February 12, 2021

God Promises to Enlarge Your Territory

Suggested Reading: I Chronicles 4:1-10

Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.–I Chronicles 4:10

Many things can put us inside a box. Limit the way we live, think, change our perception, even openness to others. Emotional, physical, and heart pain can cause us to feel isolated, and become boxed in, to the point we approach relationships and live life from a tiny cubicle. God comes to expand our life and open our borders so we can live without the confines and bars of emotional pain, trauma, abuse, being unloved, or rejected.     

When we think of, read, or listen to a message about this amazing promise of God; that he comes to enlarge our territory, we might automatically relate it to the work or ministry we are performing. We might even pray it concerning our finances, our health, and relationships, or even in a physical or material sense, but the story of Jabez in I Chronicles is a great take on enlargement that helps us expand our thoughts about what God’s promise of enlargement can mean.

The Scriptures say Jabez was more noble than his brothers. Something about him made him different from the rest of his family. One thing is for sure Jabez did not want to be connected to bringing people pain of any kind. He was named Jabez by his mother because she had so much pain during childbirth, that is the first name that came to mind. By the time he was older and we meet him in Scripture he was crying out to God, asking for his territory to be enlarged. He was not asking for greater riches or more land to build bigger houses on, but that he might be blessed with enlargement so he could be free from the emotional pain he felt and the pain he caused others.

Maybe this is what made Jabez more noble than his brothers, more noble than most who are not concerned about the amount of pain they cause other people. Wouldn’t it be a noble characteristic if we were all concerned about hurting others, or at least not contributing to their already painful lives and journey? If we have never been concerned before about how we hurt others by the things we do or say Jabez is a great eye-opener for us, an inspiration to be more like him. If we are unrepentant or repetitive “hurters” then his story may convict us about our own ways and attitudes towards others. And we might be inspired to pray a similar prayer to God for ourselves. The Scriptures say after Jabez prayed to God about this matter God granted his request. Meaning God enlarged his territory and opened his emotional borders so that he would never again cause others pain and he would not be in pain any longer. Maybe Jabez was the first to coin the phrase, “Hurt people, hurt others.”

Today, through the promise of God to enlarge our territory we might consider asking him to enlarge us from the tiny space of anger and bitterness, or release us from the cellar of unforgiveness, or the cage of a painful past. But to come and add to us, to expand us and bless our territory. To set us free that we might live life in a large way with an enlarged heart and transformed mind. What a blessing to have the promise and covering of being enlarged and we can remember to pray this promise over every area of our lives and for our loved ones and others. Let’s Pray,

Heavenly Father you have not forgotten one area of our life but cover every area with your grand promises. We are reminded of the greatness of your promise to enlarge our territory. Through the blessing of enlargement let us always be mindful it is first for the purposes of sharing Christ with others and enlarging the kingdom of God on earth and then testifying about your goodness over us, that your promises are real and true. As with anything else we are able to fulfill this commandment because you are with us, enlarging us in every way possible. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen      

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