It is the desire of the wealthy people in this world to expand their business. They will want to invest in whatever makes them a profit and as long as the condition fits even if it is a new thing. In the book of 1 Samuel chapter one, God gave Hannah many children in the end. But before Hannah was blessed with many children, God made her barren. She had remained childless. What could be the thing that God consider the most important? It is not money, material things, or circumstances. God invest with certain people.

2 Chronicles 16:9 (AMP) “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth so that He may support those whose heart is completely His….”

God is searching for a people whose hearts are completely towards Him. God knows if there are any self-interest or motive within your heart or not.

Peninnah and Hannah have very different nature. Peninnah is a person who is shallow and thoughtless. All people have some kind of instinct. This instinct will manifest through your heart, thoughts, words, and action. People are habitual. All people possess some kind of instinct. All people possess many weakness, hurt and wounds. We were born within the plan of God. We must be thankful that we were born. We must start by being thankful for the smallest thing. If we are not able to be thankful for the small things, we will not be able to be thankful for the bigger things. Whether you are stressed in your lives, whether you are in a good circumstance or not, you must be thankful that you were born. Since you were born into this world, you must fervently and passionately carry out your lives. As you carry out your lives, you must ask for God’s strength so that He will work and manifest in your lives. You must shape and cultivate your lives with God.

Peninnah was competing for a man. She had an advantageous position. Peninnah had no problem when it came to giving birth to babies. But Hannah could not give birth to a baby. Peninnah used Hannah’s weakness to harass her. Peninnah looked down at Hannah as well. Of course, their husband caused this all. Elkanah was being solely nice to Hannah. He persistently loved Hannah. Elkanah even told Hannah how he loved her more than having ten sons. But this kind of statement made Peninnah more stressful.

Hannah and Peninnah possessed different types of instinct They possessed different color and thoughts. Everyone has hurt and wounds but must grow and mature. It is important to know if you are mature or not. It is important to properly handle your emotion and feelings. You must ease anger or rage. Everyone has much hurt, wound, and stress. In today’s time, people even get hurt over the smallest matter. How must we react to hurt? Hannah was hurting inside because of Peninnah. But Hannah had properly handled her emotion with faith.Although Peninnah harassed Hannah with her weakness, Hannah had diverted the whole hurtful event to a stronger faith. This is what God sees. Let us look at this through a bigger picture. God was preparing her as a larger vessel. The larger vessel will not be created overnight. Through trauma, hurt, stress, pain, hurt, trials, hatred, anger, and harassment, you must fight and try with all your strength to overcome. You will become a very large vessel. You will move toward possessing an advanced faith.

When we visited England, I had a vision. My wife and I were walking through the darkest night holding hands. Many evil spirits dwelled where we were walking. It was a winding path. When I saw with my spiritual eyes, the place was called, “The Chronicles of the strength of flesh.” People who possess an unbroken strength of flesh such as anger, fleshly emotion, fleshy nature, their own style, and so on will fall and stumble at a place called “The Chronicles of the strength of flesh.” Even all their mission and calling had crumbled down at this particular place. This is the very reason why Christians are disciplined by God to get rid of their fleshly strength. My wife and I had passed this place, “The Chronicles of the strength of flesh” and we continued to walk forward. We were in the last course. At the entrance of the last course, we saw the evil spirits conversing with each other right in front of what looked like a bone fire. They were acting like as though they were warming their hands.

“Hey, no one passed this course right? But, in case, someone might come through, therefore we must guard this entrance.”

As my wife and I walked forward, we did not lose our focus. We did not look at any other path but only ahead. We held our hands tightly and moved forward. We only looked forward. We had to pass through these courses because there were many people who were following us. My wife and I had to walk forward as we only focused on Jesus. The night was very dark with a crescent moon above us.

The evil spirits said, “We knew you were going to come!!”

But as we walked forward, we were praying in Tongue. We were continuously praying as we walked forward. We then said, “Get out of our way!!” The evil spirits parted and stepped to the side. The evil spirits were envious of us.

“It must feel great for you guys! Because you will go to heaven! We are very envious! We were deceived by Satan and we become fallen angels, the evil spirits. We are very envious of you!!”

I said, “You are very envious, I see. Any other reason why you are so envious of us?”

They replied, “It is because the Lord is with you guys!!” I asked them why they were guarding this place. They only replied that the place was called, “The Chronicles of the strength of flesh.” They said that Christians who walked their lives with their fleshly strength and those who were full of fleshly things (anger, temper, emotion and all that related to flesh) will crumble and fall at the place of the chronicles of fleshly strength.

So, once again, I realized, “Not by our own fleshly strength but only with faith”. As I was walking forward, I felt “righteous” anger toward them. Many Christians have suffered due to their attack. Therefore, I went back to the evil spirits and said, “Hey you! Come here!” One of them came to me. I said, “Stretch out your arm!” When the evil spirit stretched its hand, I broke it into half. Then I also broke its neck. But still, it was alive and spoke to me.

“Now, you feel better after breaking my arms and neck? Since you feel better, do you want to come back to our side? Don’t even try to start a fight with us. Just leave and go on your way.”

We must not act according to our emotion and feelings. When we do things according to our flesh, the evil spirits will know. When I broke the arms and neck of the evil spirit, it said, “Now, you feel better after breaking my arms and neck? Since you feel better, do you want to come back to our side?..” I realized such a sarcastic way of speaking and twisted statements are from the devil. Even if what you say may be right and true, if you do it in a sarcastic way, it will be wrong. Therefore, we just kept on moving forward. At the end of the road, the Lord stood with His arms wide open. My wife and I held one of the Lord’s hand and entered into heaven.

The Lord said, “There will be many people who will follow you and come here.”

When you possess some kind of weakness, please utilize your weakness and turn it into faith. In the case of Peninnah, she did not have a life of real suffering. It seems like she was a woman without much stress or trauma. The only difficult thing she may have experienced was due to her husband’s great love for Hannah. He loved Hannah much more than anyone else. What was the method that Hannah used to overcome the whole situation? She never fought anyone in this process. She did not engage with her fleshly strength and get into an argument. Please do not fight or argue with anyone under any circumstances. Even without cause, people misunderstand in their thoughts and misinterpreted in their minds. This is why people argue and fight.

If you raise your voice and get angry or raged, your image will be degraded. It will be a disadvantage for your sake. Even if people get angry, raged, or raise their voice at you, you must gracefully handle it. Hallelujah! We must get rid of anger. We must move forward with the love of the Lord. If we do not properly handle our flesh and if you do not properly give grace to the others who act fleshly, it does not matter how much you pray or how many times you come to nightly prayer praying throughout the night. It will not matter how much holy fire you receive, your prayer will not reach God. Your prayer will not become power. There are differences in perspective between people when it comes to how they look at hurt. There is a difference in their thoughts. How do you react to hurt? You must react in a mature way and it is critically needed.

Psalm 102:13 (VOICE) You will rise up once again and remember Your love for Zion;  it is time to have mercy on Your city; yes, it is the divinely appointed time.

You may be in a pitiful situation. You may be in a disciplining season and you may feel very difficult and painful but this is the process in making a vessel. A vessel who is able to handle the blessings as God fills the blessings into that vessel. The divinely appointed time will come for you. God prepares the vessel first before He blesses the vessels. For the appointed time, we must receive God’s discipline. The more you are disciplined, the better you will become. The appointed time will come without fail. God has an appointed time for all of us and it will come without fail. What will be the method to overcome all the circumstances? When you encounter some kind of suffering and stressful situation, you must pray. Whether you obtain victory or are defeated, this will depend on your prayer life. When painful situations comes, and when you go through some kind of suffering, God is giving you a message. This means, you must pray. It is the will of God. Hannah was experiencing suffering and stress through Peninnah.

“You can not even give a birth to a baby! You are a barren woman!”

Peninnah harassed Hannah. But Hannah did not move toward Peninnah’s negative words. Instead, she moved more toward prayer. She turned it into an energy for praying. We all have instinctive energy. We all have the energy to get angry, speak curses, become irritated, hate, and become furious. We all have it hidden within us. But once we say we believe in God, we must change all those into the energy of faith. You must turn it into the energy of faith. God pays attention to such people. And He will say, “I want to invest in you since you have such a heart and thought.”

When it comes to investing in people, God will observe cautiously. God will observe every word that come out of your mouth, every thought, and every action. God will seek for the best investment. God will seek a people to bless. God also plans how He will invest, the amount of investment and in what and why He will invest. This is also very important. God will see if He will only grant some type of power or add financial blessing as well. God will see and determine if He will grant authority and power of heaven. God will see if He will also grant the power to heal people. God may only grant the gift of tongue to some people. God may combine all above. God plans it all. No matter how fervently you may pray, God knows all of your nature, your real intention, and instinct.

If you are not the type of a vessel which God desires, God will begin the process of making you into a vessel which He desires. We call it discipline. When you observe the prayer of Hannah, she had never once prayed to God to scold Peninnah. The people who are walking with God will never hate anybody. Even if they had feelings of resentment for a second, the people who truly walks with God will repent and fix it right away without hesitance. These type of a people will quickly repent as they remind themselves that they are the people of Christ Jesus. The people of God will not waste their energy to getting angry or react in any kind of fleshly things. This is the people of the gospel and this is the power of the gospel.

To whom will God invest? I sometimes, personally imagine and pray about it. I would pray, “God, do not only grant us holy fire to the Lord’s Church members. Please grant us some other things.”

Hannah did not pray to get back at Peninnah. People have different perspectives. Hannah began to pray a prayer that was after God’s heart. Her prayer fits God’s heart. Hannah’s prayer was not focused on seeking revenge toward Peninnah.

Hannah said, “If You give Your servant a son, then I promise I will devote the boy to Your service”

Hannah asked God to answer her prayer which is to grant her a son. But at the same time, she promised God that she will give her son back to God. She said that he will never touch wine or other strong drink and any razor will ever cut his hair. She vowed to God that God will be the first One who will receive her son. She was confessing that her son will not be her son but he will be a son and a servant of God. When she prayed in such a way, she was blessed. Hannah prayed the heartbreaking prayer. As she was praying deeper, her prayer became a prayer of a vow.

Everyone begins their prayer life at some point in their time. Some people begin their prayer life due to some kind of cause or reason. Regardless, they all have some kind of motive. When some kind of motive is created, some people will move toward praying but on the other hand, some people will move toward blaming and complaining. Some people will wander about here and there to find an answer but end up getting nothing done. It is very important when you begin your prayer life. Hannah’s prayer life began when Peninnah harassed her and Peninnah came against her due to her barrenness. When you are in the midst of harassment, affliction, stress, trauma, or any other problems, you must realize that God is giving you a signal that you need to pray. This is biblical truth. When we have all kinds of problems going on in our lives, we must come before God and pray.

People possess a misconception of blessing. People think they have ownership of a blessing. People think their children, finances, health, and anything that they have are theirs. This is very dangerous thinking. If you think in such a way, you will become like Peninnah. Since Peninnah has many children, she is very prideful. Peninnah’s way of thinking and concept is that she has ownership of the blessing. Since Peninnah has many children, she is looking down on Hannah who has no children. There are people who look down on people who have no money. These type of people possess a sense of superiority. These type of people persecute and harass other people. Please do not look down on anyone. It does not matter whether a person is well educated or not, and it does not matter a person is handsome or ugly.

Even in today’s time, God still has an investing strategy. To whom will He invest in? God said in the book of Acts chapter 1 verse 22,  “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart [conforming to My will and purposes], who will do all My will.”

God prevented Hannah from having a baby. Therefore, Hannah began to pray to God. “God, please give me a son who I can give back to your altar as Your servant. If you only grant me a son, I will give him back to you.”

Hannah’a purpose in having a son was for God. Hallelujah! Therefore, God was touched and impressed. Her first child was for God. Therefore God granted a child for her. When Samuel was weaned and when he was able to eat solid food, Hannah entrusted him to Priest Eli. Think about it, it must be heartbreaking for Hannah. But she boldly kept her vow. When you read the verse 24 it said: “She brought Samuel to the Lord’s house in Shiloh, although the child was young.” Her action tells something.

“Priest, this is not my child. He is God’s child, therefore, I am giving him to God.”

A mother of faith must possess such determination. Therefore, God planned another investing plan. God did not finish His plan by granting Hannah a son. God had another plan. God continuously invested into Hannah. Hannah had five more children. “God has an investing plan” What does this mean? This means, you must realize and understand from the smallest thing. You must realize how important it is even if it may be a small thing. You must be thankful in the smallest things. God gave us health. I know a couple from New York and they were mute. No matter how many times I prayed for them, no matter how many times I proclaimed for their healing, they were not getting healed. The couple had a problem which is that they are fickle people. Too much up and downs. We must realize how thankful it is for us to be able to speak. It is very thankful for things for us to be able to see.

We must remember all the blessings God had granted to us. Only when you realize and are thankful for the smallest things, God will grant bigger things. In order for God to birth forth a necessary leader of Israel, He disciplined Hannah. As Hannah was disciplined, she made a vow to God. She said that she will give her son to God. Therefore, God granted five more children to Hannah. After Hannah received her prayer answered, she praised and worshipped God in chapter two. It is her testimony. Hannah gave all glory back to God. When it comes to stress, trauma, suffering, hurt or wounds, these are only opportunities for the people of faith. When you rely on the Lord, stress or trauma will be nothing. Hallelujah! Thank you, Lord!

Hannah may have wanted a child. But God wanted His servant, the leader of Israel.

The servant of a prayer is not easily born. The more you are disciplined, the powerful your son/daughter you will become. The more you are disciplined, the more powerful leader you will become. Thank you, Jesus, for granting us energy to pray every day. When you pray the fierce and heartfelt prayer before God regarding your problems, God will turn your life around. Amen.

Sermon by Pastor Kim, Yong Doo
Head pastor of the Lord’s Church, Korea
Author of Baptize by Blazing Fire book series

Translated by Pastor Steve & Yoojin Kim
Pastors of Fire of God Church in San Francisco (Fremont)
Fire of God Church is a branch church of the Lord’s Church, Korea and is under the spiritual covering of head Pastor Kim, Yong Doo

December 2017