December 21, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God." Psalm 25:1-2
There is a custom in the communion service of the Church of England that is both beautiful and noteworthy. The leader of the communion service says "Sursam corda," which means "Lift up your hearts!" To this the congregation responds, "We lift them up unto the Lord." How appropriate this is as we stand in solemn remembrance of Christ who gave His life in atonement for our sins. There is no more precious time in our services than this sacred moment when we bow before our Father with contrition of heart, a humble spirit, with thanksgiving and praise for His gift of grace and mercy initiated by His infinite love and remember Him.
This response should not be limited to this blessed time of communion but should characterize our lives every day. I will lift up my heart to the Lord in child-like faith when buffeted by the encounters of life. I will lift it up when my carnal nature seeks to pull me down with unkind thoughts and deceitful motives. I will lift it up in holy joy and praise as the Holy Spirit draws me afresh to the Lord. I will lift it up "as the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing." When "troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see," I will lift up my heart to Him.
Time and again this was the experience of David, Jeremiah, Isaiah and the saints of old. It was the experience of Hudson Taylor as he ministered in China to open that country to the gospel. It was the custom of David Livingston as he gave his heart and soul to carry the gospel to Africa. It was the cry of Martin Luther as he nailed his theses on the door of the Catholic church that brought renewed light to the world that the "just shall live by faith." From the early martyrs and faithful described in Hebrews 11, and down through the ages, those who walk in an intimate relationship with Christ know the joy, comfort and triumph of lifting up their hearts to the Lord.
If you would lift up your heart to the Lord you must be "in the way," even as Eliezer, the servant of Abraham was when he was sent to find a bride for Isaac. He was in the way of humble submission to the will of God...in the way of obedience to his master Abraham...in the way of a receptive heart to the working of the Holy Spirit...in the way of prayer that sought God's gracious leading...in the way of faith as he trusted God to show him the one who was to be Isaac's bride.
So must our lives be adorned with a heart bent towards God and walking in His commandments when we lift up our hearts to Him. This is a "holy moment" when we come into His presence and bare our soul before the King of glory. Should we not come with pure hearts and a clean spirit that will usher us into blessed communion with our Father? He has bid us to "come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace you are saved), And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:4-6). O, that our lives may be lived on the highest plane as we walk in glorious companionship with Jesus Christ, with hearts abandoned in faith to all He wants to do in and through us each day.
So when the words ring forth "Lift up your hearts," we will respond with joy: "To you, O God, do I lift up my soul; in you do I trust, O my God."
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-12-21
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