Purpose doesn’t settle

I Samuel 1: 1 – 8

There was a man named Elkanah who lived in Ramah in the region of Zuph in the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, of Ephraim. Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not. Each year Elkanah would travel to Shiloh to worship and sacrifice to the lord of Heaven’s Armies at the Tabernacle. The priests of the lord at that time were the two sons of Eli—Hophni and Phinehas. On the days Elkanah presented his sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to Peninnah and each of her children. And though he loved Hannah, he would give her only one choice portion because the lord had given her no children. So Peninnah would taunt Hannah and make fun of her because the lord had kept her from having children. Year after year it was the same—Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle. Each time, Hannah would be reduced to tears and would not even eat. “Why are you crying, Hannah?” Elkanah would ask. “Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me—isn’t that better than having ten sons?”

I met with a group of strong women a few weeks ago.  This group is a part of the I’m So Worth It – Atlanta Chapter founded by Ms. Harris.  Look her up. She’s awesome!  We studied I Samuel and the scripture blessed me in so many ways.

Hannah was such a strong woman. She followed the desires of her heart.  She also prayed earnestly.  She was ridiculed, mocked, and hurt by those around her.  But, she didn’t let that deter her from going after what she truly wanted.  After all, who gave her such a strong desire?

One of the focus points of this story is in the 8th verse.

“Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children?  You have me – isn’t that better than having ten sons?”

When I first read that verse, I began to feel bad for Elkanah. Did Hannah’s sadness cause him to feel worthless? Did her lack of fulfillment cause him to feel as if her love for him wasn’t enough?  Why was he not enough for her?  It’s so easy to fall into this trap.  The enemy loves to “guilt” us into feeling bad for others who do not understand our passions and  true desires.

Who is your Elkanah?  Elkanah is that person in your circle.  He is someone you love.  He can be your best friend, sister, brother, father, or mother.  Elkanah is someone who loves you, but for some reason can’t understand what God has laid on your heart to do.

I like to jump outside of the box into the “what if” world.  What if Hannah said, you know what Elkanah, I should be grateful.  I love you. You are more than enough for me.  Who am I to want more?  If God wanted me to have more, I would have it by now.  I should be thankful for my portion and stop reaching for the stars.  This desire in my heart is nothing more than a dream. Does this sound familiar??

If Hannah, stopped pursuing her desire where would Samuel be?  Yes, disobedience delays destinies and obedience fulfills prophecies.  But, walking away from the desires of your heart can also have a devastating effect on not only yourself, but the future.  Don’t delay your destiny by choosing to settle.  Purpose does not, can not, and will not settle.

Hannah pushed through Elkanah’s attempt to guilt her.  The more focused she got on Christ and the harder she prayed, the more the enemy attacked. He even attacked her through a man of God.  The priest watched Hannah as she prayed.  Because of how she prayed he thought she was drunk.  Of course! Something must be wrong.  This woman was praying with no noise coming out.  How quick do we assume to know someone’s story because of their type of prayer or praise?  Eli was wise enough to understand when Hannah explained.  Others of us, aren’t as wise.

I’ve been in that seat before.  You know, I think we’ve all been there.  We’ve watched another Christian shout, scream, pace back and forth, wave their hands, or sit in their seat rocking.  And we’ve said “it doesn’t take all of that”.  I can definitely say that I’ve made that exact statement.  The nerve of me judging someone else’s praise.  But, truth be told, we have no clue as to why someone is praising God that way and it’s honestly none of our business.  We are busy watching them and they are steadily getting closer to their breakthrough.

I watched others while I remained in the same broken place

I watched others while I remained in the same broken place.  Whenever we begin to earnestly seek God for our deliverance we will pray to him in a way that is very unique. It is our personal prayer and praise to God.  Only He truly understands it. It’s not for others to understand.  Eli didn’t try to interpret Hannah’s prayers. After she described her actions he simply told her to go in peace.

In the end, Hannah received what she prayed so hard for.  The biggest part of this story, for me, was the pure fact that she refused to settle.  She didn’t settle for what Elkanah was offering.  He simply wasn’t good enough.  She deserved more.  She desired more.  How many times do we let others guilt us into settling for less?  If you loved me, you would do this…. If you really cared for me, you would let me …….  Each time we give in, we are straying further and further away from our hearts desire.  Psalms tells us to take delight in the Lord, and He will give us the desires of our heart (Psalms 37:4).

If you have a desire to be married, a desire to have children, a desire to teach, or a desire to preach you should continually push towards it.  Pray like Hannah! Ignore the Elkanah’s in your life.

Your destiny is incapable of settling for less.  Hannah could not settle for just Elkanah.  Her heart would continue to be broken every day because she had not fulfilled her purpose. Our purpose in life must be fulfilled.  Your purpose creates your destiny. Refuse to settle! Resist Elkanah! Stare him straight in the face and let him know he’s not good enough!  Pray like Hannah!  PUSH like Hannah and watch your purpose blossom as your destiny is fulfilled.

So, who’s your Elkanah? Will you allow him to convince you that he’s “good enough”?  Or will you follow through with the desires of your heart?  I dare you to pray like Hannah and PUSH because your purpose won’t settle for anything less!