January Word of Encouragement Worship Devotions

Lift up thy hands.

"Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise You. Thus will I bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name." ~Psalm 63:3-4

One of the classic praise and worship postures is the lifting up of hands and it is a completely Scriptural and necessary action in worship, however, the fact is that not everyone does raise their hands. Not everyone is comfortable with it. Not everyone thinks that this worship expression is necessary. What are your thoughts? Do you raise your hands in worship? While it’s true that God knows the heart, and He knows where the boundaries of our comfort zones fall, and while it is true that worship comes from the heart – is that a reason to stay where you are and never do anything different or new? Isn’t God worthy of more than the routine or the traditions? Do you love God more than you love your own comfort or the opinions of other people?

These are not questions of judgement, but are a challenge to us all. Some people are perfectly comfortable raising their hands in worship, but are terrified to shout “Hallelujah!” Others may shout, but they won’t dance. Others may dance, but they won’t kneel. Others may kneel, but they won’t play their instrument on the stage at church. We are all at different places in our human experience and in our faith journey, and we all like to think we’d do anything the Lord asked of us, but what I want to challenge you with is this: If Jesus Christ, Himself, in all His majesty, beauty and glorious light stood before you, face-to-face and said, “Beloved child, I would love you to worship me by running around the sanctuary, waving your hands and shouting ‘Hallelujah'” – would you do it? Maybe you’d be really embarrassed, but would you do it if  He asked you directly? Of course you would! There’s NOTHING you could ever do to repay the Lord for all He has done for you, and all He asks in return is your thankfulness expressed in worship. “Easy”, right? HAHA!

There’s nothing you could ever do to repay the Lord for all He has done for you, and all He asks in return is your thankfulness expressed in worship

Here’s another question: If faith without works is dead (James 2), and love without action is not love (1 Corinthians 13) – what is worship without physical expression?

Hear the voice of my supplications,” David wrote. “When I cry to You, when I lift up my hands toward Your most holy place.” (Psalm 28:2)

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise You. Thus will I bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.” (Psalm 63:3-4)

My hands I will lift up unto Your commandments, which I have loved; I will meditate on Your statutes.” (Psalm 119:48)

Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lordwho by night stand in the house of the LordLift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord.” (Psalm 134:1-2)

Remember, your expression of worship isn’t about you. It’s about the Lord. You don’t raise your hands because you want to. You raise your hands because it blesses Him. That is the whole point of worship!

Thought for today

Even if you raise your hands a teeny-weeny bit- it still counts! If you don’t raise your hands, are you worshipping “wrong”? That’s not for me to say and is between you and the Lord. However, if raising your hands is a blessing to Him, why wouldn’t you do it? If you think that just singing or clapping is “enough”, let me challenge you with this: God gave everything He had for you – can you give Him everything you have? He doesn’t want all your money. He doesn’t want your good deeds. He wants your worship. He wants your physical, visible act of surrender – it’s a blessing to Him and He is worthy! Don’t think it means you have to raise your hands to the sky and wave them around. Just lift them. Remember, a baby step is still a step! Each time you “master” a baby step and start to feel comfortable, go higher, and then higher. Add in a quiet “Amen” and then someday it’ll be a shout of “Hallelujah”! Start in your bedroom, your shower, the car, and then do it at church. You’ll spend the rest of your life on this journey of courage and faith, but I want to encourage you to keep moving forward. No more comfort zones! Bless the Lord in your worship, “Lift up your hands” and praise Him!

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Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise You. Thus will I bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.” (Psalm 63:3-4)
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