A ‘Hole Mutha Level
May 11, 2008
Happy Mother’s Day. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you, moms, especially for being here. We honor you and love you. I want to welcome all of our campuses to Mother’s Day. We’re going to have a good time. It has already been awesome. Let’s bow for prayer as we begin to study God’s word.
Father, give us your mind, give us your wisdom and give us your ability, Lord, to wake up and to understand your will for all of us and especially for the moms here. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
When we’re asleep, we don’t realize that we’re asleep. You don’t really understand it nor do I until we wake up. That’s a unique thing about sleep. It is sort of like snoring. Snoring goes together with sleep. Some of you are snorers. You’ve never heard yourself snore. People have told you that, but you’ve never said “Hey, I’m snoring, wow!” It is just like that with asleep. It just doesn’t happen that way. You wake up. Then you realize I was asleep.
I think in a crowd this size a lot of us are sleeping. Now, we’re not asleep physically. There’s always one or two who nod off, but a lot of us are asleep in a much more profound way. Some here are asleep spiritually, parentally, financially, psychologically, or emotionally. We have some people who are asleep in the house. And the funny thing about that sort of sleep is it’s analogous to physical sleep. You’re asleep but you don’t know that you’re asleep. And you won’t know it until you wake up. So it’s been my prayer that we’ll all wake up and discover the greatness that God has for us.
Today I want to tell you a story out of the 1 Samuel chapters 1, 2 and 3. And just stay with me as I talk about some of the key players. I’m going to talk about Hannah, not Montana, Hannah. I woke some people up already. Hannah, she was this woman who took her life to a ‘hole mutha level. And that’s what we’re going to do today ladies. We’re going to take it to, say it with me, a ‘hole mutha level. Her son is Samuel. So we have in this corner Hannah and her son Samuel.
In the other corner we have Eli. Eli was the high priest. Eli had a couple of sons and these two guys make the all name team in Scripture, Hophni and Phinehas. “Basket by Hophni, assist Phinehas.” Sounds like a band. “Have you heard the new band Hophni and Phinehas? They’re awesome!”
So you have Eli, Hophni and Phinehas. Israel, the nation of Israel was in a funk. Basically they were asleep. If you know your history, the biblical body builder Sampson has just clocked out.
He has just died.
Israel found themselves leaderless, helpless and hopeless. They were basically in this state of slumber. God was speaking, yet the Scriptures tell us that a word from the Lord was rare during those days.
God’s always communicating. God is always talking. But many times we’re not listening. We’re asleep. And the devil, he is a great singer. Did you know that? One of the devil’s favorite tactics is to lull us to sleep. And he sings lullabies to us.
“Rock‑a‑bye believer in the tree top, snoozing will cause your influence to stop; ignore the alarm, stay in bed, say no to opportunities and you’ll soon be dead.” He says, “Shhh, don’t wake him up. Shhh, don’t wake her up. I’ve got them right where I want them. They’re in the nursery.”
He had the whole nation asleep. But there was a woman who took it to a ‘hole mutha level. There was a woman who heard the voice of God. There was a woman who was a woman of prayer, a woman of priorities, a woman of power and a woman of purpose. I’m talking about Hannah.
Let’s check out Hannah, because whenever the Bible gives this much ink to a character, we better stop and press the pause button and study them. Now you won’t believe this verse I’m going to read to you. You’re talking about soap opera!
1 Samuel 1:2. “He had two wives…” That’s Elkanah, Hannah’s husband. Not one, no. Elkanah had two wives. Ladies, can you image that? I mean, put yourself in Hannah’s pumps. Put yourself in her, I should say, sandals. Can you image that? That’s a cat fight waiting to happen. Can you image the drama and the trauma and the craziness that our boy Elkanah had to deal with? Hannah’s rival, you have to love this girl, was Peninnah. There was a problem. Let’s keep reading.
“…One was called Hannah, the other Peninnah.” And here’s the problem, “Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.”
Peninnah was a baby-making machine. Peninnah was Fertile Myrtle. All Elkanah had to do was wink at her and she’d get pregnant. Hannah was infertile, barren.
And so many couples are dealing with infertility right now and it’s a silent thing, a painful thing. Well multiply that pain exponentially back in the day. Because back in the day if you were barren, you were cursed, something was wrong with you.
So Hannah was trying to process all of that and then Peninnah just jammed her day after day, week after week, and the Scriptures say, year after year. Because Elkanah would take his whole dysfunctional family, that’s right, whole crazy bunch, to a place called Shiloh to worship.
And they would worship at Shiloh, and they would make sacrifices. And the Bible says that even at Shiloh Peninnah would be just torching the girl, just sharing secrets with others and slandering her and messing her around.
When she felt that, when Hannah processed that, what did she do? Did she come back at her? Did he try to fight her? Here’s what she did. Look at 1 Samuel 1:10, “In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord. ‘O Lord Almighty if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me.”
“If you will.” Now take that and put that in your mind for a second. If you will, Lord, if it’s your will. That’s what prayer is, isn’t it? “God, not my will, but your will be done.” Do you remember in the garden, what did Jesus say? “Father, not my will but your will be done.”
She put it in God’s hands. And here is what’s so exciting. The entire nation was asleep. Hannah, though, was awake to the voice of God. She was awake in prayer. She knew how to talk to God.
Also, this girl knew how to get her praise on. I mean she got her praise on. Read 1 Samuel 2. No one, though, can recite it like Maria. That was Hannah’s prayer of praise.
Also, Hannah understood her priorities. She understood it was about God, and then it was about her family.
So here is what we have. We have Hannah praying. Hannah is at Shiloh. She’s on her knees in the morning asking God for a child. Then she’s saying, “Lord, if it’s your will. Lord, if it’s your will.”
She was awake to the voice of God. Now enter our boy Eli. Eli, Scripture says, is sitting on stool. Eli is the high priest. He is supposed to be God’s anointed and appointed.
He is sitting on a stool and Eli is watching her and Eli thinks that Hannah is drunk. You have to kind of laugh; you’re talking about someone asleep at the wheel! Not only was Eli asleep at the wheel, but his two kids Hophni and Phinehas were wheels off.
So Eli is the high priest, and Hophni and Phinehas were following in their father’s footsteps, they were priests. Eli didn’t know this, let me let you in on a secret the Bible says. He didn’t know this, but Hophni and Phinehas were abusing the sacrificial system. And you know you don’t abuse the sacrifices of the Lord. You don’t play around with the holiness of God. They were doing that.
Number two; they were having sexual relations with the women who worked at the temple. And our boy Eli had no idea about it. Eli was asleep at the wheel. His two kids; wheels off. He could not hear the voice of God. Why? Because he was asleep. He was asleep parentally and he was asleep emotionally and he was asleep as a leader. He was totally asleep.
And talk about poor discernment, he thought that Hannah was drunk. Then Hannah says, “I’m praying. I’m talking to God.” She asked God for a son. She said “O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then,” check this out, check this vow out, “I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life.” Now that is a powerful, powerful voice.
“Lord, if it’s your will give me a son and if God you give me a son I will give him to you. I will just dedicate him to you.”
Be very, very careful what you promise God in prayer. Be very careful.
Now, let me ask you a question. I want to ask the moms this question. Moms, why do you have children? Don’t answer it out loud. Just marinate on that for a second. Why do you have children?
Okay now let me ask the guys something, guys, guys, husbands, husbands. This will take longer. Why do you have children? No, guys, you have to look past making love. I’m talking about why do you have children? Why are you a father? Why do you have this desire? Why?
It might take the guy’s hours. Ladies, I know you’re tracking. Let me tell you why we don’t have kids. We don’t have kids to fulfill our unfulfilled dreams or fantasies. That’s not why we have babies. We don’t have babies just to dress up or to play catch with. That’s not the reason we bring children into the world.
That is not it. If that’s your reason I’m going to give you a deeper reason, something to contemplate that will help you, ladies, go to a ‘hole mutha level because some probably have kids that way.
“I’m just going to make a baby and I’ll have a little mini me. I’ll just do it. I have this desire to do it and I guess that’s just what I do.”
And the guys are like “Yeah, I can father a child. I really wanted to play in the NBA but never did. Maybe junior can become an NBA player.”
Well if you didn’t play in the NBA, there’s a good chance that junior won’t, either. So there’s something a little bit deeper than that. We have babies to do what? To glorify God. We have babies, the Bible says, to be image bearers of Jesus Christ himself. That’s the reason. We have babies so the babies can grow up and they can follow Jesus Christ and they can become worshippers. Because everything is made to glorify and reflect the glory of God. Everybody worships, but we’re made, we’re wired, we’re hard wired to worship God. That is why we have babies.
We have this desire to reproduce. Where do we get this from? It’s from God. We reproduce physically and then it’s God’s intention for us to teach our children how to reproduce spiritually. So we make babies by God’s grace and the miracle of life. And then they grow up and they become believers and they share the good news with others and they get married and you see the why’s and the what’s and the how’s behind children.
Well, Hannah understood this. She knew that she didn’t have anything. She knew if God did give her a baby it was not hers, it was God’s. And she was to make a vow, a promise. She was saying, “Okay God, I’m giving him to you. I’m making a promise. If it’s your will, Lord, he’s yours.”
If you’re sleepwalking through life you’re not going to make good choices. If you’re going Eli, you’re not going to make wise decisions as you negotiate the maze of your existence. And here is what’s interesting about it. I’ll say it again. When you’re asleep you don’t realize you’re asleep until you’re awake. And it’s my prayer as maybe some here step off the edge and the ledge and hit rock bottom, it will wake you up. Maybe today this message will be like an alarm.
Beep, beep, beep! Ephesians 5:14, the alarm is saying 5:14. Let’s begin to read it, “Wake up,” that’s what the Bible says, “o sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you. Be very careful then how you live not as unwise but as wise,” and I love this next line, “making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
So if I wake up, if I respond to the voice of God, if I’m like Hannah and hear the voice of God, what can I do? I’ll make these wise decisions.
So if you make these stupid, “what was I thinking” decisions, if you look back on your life and think, “Man, I have made some bone headed moves. I have made some ridiculous choices,” then you’re asleep. You’re asleep. And I pray this talk wakes you up. You’ve been listening to Satan’s lullaby.
“Rock‑a‑bye believer in the tree top, snoozing will cause your influence to stop. Ignore the alarm, stay in bed, you’ll never reach your potential you sleepy head.”
Opportunities come into your life and mine at a rapid fire pace. If we’re not awake, we’ll miss them. And here we have Hannah with this opportunity to have a child and to have a baby and for this baby to grow into one of the great leaders in the history of Israel. She had this opportunity. She was not asleep; she was up and was saying, “God, I hear your voice.”
And guess what? God gave her a child. God gave her a baby. I’ve already told you his name, Samuel. That word means “God hears my prayer.” Samuel. What a man! He was unbelievable.
So track with me now. Eli missed opportunity after opportunity. He missed it in his work, he missed it with his kids, he just missed it. He had poor discernment, evidenced by thinking, for example, that Hannah was drunk instead of praying. He had poor discernment. He didn’t know what his kids were doing. He could not make a decision, and when he made one it was unwise. He hadn’t heard the voice of God in a long, long, long time. And also he was a man who had zero discipline.
Hey parents, single parents, today’s single moms, our kids are screaming out for discipline. They want guidelines and boundaries. Football is a beautiful game when it’s played within the boundaries. But if it’s chaos, if people are running up in the stands and knocking over people at the concession stand and grabbing popcorn and bringing it on the field and bringing a soccer ball while they’re trying to watch a football game on the field and just going nuts, it’s an ugly game. The parental game is a beautiful game when it’s done within the parameters, within discipline.
You show me a kid, you show me a little child who is rebellious, who has these authority issues, who is always testing the boundaries and limits, and I will show you a home where discipline is not happening. I will show you an Eli-driven home.
But here is what God’s doing. And this is scary; it’s really a frightening thing. When someone does not step up and take advantage of the opportunities that God has given, God always brings in a replacement. That’s what he’s doing.
Eli had the opportunity. Eli had the chance. Eli could have walked through that open door, that window. He didn’t. He was asleep. Hannah heard the voice of God, she had Samuel, she brought him up and Samuel was able to do and be the kind of guy that God wanted him to be. And here is what’s crazy about Samuel. As Samuel grew up and he became this huge difference maker in the nation of Israel, Samuel had the opportunity to anoint David as king. Because remember Saul? Saul was the king of Israel. But psycho Saul blew it. He had all these opportunities, all this potential, with the beautiful long hair and stood six feet six inches tall, and he was articulate. He had all the stuff that great leaders were made of, but Saul was asleep. So Samuel, who was the replacement for Eli, ended up anointing David who was the replacement for Saul. It is just crazy.
And again the scary part about it is, if you’re not stepping up and stepping out into opportunities; if you’re not taking advantage of the different situations that God presents to you, God right now has a replacement for you. And if you’re sleeping or if I’m sleeping, we don’t even know it. So it’s time to wake up. It’s 5:14. Wake up o sleeper, wake up, wake up.
Well, Samuel’s born. Isn’t that great? Hannah gets her praise on. Hannah begins to bring him up in the ways of the Lord. Hannah begins to show him how to hear the voice of God. She shows him the priority of worship. Everything is going great. And I love 1 Samuel 1:28, “So now I give him to the Lord.”
This girl, Hannah, she has made good on her vow. “For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord. And he will worship the Lord there.”
Now the Bible says that when Samuel was weaned he was probably, I don’t know three to five years of age. When he was weaned he began to work in the house of the Lord. Now check this out. Hannah brought Samuel to Shiloh and gave him to the church, to the temple. Wow, man, three years of age, four years of age, five years of age, giving a kid up like that?
Now just recently behavioral experts are telling us that 90 percent of a child’s personality is formed by the time they’re three. Some of you are going to read this and say “I have it, I’m just going to give my kids to Fellowship Church!”
No, we don’t want your children. Don’t give your children to the church, but give your church to your children. Give your church to your children. And parents, we cannot give them something that we don’t have.
Over the last ten weeks, and I shared this last time, we have had over 8,500 children attend Fellowship Church. I mean, children, little ones. And we have all the vitals on them. Only 161 of those children have attended every Sunday. Only 161 out of 8,500 have come to church every Sunday. And only 30 percent have shown up every other week. So 70 percent are coming once a month or once every six weeks.
Beep, beep, beep, beep, wake up! It’s 5:14 a.m. Wake up! It’s time that we make a personal relationship with Jesus a priority. It’s time that we make prayer, moms, a priority. It’s time that we get our praise on. It’s time that we see God’s purpose and his opportunity and jump on the train, because the train ain’t always going to be available. So it’s time to do the stuff. The time is short. We have a whole generation, this next generation that needs the Lord. And it’s happening at younger and younger ages.
Notice Samuel, was around four or five and he is ministering before the Lord. And then check this out, don’t miss this verse. This verse is awesome. 1 Samuel 2:11, I love this and it’s so easy to skip right over. I have skipped over it for many, many years until several days ago. It says, “The boy ministered,” isn’t that crazy? He’s a little kid.
“The boy ministered before the Lord under Eli the priest.” He was under authority, under structure. He learned this from whom? His momma who took it to a ‘hole mutha level. He learned authority.
One of the things that our culture struggles with so much these days is honor and authority. Have you noticed that? We have authority issues. God loves us so much. Again, God has a wonderful will for all of our lives, amazing stuff for all of us. And I really believe if God right now could just show you his will for every person’s life we would fall flat on our face in disbelief. That’s how amazing God’s will is for our lives.
And one of the things that God always uses when we’re walking in his will is this little concept known as authority. I call it authority issues, because whenever I have an authority issue, do you know who I really have an issue with? God. If I have an authority issue in marriage; if I have an authority issue at the doctor’s office; if I have an authority issue with a police officer; if I have an authority issue with some manager or some president of some corporation; if I have an authority issue with maybe another pastor; if I have any kind of authority issues, ultimately I have an issue with God.
There are some women here, some moms here and you have some major authority issues with your husband. Now Scripture says, ladies hear me, that everyone is equal in the sight of God. We’re equal in form; we’re unique in function. God has given the authority to the husband in marriage. And that’s why the Bible says “Husbands, love your wives. How? As Jesus loved the church. How did Jesus love the church? Selflessly and sacrificially. He laid his life down for the church. That is our example, guys. So that is heavy. Okay.
Then it says, “Wives, submit…” That’s right, submit.
“What? Submit? No way, not me.”
Yes, you. Submit to your husband as you would the Lord.
So if you first have the husband loving the wife like Christ loved the church the wife will have no problem submitting to him. Now let me describe and explain submission in just a few seconds. There are many things that I submit to in my marriage. I submit to Lisa’s leadership in many areas. Where she is strong, usually I’m weak. There are also many areas that Lisa submits to me to in marriage. And I’m strong where she is weak. So we compliment one another. However, the spiritual leadership, the direction, the focus, the path is set forth by me, the husband.
And men, women are dying to be led. So we have to get under the authority of God. God always works through authority. He does it in marriage, and he does it in the family. So student, junior high student, high school student, listen up. Listen to me now. First of all, your parents know more than you do. I hope you understand that. And your mom, she is taking it to a ‘hole mutha level.
There is no job as difficult as being a mother. I hope you know that. There is no job like it. I could not do it. Whenever I tried to be a mommy for the day, I mean I need to go to the ha‑ha house after about four or five hours. But students listen to me, submit to their authority. God has placed them there in your life to form you, to motivate you, and to make you into something beautiful. They are a part of the will of God.
But I know what you’re thinking, “You don’t know my parents. I just don’t respect them.” Don’t we love to say that in our culture today? “Man, don’t disrespect me. I want respect. You know, yes Ed, I will submit to someone but I have to respect them first.”
No, if you wait to respect someone you will never submit to people. Half the people I submit to I don’t respect. So we have to respect the position, not person. “You’re my mom. I don’t respect you. You’re my dad. I don’t respect you.”
Well, submit to them. Now, if they’re telling you to do something whacky or immoral or non biblical, that’s a whole other issue. But submit to them. I’m telling you, they know more than you know and they will mold you and shape you into greatness.
And that’s what Samuel understood as a little guy. And because of that, he was able to submit under Eli. Do you think he respected Eli? The older he got when he saw how nutty and how crazy and what a sleeper Eli was. Do you think he was thinking, “Man, I really respect, Eli, your relationship with the Lord. I really respect how you pray. I really respect how you have ministered to your kids, Hophni and Phinehas.”
Do you think that happened? No. Why was Samuel great? Authority. So to go up we have to get under. So whatever you do in life, you find the authority structure and you fit under it and God will take you to a level you’ve never dreamed possible.
Now it gets real fun. Samuel is asleep in the temple. Eli is asleep in the temple. Have you ever seen that movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark” before? There’s a new one coming out. Do you remember that? That’s classic. We’re going to do a series on movies coming up in July. It is called “At the Movies.” You do not want to miss this thing. It’s going to be off the chain. Anyway. In the temple you have a place called the Holy of Holies. In the Holy of Holies you have the Ark of the Covenant. Inside the ark you have the Ten Commandments. I have to tell you a quick story. I know I’m going over time but I have to tell you this.
When I was 20 I took my first fishing trip into the jungle. And the reason I took it is because a friend of mine gave it to me. We flew down to this little place in the jungles of Belize. Again, I’m talking about the serious, real deal with monkeys and snakes and quick sand and everything.
We fly in; in this little puddle jumper and land on this old run way with pigs and dogs. We jump in the back of this old broken down pick-up truck and they were going to drive us to the lodge.
So here we are in mosquitoes and dodging potholes and our luggage is bouncing. So I’m trying to make conversation with the guy driving and everything is open air.
I say, “Hey, is the fishing camp pretty full?”
“Yes, man, it’s full. There’s a movie being filmed here.”
I looked at my friend and said, “Did he say movie in the jungle? No way!”
We finally get to this little fishing camp in the middle of nowhere and I jump out of the truck and who was sitting there with a cup of coffee? Harrison Ford. I’m like “Dude, its Harrison Ford. That’s Indiana Jones, Jack. This is sweet!”
And you know you try to act nice when you see someone famous. Then he was at his peak. Now he’s kind of old and weird. He was at his peak. I’m thinking, “Lisa isn’t going to believe this, Harrison Ford.” I even got my picture taken with him. Normally I wouldn’t do it. But every night we ate with him, had this buffet with him and he talked with me. He is a little strange, but I really enjoyed it.
Why did I tell you that? “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” that’s why, Indiana Jones. So anyway.
Eli and Samuel were asleep right outside of the Holy of Holies, where the Ark of the Covenant is, inside the Ark of the Covenant is the Ten Commandments. All of the sudden Samuel hears this, “Samuel, Samuel.”
He runs into Eli’s room, “Eli were you calling me?”
Eli is clueless. “No, go back to bed.”
This happens three times. Finally Eli figures out, “Maybe this could be the voice of God calling Samuel.”
Here is what I find so interesting. If Eli was this great man of God, this great priest and he even thought that God might be speaking audibly, I mean if I’m Eli I’m thinking, “Okay, let’s wait right here together. We can both talk to him.” But here is what Eli said. “Go back to your room Sam, and if you hear the voice again, just say ‘Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.’”
Sure enough, “Samuel, Samuel!” That was back in the day when God talked audibly.
Samuel said, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening. And then God downloaded all of this information into Samuel’s life about what he was going to do to Eli and Hophni and Phinehas and how they were going to face the judgment of God.
We like to talk about the love of God so much, the grace of God. But the Bible also talks about how the wages of sin is death. The Bible talks about the judgment of God. The Bible talks about the fact that there is going to be a payday someday. And that day happened with Eli and Hophni and Phinehas. So they ended up getting wiped out because of the abuse of the sacrificial system, because of immorality and because they were asleep.
It’s time to wake up. It’s time to be like Hannah. It’s time to be a man or a woman of prayer, of praise, of priorities and power. Because who knows, ladies; who knows, moms, you might have a Samuel in your lap. Let’s pray together.
[Ed ends in closing prayer.]