Do you long to have God’s approval?

by Rev. Jack Richards on April 13, 2023


Do you long to have God’s approval? 


Ezra came up from Babylon. He was a teacher well versed in the Law of Moses, which the Lord, the God of Israel, had given. The king had granted him everything he asked, for the hand of the Lord his God was on him.… He had begun his journey from Babylon on the first day of the first month, and he arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month, for the gracious hand of his God was on him. For Ezra had devoted himself to the study in observance of the law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel… Because the hand of the Lord my God was on me, I took courage and gathered leaders from Israel to go up with me. Ezra 7:6,9,10,28 NIV  

Because the gracious hand of our God was on us… I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horsemen to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.” So, we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer… the hand of our God was on us, and he protected us from enemies and bandits along the way.  Ezra 8:18,22,23,31b NIV 


When someone lays their hand on you, it can bring comfort or fear. A mother’s hand of compassion provides solace. A father’s hand of protection provides confidence. A teacher’s hand of guidance provides instruction. A policeman’s raised hand provides direction. A lover’s hand can communicate love. In the early part of our marriage, Donna and I would communicate “I love you” by laying our hands on the other, in public, without anyone noticing. We would tap or squeeze three times which told the other person, “I love you.” Then, the other person would squeeze 4 times in return to signal, “I love you too!”   

Unfortunately, a hand laid upon you can also cause you to wince or fear. If you were beaten as a child, you probably do not want to be touched. Once a teacher placed a strong, angered hand on me. He was trying to push me. I had to choose whether to allow it or stand firm. I stood my ground, and he did not proceed to do anything further.  

A hand is a very powerful silent communicator. In the above Scripture focus, Ezra experienced the hand of the Lord on him. Six times in the book of Ezra, the author describes how God’s hand was upon him. Please understand this was not God’s physical hand but instead God’s hand of approval. It was not a heavy hand but a hand of great blessing. Ezra felt God’s presence in a very personal way.  

You need God’s hand upon your life. Michelangelo’s painting in the Sistine Chapel of God’s hand touching Adam’s hand signifies God imparting life to humanity. You need God’s touch on your life. Daily you benefit from inviting God to place His hand on you. 

What does it mean to have the hand of the Lord upon you? It means that you have God’s divine approval and that you welcome His authority in your life. It means you are being used by God to achieve God’s divine purpose for your life. Ezra declared that all his accomplishments were due to the helping hand of God. And he accomplished a great deal. So can you! 

IS THE HAND OF THE LORD UPON YOU? God has created you and called you to reflect His image and do His work. When you invite the Lord to place His hand upon you, you will realize how significant you are to God, and you will desire to fulfill His plan for your life. When the Lord’s hand is upon you, God will provide for you:  

  •     The affection you need to be a whole person-see John 10:27-29, 
  •     The direction you need to achieve great things-see Acts 11:21, 
  •     The protection you need to thrive through struggles-see Psalm 37:24, 
  •     The correction you need to live life well-see Isaiah 41:13. 

You need to cry out to God like Jabez, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.”  [1 Chronicles 4:10] The Lord will do the same for you when you pray a similar prayer. 


God never wrings His hands in despair over you. He never folds them in idleness. God never uses His hands to harm you. And He never clenches them in anger. The only thing God does with His hands is use them to help you. He will never be heavy-handed. Take time to look up the above Scriptures that describe how God’s hand upon you provides everything you need to live life well. 


Heavenly Father, Lord God, I need you to place your hand upon me! May I sense Your divine touch on my life today, tomorrow, and always. I realize I continually need Your touch on my life. May I sense Your divine hand upon me now and forever.  AMEN!  

Tags: favor, old, ezra, testament, approval

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