Sometimes we desire something so strongly from God that we go before him in prayer, day after day with our hearts and our minds constantly focused on him. One of my favorite people in the bible is Hannah, the mother of Samuel. Hannah was in a position of desperation when she cried out to the Lord in anguish.
In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servants misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life.
1 Samuel 1:10-11
What attracted me to Hannah, was not necessarily her strong desire to be blessed with a son, nor her pain, but it was the fact that as much as she ached for the son, she vowed to honor God by dedicating him right back to God to be used according to his precious will and glory. She would not even be with her son, for her son would be in the presence of the Lord. That was utterly amazing to me!
I was sitting on my couch one Saturday watching TV and relaxing when I felt God telling me that I needed to spend some time with him. I brushed it off, and in my mind set a time for him. Essentially putting him in my pocket until I was ready. Thinking ok, I will watch this for another hour then I will get to reading. It was in that moment when God let me know that I was too comfortable. I was too comfortable putting him on the backburner. See I was not honoring God with my time. There was a time when I struggled to make ends meet. But through prayer and spending time with God, he blessed me to be more stable in life. I had gone before the Lord many times and prayed asking him to show me how to change my situation. As he guided me through my circumstance, I gave him the praise. But what was I doing after he got me there? Did Hannah only praise God through the pregnancy? Now that I had gotten to a place of at least a little comfort, did I forget where God had brought me from? Even though I knew it was because of him that I had been blessed to be able to live the life that I was living, I was failing to honor him with that life. Samuel, Hannah’s son, went on to be one of the most promising prophets and anointed one of the most promised kings of Jerusalem. God took that gift that Hannah dedicated back to him and blessed it with overflow. What if after crying out to God and being blessed with a son, Hannah decided not to dedicate him back to God? There is such a comfort in knowing that our blessings are in the hands of God. There is no better place to be!
That anguish of desire that Hannah had for a son made her appreciative of what God had in store for her. When God blessed her with a son, she appreciated God so much for it, she dedicated him back to God. That honored God. What I had gone through made me build a serious appreciation for the blessings of God. I would sit and think about where I started and praise him for where I was, as well as where he was taking me. But I had left off something important. Sitting on the couch that Saturday afternoon, God reminded me that although I was appreciative, I needed to honor him with my time, life and all the things connected to it that he had blessed me with. We can not only appreciate the material things, but also have to appreciate and honor the relationship of which our blessings dwell. I knew what I really wanted from God was a spiritual blessing, but I let the other things in my life distract me. When we give it all to God, all things, life, spirit, finance, all things are with one goal in mind and that is to serve the Lord. There is no valuing of anything above that of serving the Lord.
God can bless you in so many different ways. There are spiritual blessings, financial blessings, healing and redemption just to name a few. Whatever the gift/blessing is, it belongs to the Lord. Whatever experience you have gone through for your making or whatever blessings God has provided for you, take it and honor him with it. Honor him with your life, your song, your praise, your family, job and home. Honor him by giving the blessing back to him.
The word says that Hannah was childless and that her womb was closed. God has the power to bless us however he so desires. He has put some of us in jobs when people said that we weren’t qualified to have them. He has blessed some of our families in the midst of others speaking against them. He has increased some of our finances and our opposers can’t figure out how. Those positions, those increases, those are blessings from God.
We need to walk righteously. We never know who may be looking at us to see what God is all about. Its our job as members of the body of Christ to glorify him in this manner. This can be especially hard on our jobs. There can be so much pettiness and negativity around us and sometimes we are tempted to join in. But God says in Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Gods will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Don’t let that honor stop with you. This is one of the mistakes constantly made throughout history with Christians. In our families, the word tells us to honor him by teaching our children to honor him, dedicating our homes and families to the Lord. Being intentional on staying before him. Walking according to his purpose and for his glory.
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Even our ministries are failing because we don’t put them in Gods hands, keeping him at the center of them, praying that he upholds the cause and purpose of them. We get distracted by the sacrifices we make and forget to be obedient to his direction. His purpose is the only thing that matters. We even allow others to take away our enthusiasm for the ministry. Those ministries are for his glory by being the example of the kingdom. Ministries should reflect the true image of Jesus Christ. Love.
May we turn our hearts to him, to walk in obedience to him and keep the commands, decrees and laws he gave our ancestors. And may these words of mine which I have prayed before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel according to each day’s need, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other. And may your hearts be fully committed to the Lord your God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time.
1 Kings 8:58-61
Take a look at all the different areas in your life. Ask your self if you are honoring God by your behavior as well as the things we do and say. As long as there is breath in our body it never to late to get things right with God. Let make the effort to dedicate our lives back to Christ as well as all the things connected to us. Family, home, job, finances, ministries, and more. Give it back to him and watch what he can do with it.
Dear Heavenly Father,
We thank you for just being who you are. We thank you for how you grow us in your word. We know that you are able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we can ever imagine. We know that you have the power to move on our behalf. Today God, as we examine our lives for the areas where we fall short, walk with us and direct our paths. Show us where we have failed to stay before you. For we know that all we have and all we do is by your grace, we will listen with our spiritual ears and obey with our humble hearts. We dedicate our lives and our blessings back to you God, for your glory. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.