Sunday Recap for 061117:  Can God redeem good desires with bad motives?

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Sunday, June 11, 2017, Evident Grace Fellowship looked at this Big Picture Question

Can God Redeem Good Desires with Bad Motives

And we explored 1 Samuel 1:9-20 to answer that question

I Samuel 1:9 After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. 10 She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. 11 And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” 12 As 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. 16 Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.” 17 Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” 18 And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad. 19 They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. 20 And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the Lord.”

And we found these 3 answers to our question

Can God Redeem Good Desires with Bad Motives?  He can redeem

  • Good but clueless motives.
  • Good but desperate motives.
  • Good but harsh motives

Good but clueless motives

I Samuel 1:9 After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. 10 She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.

Hanna is weeping in deep distress because she want to have children, but she can’t.  And her husband has another wife who has kids, and that woman mocks Hannah all the time.  But her very sweet husband loves her, and he wants to comfort her.  He asks, “Why are you so sad?  Aren’t I worth more than 10 sons?”

He wants to comfort her, but he has no idea how to.  His comfort is clueless.  Can God redeem that

Good but desperate motives

11 And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.

Hannah is desperate.  She begins to bargain with God.  Ironically, she prays to the Lord of Hosts.  The Lord of Hosts is a name of God that displays His fullness, His all-powerfulness.  The irony is that if you are praying to the all powerful God who needs nothing, why offer Him anything?  God does not need anything.  But Hannah offered her son to God as a Nazarite priest.  But God doesn’t need that, does He?  Can God redeem this good but desperate motive?

Good but harsh motives

12 As 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. 16 Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.”

17 Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” 18 And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad. 19 They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. 20 And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the Lord.”

Hannah can’t catch a break.  Even her priest is mad at her.  He thinks that she has been drinking. He desires to protect the worship of God in the temple, but He is overly harsh to Hannah.

But God uses this overly harsh priest as a prophet.  He promises Hannah that she will have a child.  And she has one, names Him Samuel, and He ultimately become the priests who leads to David who leads to Jesus.

All mixed motives, yet God uses their desires to ultimately bring about Jesus.

Big Picture Question:  Can God Redeem Good Desires with Bad Motives?  He can redeem…

Truth:  Our God does not despise us for our clueless, desperate, and harsh motives because He redeems our desires to be part of His gracious plan.

Application:  Live knowing that in your struggle with your desires, God will weave His redemptive plan throughout your life…whether you get what you want or not

Action:  Ask God to purify your motives while asking Him to use your desires to advance the name of Jesus.

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