“And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou would bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou would keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.” 1 Chronicles 4:10
When I was a kid, I used to love to watch the TV series “Mission Impossible.” Each week, the team would face what was seemingly an impossible task in an attempt to save lives and preserve our country. Even though that TV series was fictional the storyline kept me on the edge of my seat each week.
Similarly, we live in a world today that many times is in desperate shape and poses many dangers. As a Christian, it should be our desire to bring hope and help to a world of hurting people. The idea of such a task seems so overwhelming when you think about it. Making a difference for Christ in this culture does seem like “Mission Impossible.”
Where do we begin a pursuit of this magnitude? What difference can an ordinary person like you and me make? I believe that it must begin by taking our eyes off of ourselves and our own inabilities and instead focus on the fact that we serve a great God who specializes in doing the impossible.
I love the prayer of Jabez in 1 Chronicles 4:10. It is a great model for us to pray when it comes to asking God to use us for His glory. Jabez directly petitions God and asks Him to “enlarge his territory.” In other words, he is asking God to use him beyond what he could think or imagine. I have seen this truth in my own life. When I joined MCA 17 years ago, I never imagined that God would take this small fledgling school and grow it beyond what I could think or imagine. The growth has never been about me but about what God could do through staff and families who were committed to His purpose.
After asking God to “enlarge his territory”, Jabez also petitioned God to “keep me from evil.” With this petition, Jabez is asking God to protect him from evil. This request by Jabez allows us to see his heart in regards to the first request. Jabez does not want to grieve God by doing something like thinking too much of himself when God uses him more. He had a pure motivation for God using him more.
I am convinced that God is wanting to do the impossible in each of our lives. He desires to “enlarge your territory.” By enlarging our territory, God is not wanting to give us more stuff but instead He desires to use us for greater things in His Kingdom.
What impossibilities are you facing today? Are you ready to ask God to use you to impact the world in which we live? I pray that the prayer of Jabez will challenge us to get our eyes off what we see as impossible and focus our hearts on a God who stands ready to make possible that which seems impossible. May God “enlarge our territories” for His glory!