Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Handout (04/14/11)
TITLE: Handout or Hands up?
By Debra Hindman
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I had been blessed to hear the Good News of Jesus, of His death and resurrection, as a friendly, smiling, freckled sixth-grader. Receiving Christ as my personal Savior, I faithfully sang every corporate worship time; lyrics were about living a holy life, shunning wrong, and doing right, and the Lord making a way for me. Sunday night services were more for socializing than being schooled in faith and worship. I advanced into adulthood unskilled in the Word of God; unprepared for the enemy's wiles and the world's mockery of one trying to live the Christian life without much power.
Walking gingerly among the worldly in my early twenties, but not with them, there was a cry in my heart for Light. While co-workers at the company where I was employed were dancing and drinking at the local downtown hangout on weekends, I was home quietly searching the scriptures. My associates ungodly lifestyles and goals left me perpetually feeling like an outcast, so much so that eventually I pursued a career in another state. It is there I found myself, racked with the pain of illness, distanced from most of my family and all of my friends, in desperation relinquishing only reading and hearing about the Lord, and came to do and to experience more of what He said in His Word about private worship.
Tested to the nth degree with more than a little discomfort, I began to open my mouth night after secluded night. Caring little who heard the volume of my voice resonating from my new apartment, I opened my mouth and raised my hands up to God rather than out to man, thanking the Healer for His accomplished Work on the Cross for me. The Bible I had stored in my heart became a flood from my mouth as I spoke to God about who He was to me. I was determined to seek Him and stay in worship, walking the floor or lying upon my pillow for hours on end until I heard from Heaven, until the Holy Spirit filled me with grace to receive what I believed was already done, until freedom from pain came and great joy filled my heart and soul. I stopped solely believing and began doing until things changed! It took far less than even one year.
Three long and tedious months of dry worship, of spending time alone with my God, of looking to no hand but His; and then one Sunday night, sitting in the last row of seats in my newly found church fellowship, the joy of the Lord hit me. It was a suddenly accompanied by life-changing equipping. The hours in private worship and doing the Word concerning healing, brought me into Jesus’ abiding presence and healing power.
Learning faith without works is dead, and even devils in hell tremble and believe, but never DO the Word of God, my weak root of faith was dug up and in its place a strong faith root gave Life to new dreams and the power to be a witness. Hands now often lifted in private worship, never looking for a magically selective miraculous happening, but freely receiving through faith in my King’s Words; with joy I tell any who will listen: “He is not a respecter of persons. Abiding joy and Life are available to you when you believe, act, and receive through knowledge of God’s Living Word. Freely He has given and freely we receive, through hands up, not handouts!”
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