Enlarge my territory!
1 Chronicles 4:10
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.” NIV
Every now and then, in the pages of scripture, God marks out a man or a woman and draws our attention to them. For the most part they were ordinary men and women, much like us. Somehow they managed to catch God’s attention and found their names recorded in the Bible for all eternity. I have always been fascinated by such men and women. What made them different from the rest of us? How did they manage to catch God’s attention and captivate His heart?
The more I study the Bible and get to know this God we serve, the more I’m convinced that simple faith, and the action that flows from that faith, really moves God in a special way. Faith seems to always draw down the power of God. The bolder the faith we have, the bolder His actions on our behalf. Its like God is always waiting for us to stretch, by our faith, the limits of what He is able to do.
Jabez was one such man. Very little is know about this man. He was really a nobody. His name is listed in the first part of the Book of Chronicles together with hundreds of other names. Most are mentioned in passing but when it comes to Jabez, there is something akin to an annotation beside his name: “Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, ‘Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.’ And God granted his request.”
It was like in the midst of a sea of people of average faith, one man had faith to believe God for something bigger. He wanted more of God’s presence, more of God’s blessing, more of God’s protection than what he had thus far experienced. He was not going to limit his faith, and his expectations of God, to the faith and expectations of others. That was the desire of his heart and he cried out to God for it. And the Book of Chronicles records that God granted his request!
I know that we live in a world of many trials and challenges. We must be careful not to allow all that to overwhelm us. In the midst of our trails and our difficulties, let us keep believing God for great and mighty things. The greater the challenge, the greater the trial, the greater our expectations of God should be! Don’t be afraid to believe God for the impossible. Don’t be afraid to ask God for the impossible. Don’t limit your faith to the faith of others. Don’t even limit your faith to what you have experienced before. Faith, and our expectations of God, must be dynamic, ever-increasing. Stagnant faith results in mediocrity; dynamic faith brings down the glory of God!
I want to encourage you today to stand up, and stand out, in the continuing ‘Book of the Chronicles of the People of God’ that is surely being written, by daring to ask God for more of His presence than He has ever poured out before, for more opportunities to serve Him than you have ever had before, to provide for all your need in a measure not seen before, and to keep you from pain. And don’t limit yourself, and God, to even that!
I am asking the Father today to turn around every impossible situation in your life and to give you every impossible thing that you cry out to God for. Now is the time to believe God for the impossible!