Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord! —Psalm 134:2
Psalm 134 has only three verses, but it is proof that little things can mean a lot. The first two verses are an admonition to the priests who serve in God’s house night after night. The building was dark and empty; nothing of consequence was occurring—or so it seemed. Yet these ministers were encouraged to “lift up [their] hands to the holy place and bless the Lord!” (v. 2 esv). The third verse is a voice from the congregation calling into the darkness and loneliness of the night: “The Lord who made heaven and earth bless you.”
I think of other servants of the Lord today—pastors and their families who serve in small churches in small places. They’re often discouraged, tempted to lose heart, doing their best, serving unnoticed and unrewarded. They wonder if anyone cares what they’re doing; if anyone ever thinks of them, prays for them, or considers them a part of their lives.
I would say to them—and to anyone who is feeling lonely or insignificant: Though your place is small, it is a holy place. The one who made and moves heaven and earth is at work in and through you. “Lift up your hands” and praise Him.
Lord, show me how I can be an encourager of others who might feel they are in a “small” place. Let them know that their lives leave an eternal impact on those they serve.
Anyone doing God’s work in God’s way is important in His sight.
I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. —Philippians 3:12
Never choose to be a worker for God, but once God has placed His call on you, woe be to you if you “turn aside to the right hand or to the left” (Deuteronomy 5:32). We are not here to work for God because we have chosen to do so, but because God has “laid hold of” us. And once He has done so, we never have this thought, “Well, I’m really not suited for this.” What you are to preach is also determined by God, not by your own natural leanings or desires.
Keep your soul steadfastly related to God, and remember that you are called not simply to convey your testimony but also to preach the gospel. Every Christian must testify to the truth of God, but when it comes to the call to preach, there must be the agonizing grip of God’s hand on you— your life is in the grip of God for that very purpose. How many of us are held like that?
Never water down the Word of God, but preach it in its undiluted sternness. There must be unflinching faithfulness to the Word of God, but when you come to personal dealings with others, remember who you are— you are not some special being created in heaven, but a sinner saved by grace.
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do…I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).
by Oswald Chambers