Title: OH, THAT YOU WOULD ENLARGE MY TERRITORY
Text: 1 Chr. 4:10
The next part of our study of the Jabez (Yah-bates) prayer – a plea for more territory – is where you ask God to enlarge your life so you can make a greater impact for Him. This is more than a simple desire for more real estate. He wanted more influence, more responsibility, and more opportunity to make a mark for the God of Israel.
The word “territory” can also be translated “coast” or “borders.” For Jabez, that word carried the same meaning as the words “homestead” or “frontier,” as we understand it. In the history of Israel, Jabez lived just after the dividing of the Promised Land into portions for each tribe. As he looked over the spread his family had passed down to him, he calculated the potential and made a decision: “Everything you’ve put under my care, O Lord, take it and enlarge it.”
1. If we ask God for something and it’s not right for us, is He going to give it to us anyway? Matt. 7:8-11
2. Is it right for us to ask God to expand your business? (Yes, because that’s what Jabez was asking of God and it says God granted it to him. If you’re doing business God’s way, it’s not only right to ask for more, but He’s waiting for you to ask.)
3. What do the following Scriptures teach us about what God expects of us as stewards?
Gen. 1:26 ___________________________________________________________________________
Lk. 12:42-48 ________________________________________________________________________
Lk 16:1-13 _________________________________________________________________________
Titus 1:7 ___________________________________________________________________________
4. If God answers your prayer to expand your territory, what purpose do you think He has in mind? (More opportunity to touch individual lives for His glory.) Would you say then, that asking Him to enlarge that opportunity brings Him only delight?
Comment: Your home is the single most powerful arena on earth to change a life for God. Why wouldn’t He want you to be mighty for Him? So the prayer could be worded: “O God, please expand my opportunities and my impact in such a way that I touch more lives for your glory. Let me do more for You.”
5. If being a good steward blesses God and He in turn blesses you with more, what would you expect the outcome to be if you are a bad steward? Acts 5:1-11
The prayer of Jabez is a revolutionary request. Just as it is unusual to hear anyone pray, “God, please bless me” so it is rare to hear anyone plead, “God, please give me more ministry.”
6. Before we ask God to increase our border of influence, what do you think needs to take place in the heart? (To be willing for God to give you more work, more ministry, more opportunities of influence. You’ve got to be less selfish with your time.)
Illustration: Read pg. 37-39
7. What percentage of believers do you think shrink back from asking God to expand their opportunities of influence because they don’t want to be bothered? Why is that?
8. Which equation do you think is the one God honors?
My abilities + experience + training + my personality + my past = my territory.
My willingness and weakness + God’s will and supernatural power = my territory.
What’s the real difference between the two?
9. What do the following passages have to say about the above formula?
Phil. 4:13 ___________________________________________________________________________
Phil. 4:17 ___________________________________________________________________________
1 Pet. 4:10-11 __________________________________________________________________________
2 Tim. 1:6-7 _________________________________________________________________________
10. Will God send someone to you whom you cannot help?
To pray for larger borders is to ask God to make an intervention on your behalf. How big is your faith? If you ask God to expand them just a little, you may not need Him. It’s when you thrust yourself before Him and ask Him to thrust you into the mainstream of human need, which is beyond your ability to accomplish, (Lord give me more ministry for You!), that is when your are going to see God working mightily to expand your borders! And that’s exhilarating!
God always intervenes when you put His agenda before yours and go for it. Make no doubt about it…if you have prayed for God to expand your borders, you will recognize the handiwork of His hand. You’re going to be in the front row seat of an exhilarating ride! Do it for His glory!