I have had the privilege of announcing for the Bucyrus Marching Redmen at their football games over the last few years. This means I’m at the stadium before game time and at least until halftime when I have fun announcing for them. Many times, I stick around for the rest of the game. I enjoy watching, especially when Bucyrus makes a good play and scores a touchdown!

I’ve noticed that I get caught up in the excitement when they score a touchdown or make a great play. I jump to my feet, throw my hands and arms in the air, and cheer them on! Why? Because something good happened! I’m praising them! We’re winning! So I get excited! And my hands go up in victory!

There are other times, however, that arms and hands go up in the air like that, but it’s not for victory. Look through your memories of movies and shows you’ve watched. What do people typically do when threatened with a gun or knife, about to be attacked? And what’s commonly said?

“Hands in the air where I can see them!” Says the perpetrator. And the victim puts their hands in the air, palms out.

In surrender. No resistance. Willing to give in.

One action, but two very different purposes in different scenarios – except when it happens in church. In praise and worship, victory and surrender happen in company with each other. In fact, victory is found in surrender!

The psalmist instructs us to…

Lift your hands toward the sanctuary, and praise the LORD. Psalm 134:2

And David cries out to God, submitting to Him…

Listen to my prayer for mercy as I cry out to you for help, as I lift my hands toward your holy sanctuary. Psalm 28:2

Look, I get it. I’m not the most expressive of worshipers. And I’m not advocating a rote action. When I consider what God has done for me, I’m overjoyed. It comes out whether I want it to or not. And when I recognize God working in me, I submit to Him instead of resisting. It’s the same response! I’m overjoyed! And it comes out whether I want it to or not.

Today, praise Him! Lift up your hands, open, not tight-fisted, in surrender. You have victory in that surrender! He’s all you need!

It’s the sweetest victory I know and better than any touchdown!

You are loved!