Have you ever been confused during worship as to what all those people are doing when they lift up their arms and hands? I know that when I first started attending service, I certainly was. I didn’t feel particularly moved to do it so I was a little worried that maybe I wasn’t worshipping my Lord right because I didn’t know what all those people apparently did.
I asked around and someone told me that it was like a small child who lifts up their arms when they want their parent to hold them or carry them.
I was so moved by this picture that I attempted to raise my arms the next weekend in service. All of a sudden, it felt pretty natural to be saying “Hold me, Daddy.”
(For the record, I don't think you're any less spiritual or worshipful if you don't lift your hands. I don't believe that by not doing it, you're disappointing God. Or that by doing it, you're impressing Him.)
I heard something recently that has really made sense. There is a story in the Old Testament of when Joshua defeats the Amalekites. Exodus 17:10-13 says, “So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword."
Now, imagine what your first reaction would be if someone were to point a gun at you? You might scream, gasp, or close your eyes. In the movies, everyone puts their hands up. It’s like the universal sign of surrender.
It must have been strange to see Moses up on that hill, arms in the air. It probably would have seemed like he was trying to surrender. And that would have been really confusing if he hadn’t been totally surrendering to God…