A long time ago, I shared many posts based on reading books that John Maxwell has written. My husband and I used to listen to the books in the car, and I enjoyed the chapters so much that I bought the books.
The books are based on imagining yourself either running a race in a stadium or taking a walk and meeting different Biblical characters. They run a lap with you and share wisdom with you.
I finished the Running with the Giants book, but never finished the other two books that I bought. I thought I would go back and finish those books. This week, we will pick back up with Hannah from Wisdom from Women in the Bible.
What I enjoy from Maxwell’s books are his simple lessons that he draws out from the life of Biblical characters.
Here are some of the lessons we can can learn from Hannah’s life. Some are from the chapter on Hannah and some are from my own thoughts.
God doesn’t need us to make desperate promises for us to get what we want.
We cannot bribe God. He knows what is truly best for our lives. He answers our prayers in the way He sees best for His glory and for our good.
Even though He did answer Hannah’s request because He cared for her, He saw her heart, and He knew His will concerning Samuel’s life, He did not answer because Hannah bribed him with the offer of her son.
We can come to God with our desperate prayers, but our desperate promises will not sway Him to make a different decision from His preordained will for our lives. In our desperation, we come to Him because He is the first One we come to when we are worried. We come to Him because He is our Abba, Father. We come to Him because we love him, and He loves us. We come to Him because He tells us to come to Him.
And when we do, He hears.
We have to truly believe that He is sovereign and that He is always good. He is our Heavenly Father and will only give us what is best for us.
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Matthew 7:11
We do not pray so that we can feel a sense of relief or as a means of release.
Prayer is interaction with the Living God of the universe, the Author of all things!John Maxwell
We do not pray to make ourselves feel better. We pray because we have a relationship with the Almighty God who loves us and cares for us. He desires us to commune with Him, and we should desire to talk to Him. Prayer should have nothing to do with making us feel better.
“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:3
You can never out-give God.
We have heard this many times, but in Hannah’s case, it may have felt like she was giving up everything that God had given her. She promised that if God would give her a boy, she would give him back to the Lord. And she did. She brought Samuel to Eli once Samuel was weaned. Her heart had to feel like it was being torn out. But she made a promise, and she kept it.
We find out in the next chapter of the Bible that she had five more children after she gave Samuel back to God (2 Samuel 2:21). God blessed her obedience with many more children. Her weeping was turned to joy.
Few things in this life return as much joy as cheerful obedience to God.John Maxwell
For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11
Never underestimate God.
Hannah did not know that God would give her 5 more children after she kept her promise to God. She was filled with joy with the gift of Samuel. Yet God did abundantly more than she could ask or think. And when He did, He got all the glory.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
Remember to give God the glory when He answers your prayers.
Look at Hannah’s prayer of praise after Samuel was born:
And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. 1 Samuel 2:1-2
The praise of God continues for 8 more verses! We desire to have our prayers answered so that God’s name can be exalted and glorified!
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:13
God will bless your obedience to bless those who come after you.
Your example of obedience will be one that your children will follow. Samuel was an obedient priest who led the Israelite nation at a time when many of the people were wicked. I’m sure seeing the obedience and godliness of his mother was a major factor in his obedience.
If you’re a mother or father, you need to understand that your child could be the next Samuel. You have no idea what God may do with your children. So raise them well. Train them up in the way they should go. And release them to fulfill their God-given purpose when the time comes.John Maxwell
Other John C. Maxwell blog posts include the following:
Running with the Giants Book:
- Moses: Live in the Faith Zone, Not the Safe Zone
- Nehemiah: We Need Help!
- Abraham: God Always Does the Right Thing
- Noah: Make a Difference!
- Joseph: Don’t Give Up
- Jonathan: Big Picture Thinking
- David: How’s Your Kid’s Heart?
- Naaman’s wife’s servant girl: One Small Act Can Make a Big Difference
- Rebekah: Going the Extra Mile
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