This week, Beth begins a series on the hand of God and what it looks like in our lives. “This ought to become one of the foremost things on your tongue that you request from God,” she says.
Most people are familiar with the prayer of Jabez from Bruce Wilkinson’s book. Millions of people learned what it meant to “expand your borders” or “enlarge your territory.” But the following part of that prayer in 1 Chronicles 4 says, “Let your hand be with me.”
What does that look like? What role does the hand of God play in the lives of you and me? To help understand what it means in practical terms, Beth draws up an acrostic – an idea from each letter in H-A-N-D. The first one is holiness.
“When God’s hand comes upon us, we are set apart,” she says. “When we are born again in Christ, literally, he picks us up and sets us apart. We are made holy in him. That which is crude or that which is carnal, just in the sense of flesh and blood, becomes sacred. The common is now uncommon; the ordinary has become extraordinary. We are set apart. We are not the same as the rest of the world; we are set apart in him. That is holiness. Holiness is always the concept of otherness — to be other than. God is holy. He is completely ‘other than’ us. But in him we are made holy from the rest of the world. We’re ‘other than.’ We are set apart.”
From the time of Abraham, the idea of a “chosen people” has been a point of contention and even jealousy. Of his eight sons, only Isaac was considered legitimate. Isaac’s twin sons, Esau and Jacob, struggled over the birthright and inheritance, even to the point of deception. The twelve sons of Jacob, fathers of the twelve tribes of Israel, often fought for generations over who inherited the blessings of God’s hand. When Jesus Christ came, He revolutionized the idea by insisting that it only came through Him.
“When God’s hand comes upon you there is a holiness coming down on you,” Beth says. “And when we begin to get this, [we] want to leave our lives that are so drawn to appetites of sin because once we get this straight, once we begin to experience life under the hand of God, with the hand of God on us, this will be what we want. Nothing else will satisfy you then because you’ll want whatever it takes.”
Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field” (Matthew 13:44).
Once we discover that holiness is available to us, like that hidden treasure, there is no question as to whether we can give up the things of the world in order to obtain it. On our own, we cannot become holy. We cannot earn God’s hand in our lives through our actions. The entire law of the Old Testament proved that time and time again. But through Christ, we have that precious gift available to each of us now. We seek His kingdom first, and all other things, including His mighty hand at work in our lives, will be added.
Be sure to watch “Wednesdays in the Word” on LIFE Today over the next few weeks as Beth expands on the benefits of each letter in the word “hand.” If you miss a program, you can always watch it online at lifetoday.org/video, on demand on the LIFE Today Roku channel, and at lightsource.com/ministry/life-today.
Adapted from Beth Moore’s teaching “The Mighty Hand of God.” Written and edited by Randy Robison.