#88 "The Cry of the Empty Womb"
March 20, 2007
"And she [Hannah] made a vow, saying, 'O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's 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, and no razor will ever be used on his head.'" (1 Samuel 1: 11)
I was trying to recall if there had ever been a time in my life when I wanted something so badly that I ached for it inside. You know what I mean...a longing, a desire, a dream, that I wanted fulfilled so badly that it hurt. I remembered all manner of things like that. Longings for my marriage. Longings for answers to prayer for my children. More recently, deep longings for my ministry. Intense longings for more of Christ.
I don't care if you're a man or a woman....we all have empty wombs in our lives like Hannah. Wombs waiting to be filled with the seed that grows out of the collision of the egg of our dream and the sperm of God's power to make us pregnant. What is it for you? What do you want to see conceived in your life today? What do you want to be pregnant with and see the birth of? But more importantly...what will you do with it when you get it?
Hannah is a beautiful example of right motives. She longed for a child. She was continually provoked by her husband's other wife who had a boat load of kids. She was barren and ached for the answer to her prayers. She wanted a son. The Bible says that she came to the Lord "in bitterness of soul". The Hebrew words denote that she was greatly distressed and troubled. But no where do I see that she had selfish motives. This is proven when she promised God that if He would hear and answer her prayer, she would give the child back to Him for "all the days of his life." What will you do with the answer to your prayers when conception takes place, pregnancy ends and the birth of your dream takes place? What will you do with what you birth?
I believe that God loves to answer prayer. I believe that He loves to fulfill our deepest dreams and desires. What parent doesn't want to see his children happy and fulfilled? But on the other hand, I believe that He blesses us to be a blessing. He gives to us so that we will give to others. When God began His amazing work in me He told me that I was not to be like the Dead Sea and keep taking His word and instruction in, and never share it with others. This was the beginning of my call to service for Him. Enjoy God's blessings and answers to your prayers....then give them back to Him.
If He is the strand that holds your marriage together and keeps it strong...share that with other married couples. If you are praying for a child to come to the Lord, release that child when He comes to a knowledge of the truth and send him off to serve God. Don't just pray so that you feel better about your children...pray that they will be wholly devoted followers of Christ and witnesses for Him among their generation. If you need finances, make a vow to God that you won't hoard them and be content that your bills are paid. Vow to Him that you will release those finances back to Him to be a blessing to others who are in need. When you are made aware of a need....meet it...with what God has blessed you with! If you are praying for a ministry, don't make it your goal to have a huge following, a huge revival or even to save souls. Make it your goal to please Him. Oswald Chambers says, "Paul was like a musician who gives no thought to audience approval, if he can only catch a look of approval from his Conductor." 2 Corinthians 5:9 says, "We make it our aim...to be well pleasing to Him."
Pray, my beloved, that everything you will receive in prayer will not only bring you joy, but that it will be used for the glory of God. Don't just bask in the light of your blessings....bask in the light of your blessings being a blessing to someone else...for His glory and His approval. It's not about you! It's about Him! Be an empty vessel...waiting to be filled....willing to be poured out for Him. Each and every day ask God to fill you up. Ask Him to hear your cry and answer your prayers. Then take those answers...take that infilling and pour it back out to Him. Again, make it your aim to please Him.
1 Samuel, Chapter 2 tells us that after Hannah gave Samuel back to the Lord, He did not forget her. As is so often the case, He gave her not only what she had prayed for but much more --- in her case three sons and two daughters. And Samuel, the child she gave back to God, became God's instrument for establishing the kingdom of Israel in a great national crisis. Samuel had spiritual power in word and prayer. He laid the foundation of the prophetic office and developed it to the level of the priesthood and the kingship. Wow!
Receive the answers to your prayers. But receive them with open hands. Hands willing to give back your every blessing. Always remember that "every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (James 1: 17) They came from Him, they belong to Him and they are for His purposes and His glory. Let conception fill your empty womb. Be pregnant with the possibilities. Give birth to your every hope and dream. Then watch them grow into something beautiful for Him!
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