Monday, December 5, 2011
Lifting my Hands!
"A song of ascents.
O come, bless the LORD,
all you servants of the LORD
You who stand in the house of the LORD
throughout the nights.
Lift up your hands toward the sanctuary,
and bless the LORD.
May the LORD bless you from Zion,
the Maker of heaven and earth."~ Psalm 134:1-3
And I also refer to 1Timothy2:8~
"It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument."
In reading these 2 passages from the Holy Scriptures, we see a reference to the lifting of hands in worship of the Lord. As a 'Cradle Catholic', I am accustomed to this practice being only employed by the priest during the Consecration at the Sacrifice of the Mass. It is instructed to the Levites (the priestly tribe of Israel) to do this, but by virtue of our baptism, we are the priesthood of all believers. The Ministerial Priesthood is not diminished by this practice. It is my opinion that all of us are lifted up in Spirit when we seek to lift him up.
The entire mystical body of Christ is exalted when we individually lift Him up in praise. I heard something today that struck a chord in my soul. In the act of changing garments, we lift our hands over our heads. This is a season where the Lord is doing new & wonderful things in us like never before. He is a loving father who wants to assist us in getting to this new destiny. I am letting him put over my shoulders a new garment of his greater Glory!
"and provide for those who grieve in Zion--to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor."~ Isaiah 61:3
This will be my new "Garment of Praise!" for this season of Jubilee! I proclaim & decree this is my chapter of life where I am being restored & replenished like a "Rising Tide". I am encouraged to walk out my faith with a boldness like never before. I have seen the hand of God revealing great & mighty things to me, so how could I ever go back to what was before?? No way will I go back!! Living in the South Carolina Lowcountry, we have lovely oaks that are centuries old. These massive beauties are laced with Spanish moss that gently sways in the breeze. I would love to be compared to this glorious imagery of knarly, graceful trees that provide shade & shelter to the generations.
Another image of 'lifting my hands' that comes to mind is that of a chalice. With my hands lifted toward the heavens, I am like a cup ready to receive the blessings of God! When prayers go up, blessings come down! Another is that of children in a classroom who know the answer when the teacher asks a question or being selected for a team. We anxiously lift our hands while hollering, "Pick me! Pick me!!" With the same exuberance, we should lift our hands to God & allow His Spirit to stir us into such joy.
So as God puts this new garment on me, as His little child, I recognize that as I cooperate with God to place this over me, I am accepting what He is trying to adorn on me. Why not permit Him to have His way? If I war with Him instead of submitting to this re-dress, I will continue to remain defeated. In this season of recovering & restoration, I am releasing my stubbornness to let God be God in my life. This recovered vision will turn my focus into hope for my future! ***This I know!