Do you ever feel like you aren’t good enough? Despite all of your studying, you only managed to get a “C” on your test. Your presentation didn’t make the splash at the office that you thought it would. Or maybe you’re frustrated with your abilities as a parent. You just feel inadequate.
Inadequacy is a feeling we may experience at a variety of times in our lives. We want to do a good job at what we do, and when we fail, it can be very frustrating. But with a little more practice or experience we can work to reach higher levels of success.
There is one area, however, where you will always be inadequate. No matter how hard you try or how much you practice, you will never be as holy as God. In 1 Samuel 2:2, Hannah prayed, “No one is holy like the Lord, for there is none besides You.” That probably seems obvious to most people. Of course no one is as holy as the Lord, but sometimes our actions don’t reflect this. Sometimes, our actions are those of someone who thinks he is equal with God.
When we approach Scripture, do we look to find God’s teaching (cf. 2 Pet. 1:20)? Or do we seek to validate our preconceptions? When we go to God in prayer, do we make our requests known as humble servants seeking the Lord’s grace (cf. 2 Chron. 7:14)? Or do we address Him as an equal who owes us a favor?
In First Samuel, we learn that Hannah was barren, and she wanted nothing more than to have a son. So, she went to the temple and prayed fervently to the Lord. In chapter 1, verse 11, Hannah made a vow. If God would give her a son, then she will dedicate him to the Lord.
Hannah demonstrated a heart that truly understands God’s supremacy. When she prayed, she didn’t treat God like He was a servant, bound to grant her every desire. Instead, she thought to see what she might do for the Lord. So, God heard her.
Do we respect the authority of God? How often do we make demands of God, but never make an effort to fulfill His demands of us? We beg God for forgiveness, but never take the necessary steps to repent of our sin. We seek an understanding of God’s words but rely on our own wisdom to determine their meaning.
Hannah respected God’s holiness. She understood her total inadequacy to compare to His perfection. So, she humbled herself. We are inadequate. We will never measure up to God’s standard. So, in all that we do, we must be humble. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:6- 7).