In Monday's chapel service, Chaplain Ken Dill offered a challenge for this upcoming school year. He wants us to live with our hands up and palms raised. Now, this may sound weird, but what Rev. Dill means is that no matter what we are going through in life, no matter where we are in our walk spiritually, and no matter what has happened in our past, we should be living a life of complete worship and praise. Obviously this is easier said than done. For me personally, battling with sometimes crippling anxiety can fixate my eyes to the problems and issues rather than keeping my eyes on God. With it being the beginning of a new school year, we can all challenge ourselves to keep our palms raised to receive God’s blessing. Here are some ways I try to do that:
Give up control
Isaiah 26:3 states that, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” For me, this has been a great reminder that the ultimate source of peace in my everyday life is none other than God Himself. It’s easy for me to want complete and utter control over every aspect of my life, but God wants us and ultimately calls us to live a life of surrender. We have to give it up to Him and let Him have the reigns. What? Do we think we’re better at controlling our lives than the One who created us?
Appreciate the good and the bad
It’s no surprise to anyone that we’re going to face hard times in life. However, it’s our response to these times that shape who we are and how we live our lives. When we don’t get that job, when we get a lower grade than we were hoping, or when God even says “no” and closes a door we were hoping to walk through, we have to remember to keep praising. Hebrews 3:15 reminds us to keep offering up “a sacrifice of praise.” Don’t wait for the sky to clear or the environment to brighten up. Start to praise now! God often asks us to take the first step, especially when He is trying to help us grow! Learn to praise before your breakthrough.
God often asks us to take the first step, especially when He is trying to help us grow! Learn to praise before your breakthrough.
Praise with each other
Being vulnerable… this is one thing I’ve always struggled with in my life. However, as I’ve grown in my faith and throughout life, I’ve slowly started to realize the benefits of being open and real with those around me. God intended for the Church to be a community, a body of believers. So when we reach times in life that may be challenging, Satan likes to keep us locked away to ourselves. When we bring things into the light with others, we are creating a safe space to share and love on each other while keeping accountability. We’re reminded of this in James 5:16 and Hebrews 10:24-25. God has provided us with ways to gather together and worship.
As we go throughout this year, let’s remember to keep our palms up in worship. Praise is such a powerful weapon and tool to use against what the Enemy wants to hold hostage. We were created to praise and worship the God who gave us life. When we praise Him, through the good and the bad, we are given a peace that is greater than anything we could ever imagine.