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Reimar A.C. Schultze

Past Issues of the Call To Obedience

"Be Like Hannah"

by Pastor Reimar A. C. Schultze

   And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.—1 Samuel 1:11 

     One of the great saints in the Bible is Hannah. Obviously she was not born that way; none of us is. There's a price to pay to become saintly. Jesus paid a high price to make it possible; you have to pay a price to convert the possibility into reality in your life. In other words, your old man has to go the cross to die for you to become a saint. Hannah started out very much like most of us do. She wanted to be normal. She wanted to fit in. She wanted what others wanted.

     Most of us live that way and die that way. The epitaph over our grave could well read “he or she lived a normal life.” A normal life is a cursed life. But there is a God in heaven who wants all of us out of that which is normal and mundane and into that which is sacred and supernatural.  Somehow, I believe this God always looks for signs in hearts, as little as they may be, that indicate an openness to change, a desire to go beyond normal, a dissatisfaction with the status quo, a weariness to live in the natural and a hunger to live in the supernatural. In the days of Hannah, God was in desperate need of a man of God since there was a great spiritual famine in the land, as we read in 1 Sam. 3:1,  And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.

     The priestly house, the religious headquarters of Israel , had become a place of corruption, drunkenness and fornication. God needed a man of God. No doubt He searched all over the land to find a promising woman who might birth what He needed. So when He looked deep into the heart of Hannah He saw potential. Now the first thing He did was to deny her having a normal life. He had to break her from her desire to be like others. He had to break down the wall that prevented her from seeing what God had for her. He had to separate her from the comforts and earthly joys of life. God shut up her womb! No greater pain could be inflicted upon a woman than that. For nothing, absolutely nothing was more important for a woman in that day than to bear a son. If she did not have one she was shunned, shamed, ridiculed and dishonored. Her competitor Peninnah, her husband’s other wife,  provoked her sore, for to make her fret... and she did so year after year  (1 Sam. 1:5-7).

     God had shut up her womb. But what she thought of as evil, God meant for good. What God was trying to do was to get Hannah into that which she is born for. It is only as we become what God wants us to be that we will have enduring happiness. And again, that means God had to break Hannah's self-will. Self-will always blocks what God has for us. God has a better life for us than the boring, shallow normal that draws us with billions of others into the broad way of destruction (Matt. 7:13).

     Hannah wept sore. Elkanah offered her all the loving sympathy he could muster, while the angels in heaven looked anxiously over the banister, waiting for Hannah to break down and surrender to God’s will for her life.

     Are you with me? Has God shut something up, has He shut something down, or has He shut something in or out that you want for your life? Is God still looking for men and women who offer potential for sainthood? Is the harvest still plenteous and are the laborers still few? What are your attachments from which God must deliver you before you will make a difference in the world? Oh, may you, too, come at last to make a vow such as Hannah made in the Temple : And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said), O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.  1 Sam. 1:10-11

     Hallelujah! Perhaps some of you need to get to your temple to do some serious meditating and praying so that God can deliver you from this dreadful uninspiring normal to lift you into the realm of the supernatural.  God, who shut up Hannah's womb, now opened her womb. Hannah was now in the grip of the Almighty. Have you ever been there? If so, you never want to get out of it. Once you are accustomed to take in the invigorating, fragrant air of heaven, nothing else will satisfy anymore.

      After Hannah weaned Samuel; perhaps it was a few years; she took him to the Temple from her house in Ramathaim to the house of God in Shiloh . It was a long days walk. This was the last time ever that this cute, precious, lively little boy would walk next to her. If she was still in the normal, if she was still in the natural, if she was still the old Hannah, she would have dragged her feet all the way to Shiloh . This is the way we feel and are if we are still living in the lowlands of the self-life. It is only natural for women to feel like this. But my friends, those of you who live in the supernatural know that the new Hannah now lived in the joy of obedience. The joy of the Lord is a gift of God for every obedient heart and no circumstance whatsoever can take that joy away. No sacrifice required can ever diminish it. This is supernatural. God is supernatural. Christ is supernatural. Those surrendered to God live in the supernatural. If you take the supernatural out of Christianity, you have no Christianity. The saints live continually in the supernatural.

     Hannah did not walk to Shiloh . She floated to the place where she had previously made her commitment to complete that commitment and cash in on the blessings of a life given entirely to God. She did not consider the ungodly environment in the house of Eli. She did not fret over it. She did not give her son to Eli to be raised. She gave her son to God to be raised. And when you put a child in God's hands, no matter how negative the environment, you need not fear. For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day (2 Tim. 1:12 ).

     Oh my friends, how much God is longing for all of us to be drawn completely into the supernatural life. So the dedication was made. It was time for Hannah to leave Shiloh . Abraham was able to take Isaac with him after he offered him as a sacrifice at Mt. Moriah , but Hannah left her son behind forever. And here is the proof that she was in the supernatural from the time she made her vow. Look at how she acted as she bade farewell to her then only son: Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there. 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 salvationThere is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our GodTalk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strengthThey that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble (1 Sam. 1:28 – 2: 5).

     In the history of Israel , Hannah was the pivotal person that ushered in the prophetic age. Samuel became the first prophet of that era. God saw something in her heart that told Him that she would be willing to be clay in the potter's hand, willing to be refined into gold. May He find something within you that will cause Him to deliver you from the daily, deathly normal into a life abounding in the supernatural. There is no way of telling what all will come out of you in generations to come.

     In summary, there is no greater distance than man will ever travel than from the natural to the supernatural. Yet, this immense distance can be covered in a moment’s time. It took Hannah no more time than to make a vow. It takes no more time than for Jesus to touch us as we place ourselves at His feet. At once we see everything through the eyes of eternity, yea the very eyes of God whether it be man, birth, relationships, marriage, sickness, death, politics, sports, education, wealth and poverty or sin and death.  Only in this light can we understand Hannah and all those of like mind and heart.