Principle #8: Participants embrace the conviction that God is in control, and choose not to be intimidated by factions opposing truth in the Church.
For some, if not many, in ...
Have you ever despaired over the ever-increasing apostasy in God's remnant church? Have you seen godly members and leaders slandered and unfairly treated, and wondered what to do? You are not alone. King David said, “For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.” Then he asked, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalm 11:2,3. Yes, our foundations are still under attack today.
The righteous can do what David did in Psalm 141. Battling against wickedness, He recognized that he must first raise his hands in prayer before raising his voice. He pleaded, “Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips,” vs. 2,3. He desired to speak “sweet” words, (v. 6). To oppose wickedness, the answer is simple: the righteous must first raise their hands in prayer.
Now I've always known how to raise my hand, but not as David depicted. In my school days, I raised my hand to give the right answer, or to correct a teacher's chalkboard misspelling. College days saw me earning extra credit by raising my hand during history class discussions. But God's cause deserves better than my selfish habits offer.
God's cause deals with matters of sacred importance; it requires godly, unselfish participation. God is changing my attitude and my methods. While serving in various church offices and on church committees, I have been learning to pray before I shoot up my hand and open my mouth. I am seeing how God works by His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6) in concert with my simple efforts. He is fitting me to serve His church in His way.
I see a second example of effective hand-raising in Exodus 17, when Joshua led Israel in battle against Amalek. From the hilltop, Moses held up his arms, holding the rod of God, and Israel prevailed. But when he grew weary, his arms dropped and Amalek prevailed. Then Aaron and Hur each took one arm, and they raised their hands to hold up Moses' hands, “and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomfitted Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword,” (vs. 12-13). What a beautiful example! Let us, like Aaron and Hur, use our hands to support God's battle-weary leaders as they contend with enemy forces today. This is what the World Church Affirmation Sabbath movement is about.
Let us raise our hands! Whining and gossiping are easy, but ineffective. Praying and working to win the rebellious is rare, but powerful. Let us raise our hands! Raise them in prayer; raise them to support our battle-weary leaders. Then, difficult questions may be asked in humility. Corrective motions may be offered in kindness. Erring church officers may be dealt with in love.