Some people in the Bible jump out of the pages boldly—people like David, Elijah and Daniel. They burst upon the scene, slaying giants, calling down fire from heaven and surviving a den of lions.
Elkanah isn't one of those people. He's a regular guy. He's not high profile. He sometimes stands in the shadow of his wife, Hannah. But he changed his world.
Elkanah lived in what might be considered a difficult time:
- The world was unholy and disobedient. There was no king in Israel. The Scripture tells us everyone did "what was right in his own eyes" (Judg. 21:25b). Morality was subjective. Right and wrong were fluid.
- The church was corrupt. Eli was the high priest, but he was lax, allowing evil to be done in God's house. His two sons served as priests in the temple, but their hearts were far from God. They stole sacrifices that belonged to the Lord and even seduced women who came to the temple to worship.
- Elkanah had family issues. He had two wives, and that caused problems. One of his wives, Peninnah, had children. His other wife, Hannah, did not. Peninnah cruelly taunted Hannah about being childless, and Hannah stayed upset and depressed. Elkanah had little peace in his own home.
Elkanah faced trouble in the world, trouble in the church and even trouble in his home. It seemed nothing was going right for Elkanah.
Maybe that sounds familiar.
But all God needs is one person committed wholeheartedly to Him to change everything.
Elkanah was that man for his time. He was all in for God. In fact, the translation of his name is, "God purchased" or "God possessed."
God-possessed. Wholly owned by God.
When a person is God-possessed, they don't face problems alone. That's a good thing because there are some things we can't fix on our own. Elkanah couldn't fix his family. He couldn't give his barren wife a child. He couldn't bring peace in his home.
He couldn't change the church. He wasn't a priest. He had no authority to make changes in the house of God.
And it was ridiculous to think that an ordinary man like Elkanah could change the world. What difference could he possibly make?
The truth is that one person—sold out to God—can make all the difference.
Because of one God-possessed man, things started to change.
- God changed his family. Elkanah regularly took his family to worship God at the temple. Yes, it was messed up, but he went anyway. He didn't go for the preachers or the building or the music. He went because he was obedient to God's law. He went because God deserved his worship.
Then one day when Elkanah and his family were in God's house, the spirit of God started working on Hannah's heart. She had been depressed and miserable and angry because she was barren. But this day, instead of focusing on her troubles, she found a place in the temple and poured her heart out to God.
She was passionate. She was desperate for God. She became God-possessed, like her husband. It's true that Elkanah couldn't fix Hannah—but God could! God performed a miracle in Hannah's heart.
Miracles can happen when you make God's house a priority. Your marriage can change. Your family can change. Don't give up. You may not be able to fix what is wrong in your family, but when you are God-possessed and obedient, God will do the rest.
- God changed the church. Miraculously, Hannah and Elkanah were blessed with a son, Samuel, who was raised in the temple. He eventually took over as high priest and brought truth and righteousness back into God's house. The miracle God gave Elkanah's family spilled over and changed the church.
- God changed the world. Samuel became a great prophet, a God-possessed leader. He re-taught God's law to Israel. Under his leadership, Israel was victorious over the Philistines and experienced decades of peace. He anointed King Saul and King David. Samuel's influence on his nation and the kingdom of God is incalculable.
All God needs is one. One God-possessed man or woman who is obedient to God no matter what. One God-possessed student who speaks up even when it's difficult. One God-possessed couple who dedicates their marriage and their children to the Lord.
The decision we each must make is this: Will I be that one?
There's an anointing and a destiny waiting for you. There's an anointing and a destiny waiting for your children and your grandchildren. There's a fallen world that needs you to step into your anointing and your destiny.
It can start right now. Give yourself completely to God. Become God-possessed. God-possession brings anointing. It brings generational blessing. It turns the destiny God has planned for you and your family into a reality that exceeds anything you may have dreamed. Nothing is impossible for a man or woman who is God-possessed.
Pastor Jentezen Franklin is the senior pastor of Free Chapel, a multi campus church. Each week his television program, Kingdom Connection, is broadcast on major networks all over the world. A New York Times best-selling author, Franklin has written eight books, including his latest, Love Like You've Never Been Hurt.
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