Words

1 Samuel 1:12-15As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth.13 Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore, Eli took her to be a drunken woman. 14 And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.” 15 But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.”Eli observed Hannah’s mouth but not her heart, he observed her demeanor but not the reasoning behind it, and through this, he made conclusions about her and wrote her off. He didn’t understand her pain, so he did not understand her.He judged her based on what he could see; what he was limited to see because his relationship with God was not where it was supposed to be.Eli seemed to understand religion but not a relationship. In those days, there was a certain, routine way that people acted when praying, typically praying aloud and this was what Eli was used to. Anything divergent from that, because it was unusual and new to him, he deemed as drunken or unserious. Sometimes, we might reduce people to singular things so that we feel justified in casting them off. As a prophet, if Eli truly understood the way God works, he would not have been so quick to judge Hannah, but because he did not truly know God and understand his ways, he was very swift in casting judgment.Anyway, these are some things I learned from this bible passage.Know who God is and know who you are in Christ! If you know this, you will not be easily swayed. Hannah had a relationship with God, and she knew the characteristics of God.  God looks at the inward appearance, not the outward appearance. “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart”” (1 Samuel 16:7). Hannah prayed to God from a raw, unfiltered, genuine place, that had not been tampered with by routine and rigidity. Because of this, she wasn’t easily moved when Eli misunderstood her and misinterpreted her prayers as drunkenness. Instead, because she knows who God is, she corrected him and stood firm in her faith. If she didn’t know God and know who she was, she would have let the words of Eli discourage her. She would have accepted an identity that was never hers, to begin with.Don’t be quick to take people’s words over your life as final and don’t let people’s titles scare you into believing or internalizing their words. They are not God and they do not have the final say. Since Eli was a prophet, it would have been very easy for Hannah to believe him and question herself and her relationship with God.  However, Hannah did not let Eli’s title and status intimidate her. So, also do not internalize the words of the doctors giving you a diagnosis and setting a time limit to your life span. The teachers/professors/ parents/friends telling you who you are or aren’t, saying that you’re not good enough or smart enough or well enough to succeed or make it. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are not enough. Not even yourself when you get in your own head and discourage yourself, letting fear run rampant. I speak peace, revelation into who God says you are, strength and courage over anyone reading this. Shut the voices out and clear the noise from your life, leaving room for the voice of God only. Understand that the way you worship is different from the way that others worship. Don’t be so quick to judge someone because they are singing too loudly or not singing loudly enough. Also, don’t let people make you feel out of place simply because the way you worship and your relationship with God don’t fit in with their pre-conceived notions of how people should worship or relate to God. Every relationship is different, work on your relationship with God and let him lead you rather than letting the world lead you. When you are told something, always check the source of that information. Do they practice what they preach? (Check me and hold me accountable). People will tell you words and prophesy into your life, yet their life doesn’t produce any good fruits, and their relationship with God is lackluster. While Eli was busy judging Hannah, his own house was in disarray. 12 The sons of Eli were scoundrels. They paid no attention to the Lord13 or to the regulations concerning what the priests could demand from the people.17 This sin of the sons of Eli was extremely serious in the Lord’s sight because they treated the offerings to the Lord with such disrespect. (1 Samuel 2:12-13, 17)Do not let those that don’t understand your relationship with God or don’t truly know God themselves speak nonsense into your life simply because they have gotten a glimpse into your life.    

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