Title: “OH, THAT YOUR HAND WOULD BE WITH ME”
Text: 1 Chronicles 4:10
If you recall our last lesson, it was about asking the Lord to enlarge our borders of influence…expanding our ministry or property so that we can make a bigger impact for the Lord. The subject was stewardship of what the Lord has given us. When you do that, the Lord is anxious to respond. He wants to expand your borders because He wants you to increase your influence for Him. And boy does it come! You may be experiencing a flood gate being opened right into your lap and find yourself overwhelmed.
Feeling like you have gotten in too deep, you might find yourself desperately crying out like Jabez (Yah-bates), “Lord, I can’t do this alone…I need Your help!” Thus, “Oh, that Your hand would be with me.” (1 Chr. 4:10) Sometimes that results in a plummet of your faith, and it needs reassuring that the Lord is going to assist you through all that He has brought your way. You may even doubt that you are the one for the job.
The feeling you are experiencing is called dependence. Another name for it is faith. In fact, the moment you stop feeling dependent is the moment you stop living by faith.
1. What are your thoughts about the parallel of living dependently and living by faith?
2. What needs to happen to shake the feeling that “I can’t do this” and proceed with faith?
Insight: As children on God, we are encouraged by our Father to attempt something large enough that failure is guaranteed unless God steps in. If there is an element of “I can pull this off,” then it isn’t by faith.
3. How many of the following examples fit this definition?
– Peter walking on the water
– Elijah and the contest on Mt. Carmel
– Abraham offering Isaac as a sacrifice
– David confronting Goliath
– On and on and on…
Comment: It’s frightening and yet exhilarating, isn’t it, to attempt something large enough that failure is guaranteed unless God steps in?! It goes against common sense, everything we know, and everything that previously gave us security. It you didn’t know better, you would think you were set up to look like a fool. Yet it’s God’s plan for his servants who trust Him.
4. What would be God’s purpose behind accomplishing all the seeming impossibilities? (To give Him glory and to reveal it didn’t happen by our own might.)
5. At what point does it dawn on you that you need God’s help in a project? (When you realize you have been given a Kingdom-sized task from God.) Do you find yourself trying all other avenues before you go to Him for help? What are your feelings about this, right or wrong?
Insight: To cry out for God’s hand to be upon you is to ask for His touch of greatness. You do not become great; you become dependent on the strong hand of God. Your surrender becomes His opportunity!
6. Who are we short-selling if we always jump ship when the project gets bigger than we can handle, or WANT to handle? Explain.
7. Living dependent upon God becomes exhilarating for your faith when you see God come through in ways that only He could. How do you coach someone to step out and do that who is frozen in fear of the unknown and the impossible?
8. Do you have a tendency to forget God’s awesome acts of yesterday when you get into a new impossible situation today? What do you suggest to remedy this? (Keep an answered prayer diary.)
9. What does 2 Cor. 3:5-6 teach us about this? (We are wrong to think we are sufficient by ourselves. God knows it and therefore wants to come alongside to make us sufficient.)
10. What percent of the average Christians get to experience the mighty hand of God working in their lives? Why not 100%? (They may think that is reserved for prophets & apostles, but not for them.)
11. What’s the difference between coming to the conclusion that you need the hand of God, and arriving at a point of failure (you’ve gone the wrong direction)?
12. What do you learn about the hand of God from the following verses?
13. According to Matt. 28:19-20 is there any loophole in the hand of God?
Comment: To speak or minister with boldness is a sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit. It happened again and again in the early church. His power is not diminished by His servants having to rely upon it for boldness. The only ingredient needed to experience His mighty hand is your willingness to be a vessel! Acts 4:13; 5:29; 9:27
14. After the early believers experienced God’s hand mightily upon them, they came to rely upon it like a bee does with honey. Acts 4:23-31 Notice how Paul wanted others to experience what he had experienced. Eph. 3:14-16
The bottom line is this: Are we ever going to fulfill the command of taking the Gospel to every nation if we don’t pray for God to expand our borders of influence and keep His hand upon us? How long will it take us by trying to do things on our own power daily? When will you start praying the prayer of Jabez every day?
“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” (2 Chr. 16:9)
Notice God is not scanning the horizon for spiritual giants. He is scanning to see who is sincerely loyal to Him. Your loyal heart is the only part of His expansion plan that He will not provide. Therefore…ask every day for the Father’s touch! Because for the Christian, dependence is just another word for the power of God!