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If you know anything about God you know His ways are not our ways. His thoughts and actions are so high above how we mortals operate. He says to be a leader you must be a servant; to be exalted you must be humble; and to keep your life, or whatever you’ve got, you should give it away! Seems out of order to our ordinary minds, right? But if you’ve got the mind of Christ, you get it. This is the way the Kingdom works.
Hannah got this. She was a woman who prayed for many years to have a child. When the Lord heard her prayers and she did have a child, however, she gave him back to the Lord, literally!
Read 1 Samuel Chapter 1 and 2
Why would Hannah do that? Pray for years to have a child only to give him away? Note that she wasn’t asked to, she wasn’t coerced or forced or manipulated into giving her yet unborn child to the service of the Lord. So what did Hannah know? Why does her sacrifice make sense and what might we learn from her story?
1. Giving is worship.
When we give unselfishly, whether to others or directly to the service of God, we are actually worshipping God. Worship goes beyond lifting holy hands on Sunday mornings or fellowshipping with other believers. We worship God with our substance, our time and energy, our whole being.
Hannah must have known the principle of giving to receive. She went to God with her prayers like the Bible says to do, but she didn’t go with empty hands. She was not in the best of situations but knew she had something to give.
This is an encouragement to you and I. No matter how disadvantaged we think we are or how much we are tempted to feel sorry for ourselves, we always have something to give. Don’t wait until you get what you’re looking for. Open your eyes and look around you; how might you be able to serve God and others right here you are?
2. Nothing we desire should be bigger or more important than the one who gives it.
It happens often because we’re human. We pray for a specific blessing—a job, a child, a spouse etc.—and God is gracious and grants our request. Then we turn around and complain about the long hours we work, our demanding children and the stubborn spouse. Or, God forbid, we let the blessing completely overshadow our lives and lead us away from the Lord!
Hannah laid a foundation that took guts and heart. She gave up the thing she wanted even before she received it. It was her way of saying, “You’re first Lord. Not even the child that I want with all my heart will change that.” She settled it long before there was any contention; it was all about the giver.
Let’s do the same, you and I. Let’s make it clear that the blessings we seek, the breakthroughs we desire will never ever replace or displace or commitment to our God who absolutely deserves all our worship, love and attention.
3. We must keep our vows to God.
It can be easy to say things we don’t mean when we are desperately in need of relief from pain, stress or challenges. We might promise to pay our tithes regularly, serve others more, spend time studying the word etc. But do we follow through? Do we remember our vows when everything falls into place and life is all good again?
Hannah did not forget. In I Samuel 1:22, we read that Hannah said to her husband, “After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the Lord, and he will live there always.”
How profound! She didn’t rethink her decision to give him back to the Lord. She did not renege on her promise. She cared for her child with the intention of presenting him to the lord just as she had promised.
4. There’s more where that came from.
When we hold on to things so tightly we give the impression that we don’t trust God to be good again; like His answer to our prayer was a random act of kindness that might not be repeated.
We might decline to give to others because we’re worried we might not have enough. Hannah could have held on to her son and thought ‘what’s the point of having a son if he’s not with me?’
But she didn’t. And the Lord more than made up for what she gave up!
And the Lord was gracious to Hannah; she gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord. - I Samuel 2:21
What in your life are you still holding back from God? Trust Him. Give it up today and you’ll have much more than you could ever imagine.
Remi Roy lives, writes and enjoys being in Dallas, Texas. Originally from Nigeria, she is passionate about her purpose which is following God every step of the way no matter the details. She is a contented wife, content developer, author of two books Ms. Unlikely and From the Sidelines and founder at Selahville. When she’s not working with clients, she spends time working on her next book and trying hard to be a morning person. You can find her at remiroyonline.com. Or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.