, in the place and activity of our daily existence,
put our hope in a man-built Christianity?
Can we pray against the dissolution of things -
or is it God working to shake us loose from the false hopes on which we have relied?
Is it really God doing the shaking?
Have we put our hope in men - and illusionary promises?
Have we projected our hopes onto ephemeral things?
Have we grasped the empty words and distorted principles proffered us?
Are different political parties and their projects,
the old and the new, only two faces of the same coin?
Are there any men of vision and conviction among the leaders of the world?
Is it that we are led by those who brook no opposition, or by the "set will of the weak" who see no alternatives?
Is there not with the destruction of the past also a destruction of the future?
Again, is it God doing the shaking?
What of us as Christians?
Have we also set our eyes on things without substance?
Where is God in all this?
Is He still on His throne even as we feel the earth shaking?
Does He still dispose the way of the nations on the earth?
Can God destroy the lifestyle of a nation in order to separate "the precious from the vile"?
Can we, at this time, lift our eyes to a realm above it all,
where God dwells, and rules unchanging?
Can we really see, can we really hear, the One Who will guide into all truth?
Are we still holding on to an illusion that it is all going to work out?
Can we hope that life will go back to what it was before?
Can we begin to conceive how severe the judgement of God can be?
Let us ask ourselves:
what will be left to us when nothing of man's earthly structure withstands the storm?
What will be ours when the chaff is blown away,
and nothing remains except that which is of God?
It is time to find and live the truth of God
- as we see every man made thing collapse around us.
Brethren, now is the time to dig through all the earthly,
until beneath we reach the unchanging Rock.