Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Faith and Surrender

Leslie Basham: Here's Nancy Leigh DeMoss with a special announcement.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I just want to take a moment and remind you of two upcoming events that I know many of our listeners will be interested in. These are area-wide Revive Our Hearts Conferences that we will be hosting in the month of February.

On February 1 & 2 we will be in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area in Florida. And then the last weekend of February (February 29 - March 1), we'll be in the Houston area.

These conferences are Friday night and all day Saturday. During the conference we'll spend time looking in to the Word of God and letting Him search our hearts and show us the pathway to true revival.

We'll also be led in worship through each of these weekends by my friend, Shannon Wexelberg. If you've not heard Shannon, you'll be so blessed her tender heart and her passionate love for Jesus Christ.

So if you've not been to a Revive Our Hearts Conference before, or even if you have and you just need a refresher, check your calendar—particularly if you live in Texas or Florida and can join us February 1 - 2 in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area or February 29 - March 1 in the Houston area.

I look forward to meeting many of our Revive Our Hearts listeners on one of those two weekends.

Leslie: For more information and to register, visit ReviveOurHearts.com, or call 800-569-5959.

Here’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss with a way we can experience peace in the middle of trouble.

Nancy: Tell God your requests. Thank Him for His answers before you can even see what the answers are. Express faith and surrender. Your surrender is to the Kingdom of God, to His reign and His rule and His sovereignty.

You say, “Lord, I want Your purposes to be fulfilled.” Leave your requests there, and go away and leave behind your garment of mourning.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. It’s Monday, January 14.

Does the word “peaceful” describe you? It can, even though things are hectic all around you. One way we can have peace is to surrender everything to God.

Nancy will tell us why today, as she continues in a series we began last week: Hannah’s Prayer and God’s Power.

Nancy: If you’re a child of God, then your biography could be titled, “Grace.” I’m so thankful for that, because it’s the grace of God that writes our stories.

It’s the grace of God that redeems us and sanctifies us and uses us. The story we’re studying during this series, the life of Hannah, is a story of grace.

It’s the grace of God. Hannah’s name means grace. So I hope that in the days ahead, when you hear the story of Hannah or you read it again in the book of 1 Samuel chapters one and two, you’ll remember that her story is a story of grace, as is yours.

We’re in the passage in 1 Samuel chapter one, and let me encourage you to open your Bible and follow along with us, where Hannah has been praying.

She’s been pouring out her heart to the Lord. She longs for a child. She’s been barren for years. Her rival, the second wife in this family, is prolific with children, has lots of children.

Hannah has longed for a son, but she’s come to the place we’ve said where she longs not just to have a son for her own selfish reasons, but she longs for a son to fulfill God’s purposes in this world.

Somebody gave me a book last week called Hannah’s Prayer and Its Answer. It’s by Ronald Wallace, and it was such a blessing to me as I was meditating on this passage.

Ronald Wallace says, “Her sorrow about her childlessness became wholly reoriented. It no longer revolved around the pleasure a child might give to her husband or to herself, but around her desire for God’s glory.”

That’s the heart of an intercessor. Her desire now was to bear a child, not simply to give pleasure to her husband or to save her own reputation or to defeat her rival, but to be the woman of God who could put things right in her time.

Her prayer became, “Lord, Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. May the glory of the Lord cover the earth as the waters cover the sea, and if I can have any part of that by having a child and giving that child back to You, that’s what I long for.”

She’s been praying in the tabernacle, and Scripture says she was praying in her heart. She was praying earnestly, but her lips were moving and no words were coming out of her mouth.

So she’s in earnest, but the priest, Eli, who was an old man, his eyes are failing; he’s used to seeing all kinds of debauchery going around in the tabernacle. He thinks she’s drunk.

So he rebukes her. He says, “Quit drinking! Leave the house of the Lord if you’re going to drink.” And she has said to him, “I’m not drinking. I’m a woman with a sorrowful spirit. I’m pouring out my heart to the Lord.”

We pick up the account in verse 16, 1 Samuel chapter one. She says, “Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along, I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.”

“Then Eli [the priest] answered, ‘Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him’” (verse 17).

He had no idea what she had been praying, and we don’t know if, in saying this, he was saying prophetically, “God is going to grant your petition,” or if he was just saying, “God bless you, and I trust that the Lord will grant your petition.”

We don’t know exactly what he meant by that, but she said (verse 18), “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” That word favor in the Old Testament is sometimes translated “grace.”

It’s a word that comes from the same root word as the name Hannah. Grace, favor in the eyes of the Lord. It’s a word that means "to show favor or pity." That’s what Hannah’s name meant, and that’s what she’s asking, not just from Eli, but from the Lord.

Then in verse 18, “The woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.” Here’s a woman who has been vexed. She’s been tormented. She’s been provoked. She’s had irritation from this rival wife.

The word that was used is like to have thunder inside of you. She has been sorrowful. She’s been troubled. She’s been in great anxiety and vexation, and all of a sudden, it says, “She went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.”

That, to me, is a picture of the progression that God has her in. She’s coming to faith and surrender—faith in the Lord of hosts and surrender to His purposes.

She laid her burden before the Lord, and then what did she do? She left it there. Tell it to Jesus, and then leave it there.

She went away, and her face was no longer sad. This was before she had any visible evidence that her request would be granted. It’s before she could see the outcome of her prayer.

There’s a spirit and there’s a freedom and there’s a joy in her spirit that is the proof of faith and surrender before she sees the outcome. What makes all the difference?

Favor and grace with God. She had asked for God’s favor, for God’s grace, and by faith, she was receiving it. Think about Philippians chapter 4 that tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (verse 6).

Tell God what’s on your heart. That’s what she did. And then verse 7 of Philippians chapter 4, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Tell God your requests. Thank Him for His answers before you can even see what the answers are. Express faith and surrender. Your surrender is to the Kingdom of God, to His reign and His rule and His sovereignty.

You say, “Lord, I want Your purposes to be fulfilled.” Leave your requests there, and go away and leave behind your garment of mourning.

Her face was no longer sad. There’s an old book by S.D. Gordon called Quiet Talks on Prayer. He had a little section in that book on why God sometimes delays the answers to prayer.

He says that sometimes out of God’s kindness He delays (He knows that if He gave us what we’re asking for, we’d be more miserable in ways we can’t anticipate) or sometimes He wants to give us more, or sometimes God has a larger purpose that He wants to serve.

S.D. Gordon points out that Hannah had a different perspective than God did, and the progression of her life was coming to get God’s perspective on the situation.

As the story starts out, what is it that Hannah wanted more than anything in the world? She wanted a son. All she could see is that she was barren, and to make it worse, Peninnah had lots of children.

She saw her empty arms. She saw those other children that the rival wife had. She saw these hopes she had that were not being realized. She saw this long-term prayer not being answered.

She saw this constant friction in her home, and what did she want? She wanted a son. Her whole horizon was her little world. God wanted to take her beyond that.

What did God see? God saw a nation, and again I’m summarizing S.D. Gordon’s comments here. God saw, not only a nation, but God saw the nation of Israel, the people that He had chosen and set apart to reflect His glory in the world, the people through whom He wanted to send a redeemer to the world.

He saw that nation, having fallen away from Him, a prodigal nation if you will, and God wanted to restore the heart of the nation. God wanted a leader for the nation.

The nation had gone without spiritual leaders for years and years and years. The priesthood was contaminated and corrupt. There was no righteous ruler over the people.

God wanted a leader, and where was God going to get a leader? That leader needed to have a mother, but there weren’t, at that point, mothers prepared and ready to have that kind of child.

So what did God need to do? He needed to prepare a mother—the right kind of mother that would raise the right kind of son who could be a leader for this nation.

Do you see how God’s vision and horizon was so much larger than Hannah’s, and it’s always true God sees the whole picture. God has purposes that are universal and eternal in scope, and He wants us to get out of our little world.

Affliction pushes us out of our little world to see His big world and His big plan. And so, S.D. Gordon says,

God honored Hannah by choosing her to be this mother of this leader, but Hannah must be changed before she could be used.

So there came those years of pruning and sifting and discipline. Out of those years and those experiences came a new woman—a woman with vision broadened and spirit mellowed, with strength seasoned, with will so supple or surrendered as to yield to a higher will, the will of God, to sacrifice the dearest personal pleasure for God’s worldwide purpose.

Do you see what God was doing? He was making a woman, so He could make a man, so He could make a nation, so He could send a Messiah.

God’s plan is so great and so grand and so much beyond our understanding, but Hannah was coming to see the plan of God and to accept it for herself.

“Your kingdom come. Your will be done” (Matthew 6:10). Our worlds revolve around ourselves, but the Kingdom of God revolves around God, and God cares about the world.

That’s why we need to get out of our own little, petty, pity-parties, not that God doesn’t care about what matters to us, but we need to get submerged and engulfed in the bigger, broader purposes of God for the world.

Hannah has done that. She has prayed and said, “Lord, please give me a son, and if You do, I will give him back to You. He will be dedicated to You. He will be set aside from birth for Your kingdom purposes.”

How do we know that Hannah has come to a place of faith and surrender—faith in the purposes of God, faith in the promises of God, and surrender to the will of God?

We see in 1 Samuel chapter 1, verse 19, where we’re picking up this account that Hannah and her husband Elkanah, who’ve been worshiping at the tabernacle and have been offering sacrifices, Hannah’s been praying, she has asked for favor from the Lord, and then they arose early in the morning to go back to their own city.

What did they do? Before they went back home, “they worshiped before the LORD.” The dead giveaway to whether we’re exercising faith and surrender toward God in our hearts is: Are we worshiping God?

A worshiper says, “God, I will love You. I will serve You. I will bless You if I never get anything from You because I’m not worshiping You for Your gifts. I’m not worshiping You because of what You can do for me. I’m worshiping You because You are God.”

They worshiped the Lord. I said in an earlier session in this series that worship is one of the great themes of the story of Hannah. We saw in verse 3 of chapter 1 that Elkanah went to Shiloh to worship the Lord.

This was a day when a lot of people were claiming to worship God, but they were just going through the motions. Their worship was corrupt, but I believe that Elkanah and his family worshiped the Lord with a true heart.

Elkanah worshiped the Lord in verse 3. And then, verse 19 tells us that Hannah and Elkanah together worshiped the Lord. This is family worship, and by the way, it’s so important for your family to worship the Lord together, to have times of prayer together as a couple, as a family, times of devotional reading of God’s Word, times of going to church together as a family, sitting as a family, worshiping the Lord as a family, acknowledging His lordship in your lives.

We’ll come to verse 28 later in this text where Samuel, as a small child, worshiped the Lord when he was taken to the tabernacle.

It’s all about worship. God wanted to get Hannah to a place where she would worship God because He was God, regardless of whether or not she ever got anything from Him.

You see here the power of modeling, the power of example, how the parents’ hearts were reproduced in the lives of their children.

There was a father who worshiped, then a family that worshiped, then a child that worshiped the Lord. You want your children to be followers and worshipers of God? Then make sure that you are a follower and a worshiper of God.

As the passage continues in verse 19, “They went back to their house at Rama. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her.”

The fact that he knew Hannah means he was sexually intimate with her, and this time the Lord remembered her, and verse 20, “In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son.”

One of the things we see in this passage is that in order for conception to take place, the direct action and involvement of the Lord is required. Conception is not just a decision or a choice of a man and his wife.

Because prior to this point, the Lord had closed her womb. They’d had relations before—Hannah and Elkanah—but she’d not been able to get pregnant. But this time, the Lord opened her womb, and she conceived.

It’s just a reminder that we live under God’s sovereignty, that we are not in control, that we surrender to the sovereignty of God. And then, I love that phrase, “The Lord remembered her” (verse 19).

She has said in her prayer, “Lord, please remember me,” and He did. God never forgets His children. Aren’t you glad? There had to be times where she wondered, “Lord, are you remembering that I’m down here?”

But God remembered. He doesn’t always demonstrate that in the way or the timing that we would choose, but He always remembers.

So then that phrase, “In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son.” When it was God’s time. It reminds me of that verse in Galatians chapter 4 where it says, “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman” (verse 4).

God knows the right time. God knew when it was time to send a Messiah into the world, and God knew the right time to send a Samuel into the world, and God knows when it’s the right time to fulfill the deepest longings of your heart.

That’s why you can trust Him, because God knows when it’s due time. Our due time is now. That’s when we want it. We want it now. We want the problem fixed now. We want the problem solved now, and God says, “Let Me do it in due time.”

Trust God’s timing to bring about His purposes. Someone sent me recently this reading from a devotional book by Charles Spurgeon. He said,

Is it a day of sorrow with us? Let us expect to see the Lord glorified in our deliverance.

Are we drawn out in fervent prayer? Do we cry day and night unto Him? Then the set time for His grace is near. God will lift up Himself at the right season. He will arise when it will be most for the display of His glory.

That’s the due time—when God can get the most glory. Spurgeon says,

We wish for His glory more than we long for our own deliverance. Lord, help us in such a way that we may see that Thou Thyself art working. May we magnify Thee in our inmost souls. Make all around us to see how good and great a God Thou art.

That’s the supreme motivation. So having worshiped the Lord, having had now this child in due season, in the fullness of God’s time, verse 20, “She called his name Samuel, for she said, ‘I have asked for him from the LORD.’”

The name Samuel actually means, “his name is God,” and this child Samuel was going to be for the nation for years to come a living demonstration of God.

The nation would know that God had taken this barren woman and given this child, and this child had the hand of God on his life. Every time they’d look at Samuel, they’d think of God.

The nation hadn’t thought about God for a long time, and this child was going to become an image, a symbol, a picture of the presence of God. The word Samuel sounds like “asked” or “heard,” and Hannah attached the meaning, “I’ve asked from the Lord. The Lord has heard my prayer, and the Lord has granted the request of my heart.”

Make sure, by the way, that as you deal with your children that you’re always giving them a sense that their name, who they are, their birth is significant in the economy and the purposes of God so those children know that they are special, that they are loved, that they’ve been longed for, and that they belong to God.

And then Hannah fulfills her vow. Verses 21 and 22,

The man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the LORD the yearly sacrifice and to pay his vow. But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, "As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, so that he may appear in the presence of the LORD and dwell there forever.”

Elkanah her husband said to her, "Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him; only, may the LORD establish his word." So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him (verse 23).

She intends to fulfill her vow and give this child back to God. He’s the Lord’s now. He belongs to the Lord. This was probably a period of about three years. We know that in this culture, women typically nursed their children for about three years.

So during those three years, what was she doing? What did she tell her son? How did she prepare him for a life of service to God, knowing that she had only about three years?

As you read this passage, there’s no question that she devoted those earliest years to preparing her son to do what it says in verse 22, to “appear in the presence of the LORD and dwell there forever.”

That was the purpose of her training of this child when he was an infant and a toddler. By the way, that’s your purpose for your children, to prepare your children to meet God, to prepare your children to spend all their lives in the presence of the Lord as His servants.

Can I say that no one can replace a mother in this role? The importance we see in Hannah’s life of a mother being there during the formative years of the child’s life. Let me say you can be there in the home and not really be there.

It’s so important that during those earliest years that you’re being intentional in the shaping and molding and praying over that child that he may be a servant of the Lord.

We know that Hannah was intentional in training her son. She was a woman of worship. We see that Samuel worshiped the Lord. She was a woman of prayer. Her son became a man of prayer.

Her son did not follow in the steps of the wicked sons of Eli, Hophni and Phineas, even though he grew up around them. He didn’t follow their wickedness. He was different.

Why? I think it was because of the training of a mother in those earliest years of his life. He had a heart for the Word of God. He was tender. He was sensitive. He was responsive to God.

What are you doing with your little ones and your grandchildren to prepare them to walk with God, to serve Him forever? What are you doing to prepare those little ones to be God’s for all of eternity?

That’s a mother’s high and holy calling. Don’t take it lightly.

Leslie: Maybe you know a mom who needs to be reminded why she’s doing such a tough job. You can share today’s message from Nancy Leigh DeMoss by emailing her a transcript of today’s program.

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If your devotional life has been dry or if you just want to learn more about the Psalms, this is the right study for you. It will help you read and study 30 of the Psalms more effectively.

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Ask for A 30 Day Walk with God in the Psalms when you donate by phone: 1-800-569-5959, or visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

Thank you for responding to our needs so generously in December. This program would not be on the air without your prayers and financial support. We really needed to hear from you in December, and you responded, helping us meet a matching challenge that some donors had offered. Thanks so much.

Tomorrow, we’ll see what it means to consecrate our children to the Lord. I hope you’ll be back with us to explore this important concept. Now, here’s Nancy. Let’s pray.

Nancy: Father, I thank You for mothers who have been listening to this program today and for their devotion to their calling to lead their children in paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake.

Lord, I pray that You pour out into the lives of these mothers and these grandmothers and friends and aunts and sisters and those who help in the upbringing of these children. Would You give grace and help these moms be intentional in bringing up their children with a purpose so their children may appear before You and serve You forever.

Lord, we need Samuels in this generation, men of God, men who won’t go with the flow. I pray for mothers, that you will set apart those who will be giving birth to and rearing and nurturing the Samuels we so desperately need today.

I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version.

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