You’ve heard the chant of protesters across America — “hands up, don’t shoot!” For them, that phrase is a statement of dissatisfaction with what they perceive as injustice. But, people put their hands in the air for numerous reasons. People raise their hands in a celebratory gesture at football games or concerts. Some raise their hands in the air as an act of worship or praise in church. This past week, we saw civilians who had been held hostage by a gunman in a cafe in Sydney, Australia, raise their hands in the air as they escaped to indicate to police officers that they were not a threat.
Perhaps you have thrown your hands in the air in frustration. Jewish rabbis raise their hands when giving the benediction. “Jazz hands” are often used while dancing. Some people raise their hands with palms facing inward when they are trying to express that they don’t understand something. In France, you can raise your arm and rotate your hand back and forth to let someone know that you are unhappy with their driving. In Germany, people often clasp their hands together and raise them above their heads to express gratitude. In Russia and former Soviet countries, it is customary to raise your hand in a fist above your head and shake it to express anger. And, of course, we all know that you can raise your hand and wave it in order to say “hello” or “goodbye.”
It’s clear that what we do with our hands can express many messages. But, perhaps, the most important thing we can express by raising our hands is surrender — not only surrender to police and other human authorities, but to God. The writers of the Bible tell us that they raised their hands to demonstrate that they were surrendering to God’s will, that they were leaning on Him, and that they were trusting in Him.
King David said in Psalm 143:6, “I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land.”
In Exodus 9:29, Moses told Pharaoh that he would leave the city and “spread abroad [his] hands unto the LORD” and ask for the hail to cease coming down over Egypt.
Again, in Psalm 88:9, King David said, “Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.”
The Bible also tells us that King Solomon prayed “with hands outstretched toward heaven.”
In Lamentations, the Prophet Jeremiah told his people, “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.” He also wrote, “Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord. Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.”
As we go through life, each of us will choose to depend or rely on certain things and people. In the search for fulfillment, purpose, happiness, satisfaction, and peace, we often turn to money, success, our careers, or other people. We cling to these false saviors, however, we ultimately find that they are inadequate and cannot give us what our hearts truly long for. C.S. Lewis said that “Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors [Adam and Eve] the idea that they could ‘be like gods’—could set up on their own as if they had created themselves—be their own masters—invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside of God and apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history— poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery—the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”
Dear friend, I challenge you today to surrender to God. Stop trying to find happiness, peace, and satisfaction on your own. You can search all your life, but you will never find what you are looking for outside of God. So, raise your hands, and surrender your life and your will to Him today. Here’s how:
First, understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that your sins have separated you from God. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20, “There is not a just man upon earth that doeth good and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
Next, understand that, along with separation from God, a horrible punishment awaits those who are not saved. That punishment is a place called Hell. Revelation 21:8 says, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone [that is Hell]: which is the second death.” Hell is where we will end up if we keep depending on other things in life and don’t surrender to God and His will.
Finally, also realize that God loves us very, very much, and He is “not willing that any should perish” in Hell. That is why He sent only Son Jesus Christ so that we could be saved. As the Bible states, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
God made a way for us to be saved if we surrender to Him — and that is by simply believing in Jesus Christ, that He died on the cross for our sins, that He was buried, and that He rose from the dead by the power of God. The only way we can be saved from our sins is through this sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We must place our faith in Him and what He has done. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Are you willing to accept God’s saving grace and His forgiveness of your sins? Are you willing to give your life to Jesus Christ, trusting him to save your soul from eternal punishment in Hell so that you can enjoy eternal life with him in Heaven and a fulfilled life on Earth? Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you accept Jesus Christ into your heart, you will begin a relationship with God that will last for eternity. And when you face death, you will not have to fear suffering eternal punishment because you know that Jesus Christ has saved you from that by paying your sin debt. If you want to be saved from your sins and the punishment of sin which is Hell, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, that he died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and pray with me the following simple prayer.
Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today and forever so that I can have your peace and assurance about my life today and my eternal future. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”.
Now, you can sing the old Christian hymn, “I Surrender All”
All to Jesus I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.
All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.
All to Jesus I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.
Believe by faith. Share the faith. And keep the faith! God Bless You!
MUSICAL SELECTION: “I Surrender All” by Israel Houghton