Raise your hand
Acts 26: 1 “Then Agrippa said to Paul, ‘You have permission to speak for yourself.’ So Paul motioned with his hand and began his defence…”
Acts 12:17; 13:16; 21:40; and here in this verse today, Paul before he speaks motions with his hand.
Ancient statues throughout cities and towns have some orator speaking with a hand raised. We can easily imagine this scene.
So why did Paul do this and why did Luke record it and more importantly what lesson can we learn? Let me try and answer this from 3 perspectives.
- For those ready to start a new chapter (as we have done today!): Be ready to begin.
The hand signal was the sign he was beginning. Just as in the athletic world a hand for many years being raised by the referee was the sign that the race was to begin. Are you ready? If called upon you to give your testimony, share your faith, can you raise your hand and say I am ready? Are you ready? If God called you to speak up, move out, change course would you bravely raise your hand and move into that new moment?
- For those who are called to communicate: Listening is easier when we have something to look at.
Recently someone recounted how they had to listen to a communicator read their entire talk from their script, head down and totally disengaged with the crowd. The result was they didn’t listen. Communicators have to get better at communication and that is not necessarily finding the right words but also finding the right way to say them. Everything from the way you dress, the way you stand and what you do with your hands can be major distractions to what you are saying.
- For those who are frustrated at their circumstance: Don’t be the loudest voice, be the only voice.
Be different. Don’t fit into the noise. You are unique and you need to live your life how God created you. Learn to silence your world so that your voice can be heard. “No one knows I am here, no one cares, no one is listening” then make it happen. This is your moment to shine and thrive, to be all that you can be, to step out from the shadows. Don’t let any man contain you, suppress you, mould you into something you were never created to be, raise your hand, silence the intimidation.
This is your moment, raise your hand.