I started this morning out like any other morning in my life, at least now that we have another puppy. I got out of bed due to the annoying whining and barking of Xander in his crate and the weight of Zoe’s head on my arm at the side of the bed staring at me until I open my eyes. Both were signs the dogs were starving to death and could not make it one more second without food. Side note, if you ever want to feel needed, valuable, and have the weight of life itself on your shoulders, then get a Golden Retriever:). Seriously, from the time I woke up this morning, I could not get out of my head, “pursue the Father’s heart”.
I was reading in 1 Samuel, specifically chapters 1-3. Hannah, one of two wives of Elkanah was in deep pain because she could not conceive a child. I bring up the fact she was one of two wives, because Peninnah the other wife, would make it her goal to ridicule Hannah for her inability to have children. Through the tribulation of sharing her husband and being ridiculed by her competition, Hannah only grew more desperate; instead of seeking earthly knowledge she humbled herself and sought the Father’s heart. She prayed and pursued God in her need, she committed any future child to the service of God…and the Father honored her humble and hurt heart. He gave her Samuel and many other children.
Then there was Eli the priest whose sons followed in their father’s footsteps as priests themselves. The son’s were unruly, selfish, used their positions for personal gain and really had no desire to give up anything to serve God. God spoke to Eli, brought his sons transgressions to light and gave Eli the opportunity to step up and take care of the issue. But, unfortunately for Eli he chose the path of a gutless leader who steered clear of confrontation. That would be his family’s downfall.
Two diametrically different people. One humble woman who sought the heart of God and spoke wisdom, “Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the Lord is a God who knows, and by Him deeds are weighed” (1 Samuel 2:3). A visible and public leader who looked out for his family’s wants to the detriment of the people he was leading and their relationship with the Father.
As I was running these verses and this comparison was going through my head. I thought, how is it that the world we live in for the most part simply cannot grasp the fact Hannah’s model of leadership is what will draw us closer to Jesus, who will provide the riches of His Father’s Kingdom? And that is when I was smacked in the face with my own issues, my own selfishness, my own sin. Then this reality hits me: we cannot lead like Hannah, or like Jesus, if we ever take our eyes off of our own shortcomings. I am weak, I deserve the last seat at the table and if I ever lose that perspective and allow my eyes to focus on other’s issues, then that is the day I become like Eli and lose my effectiveness.
The way to the Father’s Heart is through brokenness, through humbling ourselves and recognizing we are nothing, have nothing, and can do nothing apart from Him who gives us wisdom and strength.
“He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; He seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s; on them He has set the world. He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness. It is not by strength that one prevails” (1 Samuel 2:8-9).
Pursue His Heart,