A few years ago, Bruce Wilkinson made a splash with his book about Jabez, who lived in the Old Testament Bible times. What was so remarkable about Jabez is that although his mother called him ‘Pain’ (that is what his name means), he asked God for something big. And the Scripture says that God gave it to him.
“Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that You hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain! So, God granted him what he requested.” (I Chronicles 4:10).
This man was an overcomer.
This is a man who meant to serve his God all of his life and with everything he had.
Pain is often an unwanted companion. It kind of dogs our footsteps and hangs a pall over our days. Life on earth just goes that way naturally.
But, Jabez was not going to put up with being called ‘Pain.’
He went straight to God with a bold request. “Change my name. Change my path. Direct my steps to reflect Your goodness. Stop me from ever inflicting pain.”
I think, implied in his request, is a desire for God to minister through him in every instance. His heart was love. And he wasn’t afraid to be bold in asking God for what he wanted.
When I think ‘territory,’ of course I think of surroundings. I love my flowers and spend a lot of time in my garden. Somehow, my flowers show me the Beauty that is God.
But what if territory means something else? Like—what’s in my heart? What does God want to do there? Could there be some things there He wants to develop, or change? Maybe there are some steps He wants me to take.
I think a good combination of reading the Scriptures and sitting in the garden might be conducive to a good look at this heart. How about yours?
As good as a contemplative stop in the garden is—the time comes to step out.
Jabez asked for God to direct him, and God will do the same for us. We all have opportunities in front of us. We must decide which prospects we should we go for and which ones should we let go by.
The important thing is that we move into our callings. God will enlarge our territory. He will give us occasions, even destinies to fulfill.
Will we step out as God leads us?