The batter comes up to hit the ball and misses twice! Now his fellow teammates are shouting to him, “Come on, just shake it off, shake it off!” You are in the outfield and you miss the fly ball and fall on your back. Now you are hurt and embarrassed, but still your teammates shout, “Shake it off, shake it off!” You think to yourself, “What do you mean shake it off!” It seems kind of cruel to say to someone who is hurting, “It will be all right just shake it off,” but that is exactly what Jesus tells us to do!
Consider the instructions that Jesus gave the twelve disciples for service in Matthew 10:14. “Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or city, shake the dust off your feet.” The Lord had summoned the disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out and to heal every kind of sickness and disease. (Matthew 10:1) The Lord also said while they were doing this he would supernaturally provide for them. (Matthew 10:9-10)
"And whatever city or village you enter inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city. As you enter the house, give it your greeting. If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace."(Matthew 10:11-13)
Jesus is saying here that we are to minister to others in peace and love. We will know if we are received or not. As we go out in our God given authority operating in the gifts of the Spirit, some will receive us others will not. If those we attempt to minister to are worthy, they will see that we are sent by the Lord and receive our peace and blessings. If they are not worthy, they will not receive the healing and deliverance sent to them by God. In that case we are to take back our blessing of peace. (Matthew 10:13) Don’t let anyone steal your peace!
If they do not receive you or heed the words the Lord has given you, then shake it off! When the Lord sends us out, he knows we are going out as sheep in the midst of wolves. So he instructs us to be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16) To be shrewd is to be one of keen discernment. We are to be wise and skillful in our service to the Lord. To be innocent as a dove is to be pure in our motives. We are to do our work for the Lord in a way that reflects best his nature of love and compassion for others.
Even as we go on our mission empowered by the Holy Spirit we are told to beware of men.
"But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues; and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles."(Matthew 10:17)
So the Lord has a purpose for our persecution, which takes place in both the church and the world arena. We will be brought before people in high authority and be accused of being evil, all in the name of Jesus. The people who persecute us truly believe they are doing God a favor! However, in that very hour the Holy Spirit within us comes forward as a testimony of the power and authority of Jesus Christ. The same betrayal that Jesus experienced we will also experience.
It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household.
The religious minded of Jesus day accused him of operating by the power of the enemy. So too today you can find website after website accusing the brethren of evil. Everyone from Benny Hinn to Billy Graham are being accused! The Lord warns us of the hatred we will endure because of His name! He promises us though that he will reveal all things to us and bring justice. We should not fear but instead rest in His faithfulness!
"Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops."(Matthew 10:26-27)
The Lord is saying here to shake off all the persecution, condemnation and guilt that others try to put on you! Shake it off and move on doing the work the Lord has instructed you to do. Jesus will supernaturally meet all your needs despite hindrances and roadblocks the enemy throws in front of you.
When Jesus sends us out to do his work, he will also provide, protect, bless and accomplish his purposes through us. We on the other hand need to be of keen discernment and wise as to how we minister to others. The enemy will try to hinder the work of the Lord, but greater is He that is in us then he that is in the world! The Lord instructs us to go out and heal the sick and deliver those who are oppressed, depressed and yes even sometimes possessed by the enemy! Satan cannot stop the progress of the Holy Spirit whom empowers believers to change the world!
Paul Shake’s Off a Serpent
In Acts 28 Paul and the disciples find themselves shipwrecked while sailing to Rome. They end up swimming to an island called Malta. They had been through a terrible storm and barely escaped with their lives. Now they find themselves in a strange place with some natives building a fire for them.
It was rainy and cold when Paul joined in to gather some sticks for the fire. As he put his sticks into the fire a snake came out from among the sticks and attached itself to his hand. The natives were sure this meant Paul was cursed and must have done something evil. They were shocked however when Paul simply shook the viper off his hand and into the fire, leaving him unharmed!
They kept on waiting for Paul to swell up and die, but he never did! Praise God, thank you Jesus! Can you imagine their dismay to see a viper apparently bite Paul and then he just shakes it off! They had just witnessed the supernatural power and protection of the Holy Spirit! The Lord protected Paul during this very important mission to Malta. The natives soon changed their mind about Paul and greatly honored and favored him. Even to the point of calling him a god. This was of course a misconception on their part.
Paul then goes out and proceeds to heal the father of Publius, the leader of the island. This leader’s father was lying in bed afflicted with recurrent fever and dysentery. Paul then prayed and laid his hands on the sick man and he was healed! “After this happened, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases were coming to Paul and getting cured.” (Acts 28:9)
Paul soon left the island of Malta with everything he needed. God had given Paul and the other men great honor among the natives. They had all the supplies they needed for the journey ahead. The Holy Spirit enabled Paul to be able to shake off the deadly serpent and move on in his work for the Lord fully equipped and blessed with plenty of provision.
So too today we need to shake off discouragement, shake off depression, shake off persecution, shake off fear, shake off sickness and shake off disease! We do this by the power of the Holy Spirit not by our own power or strength. Shake it off in the name of Jesus then allow the Lord to equip you for the rest of the journey.