I recently read a blog post discussing power as being right-handed or left-handed. The general description of right hand power is that which comes out of our self-determination and self-direction, focused on meeting our own needs. Left-handed power was characterized as power subordinated to the needs of those around us. The discussion was about the virtues of left handed power. I had some thoughts catalyzed by something Eric Ludy spoke about in one of his discipleship sessions.
In summary form, I see the issue as not one of our choosing to use our right-handed power or our left-handed power. Instead, God is offering me to be enabled by His right hand! So the focus is not on my power but upon His power. Here are some thoughts from that session:
In Biblical culture, the Right hand is the hand of blessing, the holy arm.
“For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou had a favor unto them.” Psalm 44:3
“O sing unto the Lord a new song, for he hath done marvelous things: his right hand and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.” Psalm 98:1
“Now know I that the Lord saves his anointed: he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.” Psalm 20:6
The notion of the right side of the body presented through scripture is one of strength, power, salvation, control, will, kingship, holiness, correctness, correction, honor, and wisdom. The right-handedness of man is symbolic of the scepter of man’s kingdom, dependence upon his own strength, his own wisdom, his own will-power, his own effort to rescue himself upon this earth. If a man refuses to relinquish this “right side” of his being unto God, he is despising the offer of God’s strength, power, salvation, control, will, kingship, holiness, correctness, correction, honor, and wisdom and is determining to seek those things by means of his own resource. So the right side of one’s being must be willingly relinquished in order to become as he ought to be. The branch grown out of the root of our selfishness is pulled up and the Holy Spirit is planted within us, the righteous strength of Almighty God enabling us to experience and “live loved” in the life of the Trinity.
Jesus demonstrated how a right hand must be used, must be surrendered, must be consecrated. Though He was God, he was “found in the fashion of men, he humbled himself and became obedient”, in order to demonstrate perfect right-handedness by exhibiting the power and glory of God’s right hand. Philippians 2:6-11
What I am seeing here is that the option is not about declining to use my own right hand and instead, use my left handed resources. Both of those sources of power are mine, limited and humanly frail at the core. Instead, God is offering me to lean on His Right arm! I wasn’t designed to operate alone, as my own source of power! The process God has used to bring me to a deep realization that my right arm is not sufficient is a story of His kindness and love. The drama has not been pleasant but the fruit is truly worth the pain of being confronted with the limitations of my own right arm to sustain me.
I suggest that we look at this metaphor as a choice between trusting in our own right arm or trusting in His right arm. I think it is a much better choice than even using my own left arm! As for me, I’m delighted to be “leaning on the Everlasting Arm”!
The indented material is almost all extracted from a teaching on Right Handedness by Eric Ludy, a young man with a fierce devotion to God and a poetic pen. This teaching is available on his website as a download of MP3 audio and PDF notes. The series is number 5. http://www.ericludy.com/ericludy.com/Discipleship.html