Choosing to Say “Yes” to God
Voices and Choices of the True Woman Movement (Part 5)

What does a God-centered woman look like? I’ve heard the story of Hannah many times, but never as powerfully as when Janet Parshall spoke at True Woman ’08. Her message, “A Woman after God’s Own Heart,” is recounted in Voices of the True Woman Movement.

The Lord had closed Hannah’s womb. Parshall makes it clear that there was a sovereignty issue at the core of Hannah’s story, told in the book of 1 Samuel. The Lord chose infertility for this woman of God (1 Samuel 1:5), and as a result, Hannah suffered another woman’s insults (1:6). Hannah may not have understood the reasons for God closing her womb, or that any good could come from her infertility, but she did not become bitter. That did not mean she didn't feel pain and frustration.

As her earthly enemy mocked her, Hannah stood and left for the Temple; she wanted to be in God's presence. Even there, she was mocked by a priest who misunderstood her actions (v. 14). But God saw Hannah's heart. She asked God for a child, and in her desperation for God to work (her desperate faith), she trusted him for the outcome. But Hannah's turning point of faith was wrapped in a vow. If God chose to give her a son, she would choose to return that son to God, to serve him for all his life (1:21-22).

God answered Hannah's plea, and in time, when little Samuel was weaned, she returned to the Temple to offer up her sacrifice, Samuel. He became a servant of God, His prophet. But year after year, as she returned to the Temple with a little robe for her son, the implications of her sacrifice returned. Though God blessed her with other children (2:20-21), Samuel was her first, and now He was God's.

God knew what Hannah was going through. "But he also knew that she was a true woman," Parshall said. "She was God-centered, not self-centered. ... She trusted God. ... She surrendered She said, 'Yes, Lord.' And in so doing, she became a magnificent role model for the true woman." She no doubt prayed for her little boy through the years; and Samuel grew to influence the entire nation of Israel as a wise, respected prophet (3:20).

Hannah's story offers us a model for making many possible choices:
(1) Accept God's will for your life right now, even if it's not what you want. This is an act of faith, but also recognition of God's sovereignty. Let go of your plans, and come to God with an open heart and open hands.
(2) Learn to respond toward God when people mock or persecute you. Recognize that God sometimes allows obnoxious people into our lives for His own purposes.
(3) Loosen your grip on the people and things in your life. All we have, even the people we love, belongs to God.
(4) Pray for your biological (or spiritual) children. Be a true woman of prayer for those God entrusts to your care. "Our prayers for our children can make a supernatural mark on our nation."

Parshall describes motherhood as one of God's refining fires. "The reality of motherhood," she said, "is that it's a place to learn surrender, letting go, trusting and believing that God is God."

Messages like this one will be a part of True Woman '10 in Indianapolis and Fort Worth this fall. To register for a conference, go to: True Woman Conferences.


Marja said...

Thank you Dawn for this post. I have no children, but I DO have spiritual children and that is a great blessing! You reminded me to do more prayer for them!

Dawn Wilson said...

Thank you, Marja. We should ALL have spiritual children, and invest our time and prayers into them.