Total Pageviews

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Laying on of hands

There are many things that we take for granted in the kingdom - or practices that we do without knowing why we do them.

Here is one:  Why do we "lay hands on people" when we pray with them?
We saw last week in our study in Acts, this verse:
"When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands....."  Acts 8:18.
What does that mean?

First of all, let's go back to the Old Testament.

The laying on of hands was in a different direction than New Testament laying on of hands.

In the Old Testament, the  most common usage was a person laying a hand on a sacrifice.

And by that, they were transferring their sin to a pure object, thereby, that pure object became a representation that - that animal was an atonement for sacrifice.

The impurity was being drained out of the individual was being transferred into the animal.

In the New Testament, the laying on of hands is not the laying on of impure hands onto something that is better, but it is the laying on of hands of a person that's filled with the power and might of God - and that energy, that power, that life of God which is in them is now being transferred to people who are without power, with the Spirit, and without the deeper consequence of the Lord's work in their life.

Jack Hayford writes:

"It's important when there is a laying on of hands that hose are not empty hands and those heads are not empty heads.  Someone has said that ordination is sometimes like that:  the empty hands of the bishop being laid on the empty heads of the candidate.

If there's no spiritual vitality in a person's life, the laying on of hands is just ritualistic.  So it's incumbent upon those who lay on hands that they be in a place of dynamic relation with God.  And those who receive, be in a position of tremendous hunger and openness to God.

When that combination occurs, God is a work doing His thing."
In other words, as you pray with people and "lay hands on them," at least make sure that your heart is right before God for that prayer to be effective.

To summarize, the laying on of hands is an often overlooked but foundational biblical truth  among its many proper biblical uses of laying are:

Healing.  Ordinations.  Sending qualified, called people out in ministry.  Receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Imparting spiritual gifts.  Imparting a blessing.
Just a thought for a Wednesday.

No comments: