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It's truly interesting the spiritual insights hidden in the scriptures. It's exciting to, through the help of the Holy Spirit, dig them up.
Lamentations 3:40-41 say, "Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD. Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens." Particularly note the last part; “Let us lift up our hearts with our hands unto God.”
In this Old Testament book, the prophet of God, Jeremiah, is lamenting the fall of the city, Israel, that the Jewish people believe God would not allow to fall. But God had warned the prophets who were listening to Him that the sins of the people and the nation could not go without correction, and that correction would be very painful.
In the verses mentioned we notice that Jeremiah is talking about personal repentance. He called for continual examination of the life as necessary for repentance. The thought is that this search for sin in our lives must be a deep searching.
Then he draws out the path to complete repentance, as opposed to simple sorrow for the loss of status quo due to the consequences of sin. After sin has been discovered in the life and repented, we lift up our hearts. How do we do this? WITH our hands. What is this talking about?
Despite the words of many teachers today, he is not talking about praying with our hands lifted. Many can do, and often do, this without any self-examination and repentance of sin.
Obviously, by this point in repentance, the mind has made a decision to repent; to confess and turn from the sin revealed. However, the process is not completed. The heart has to be lifted up to God in Heaven.
Salvation and forgiveness is not a result of works. Don’t read that into this. However, neither do salvation and forgiveness occur without a change in the works of our hands. A changed heart does not continue to do the things with the hands that God hates (1 John 5:18).
The peace of God comes from a forgiven and changed heart (Philippians 4:17). A change heart is God’s doing and gift to those who are saved (Philippians 2:17). A changed and forgiven heart, given by God, changes what our hands find to do (Ecclesiastes 9:10). When God uses our hands, it further lifts our hearts to God in heaven.