."Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my territory!...." - 1 Chronicles 4:10
He is mentioned only once in a brief description in the Old Testament, yet what he says and what his life bespeaks could fill volumes. He was a man whom God saw as worthy of a request that had significant consequences for him and his family. His name was Jabez. Here is how the Scripture describes him:
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, "I gave birth to him in pain." Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let Your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request (1 Chronicles 4:9-10).
When you think of territory, you probably think of land or some area in which you have dominion. Jesus often spoke about giving responsibility based on what we do with the little things first. Jabez must have been a very responsible person. God describes him as honorable. Jabez must have understood what it really means to be blessed by God. He was a man who knew what it meant to press into God and ask for God's favor with passion. God saw the heart of this man and gave him his request. His borders were enlarged! He lived a life free from pain. Imagine that!
The only reason God will enlarge a person's territory is that He knows that person will use it responsibly. He will steward what is given in light of God's Kingdom. God truly wants to increase our territory to have greater influence in the world around us. That territory can mean personal influence and/or physical territories.
It is rare to have a life without pain. Pain is often necessary to mold us and shape us. This is the only exception I have seen in Scripture. Jabez must have been quite a man with incredible integrity and purity of heart.
Are you this kind of person? Can God enlarge your territory and entrust you to use it for His purposes? Ask God today to enlarge your territory. Ask Him to make you the kind of man or woman who is worthy of such trust.