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Lift Up Your Hands In The Sanctuary - Pastor Stacey Shiflett

Lift Up Your Hands in the Sanctuary

Psalms 134:2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.

Introduction: In one of the Leadership Orientation sessions, we heard that the solution to a dead church is to have a church full of people that understand the biblical command to lift up hands in the sanctuary.

Somehow, we let the Pentecostals and Charismatics rob us of our ability to lift up our hands in the sanctuary.

We were praising God a long time before that crowd came to town!!

Notice the passage:

The context is simple.

A. The Adoration of God’s Peoplebless the Lord! (twice)

B. The Attendance of God’s People“…in the house of the Lord. “…in the sanctuary…”

C. The Action of God’s People“Lift up your hands…”

Somebody might ask, Why should we life up our hands in the sanctuary?

Then I got to thinking about all the reasons why people raise their hands.

I. Because you might HAVE A QUESTION.

We started school back last week.

We will have to teach our students that when they have a question, they need to raise their hand.

You might be here tonight with questions.

It is perfectly normal to have questions, especially about God and the Bible.

You might be like that rich young ruler in Mark 10:17 that came to Jesus and asked:

“What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

You might be like the Philippian Jailor that sprang into Paul and Silas’s jail cell and asked:

“What must I do to be saved?”

Philip approached that Ethiopian eunuch and heard him reading from the Isaiah scroll.

He asked him if he understood what he was reading.

He said, “How can I, except some man should guide me!”

There is not a better place to get answers to your questions than right here!

II. Because you might KNOW THE ANSWER

In the classroom, the teacher will many times involve the class in the lesson.

The teacher may start out with a question and promote class participation.

She may say, “How many of you know how far the sun is from the earth?”

The students that know the answer will quickly raise their hand.

One of the reasons that you and I can lift up our hands in the sanctuary this morning is because we know the answer!!

We can raise our hand because we know the answer!

· Isaiah asked in Isaiah 53:1, “Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?”

· In Exodus 32:26, Moses asked the children of Israel, “Who is on the Lord’s side?”

· In Psalms 113:5, David asked “Who [is] like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high,”

· The nation of Israel asked, Psalms 78:19 “…Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?”

· Nathaniel asked in John 1:46 “…Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?”

· David asked the people of God in 1 Samuel 17:29 “…Is there not a cause?”

· Jesus asked the blind man in Luke 18:41 “What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee?”

They might be singing that song, “Do you know how it feels…” If you do, RAISE YOUR HANDS!!

They might be “Does Jesus Care?” If you know the answer, RAISE YOUR HANDS!!

The choir might be singing, “Are You Washed in the Blood?” If you are, RAISE YOUR HANDS!!

III. Because you might DESIRE TO WORSHIP

When a baseball player hits a homerun, the whole stadium jumps to their feet with their arms raised.

When a football player scores a touchdown, the whole arena jumps up with their hands raised.

Imagine a church full of people that stood and raised their hands to celebrate the goodness of God!

· Psalms 134:2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.

· Nehemiah 8:6 And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

Psalm 119

· 47 And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.

· 48 My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.

Psalm 63

· 3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.

· 4 Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.

IV. Because you might NEED TO PRAY

· Psalms 28:2 Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.

There’s nothing wrong with lifting up your hands when you’re praying.

But if you only do it when you’re at church and people are watching, that is different!

The Bible is clear that it is biblical to pray with hands raised.

· Lamentations 2:19 Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord: lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children, that faint for hunger in the top of every street.

Lamentations 3

· 40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.

· 41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.

· 1 Timothy 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

V. Because you might WANT TO SURRENDER

· Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

The universal sign of surrender is holding up your hands.

Whether it is the enemy soldiers holding you at gunpoint, or it is the police about to make an arrest.

They want to see your hands.

That’s what they say. “Let me see your hands!”

When picking teams, raising your hand is how you volunteer to get involved.

That is the sign for “pick me!!”

When God asks, “Whom shall I send”, you might want to lift up your hands and say, “Send me!!!”

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