Thursday, March 1st, 2012
Lift Those Hands
Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.
Psalm 63:4 (NKJV)
'Stick 'em up.' Most of us would raise our hands for a robber. Surely for a police officer.
But how many of us raise our hands in prayer? 'I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands' (1 Timothy 2:8). In church? 'Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord' (Psalm 134:2).
Personally, I find it embarrassing. Growing up, hand raising just wasn't done. But King Solomon had no problem with it, and he wasn't partially concealed by a chair or a pew. He 'Knelt down on his knees before all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward Heaven' (2 Chronicles 6:13).
Primarily, it's about surrender. Who's the boss? Us? Should we surrender to a criminal, but not to God? Secondarily, it's about public surrender.
'And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. Then all the people answered, 'Amen, Amen!' while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground' (Nehemiah 8:6).
How public was Jesus' surrender with His Arms raised high on a cross? I see no excuse for myself with hands folded discreetly in church, in prayer, or in public. I need to bury my cloak as a W.A.S.P. and put on my cloak of humility as a servant of the Most High God. Raising my hands to acknowledge Jesus as King is a start.
Paul said, 'I die daily' (1 Corinthians 15:31); 'That just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life' (Romans 6:4). Raising hands is not only symbolic of our surrender, but also of our openness to receive God's blessings.
Actors, models, and talent for Christ: the public professions of faith by God's stars in sports and entertainment are also about surrender. When they say, 'I can of Myself do nothing' (John 5:30), they sound a lot like Jesus. So let's get our hands, faces, and voices in the air to honor the Owner of our talents.