The following post is a collection of excerpts from Mark’s sermon. Listen to the podcast for the full sermon.
The Bible says that Jabez was an honorable man and from this we can deduce that his prayer for blessing and an enlarged territory was not a selfish prayer. He was asking for blessing in order to be a blessing. His asking for more territory was so that he could have more influence for God. The word “territory” used here means “boundary”. He is saying that he wants God to expand the boundaries of his usefulness to God. Our motive for asking for more of anything from God is of primary importance.
The next issue we face involves these very important questions: how are the boundaries of our usefulness in God’s kingdom determined and what is my part in Gods plan to enlarge my territory? God expects us to use all of our natural ability and training and experience to be influential for Him. Sadly, when we do not use all of our natural abilities for Him he is not inclined to give us more spiritual authority or influence.
The Kingdom of God is not defined by human potential; it is defined by God’s supernatural power. We must go well beyond what is humanly possible in order for God to be revealed through our lives. This is what Jabez was praying for and this is what we should be praying for. We want our territory [our spiritual authority and influence] to be expanded to include the supernatural work of God.
It starts wherever you have influence, no matter how big or small. All of us have influence somewhere! Where is your influence? Friend? Girlfriend? Fellow workers? Employees? Wife? Kids? In your connect group? Church?
The most important place to start is where only you can be an influence. You are your wife’s only husband! You are your kid’s only father. You are your husband’s only wife. You are the only boss your employees have. You are your connect group’s only leader. What this means is that if you don’t exercise your spiritual authority in these relationships then someone suffers and it’s your fault!
It is very tempting to “despise the day of small beginnings”. Often we want great influence. God may have given you a huge promise of huge territory so it seems counter-productive to focus on being a supernatural mom when you know you are called to lead a national ministry to moms. It may seem pointless to focus on having a supernatural influence on your wife when you know you are called to lead a powerful men’s ministry. But this is the way God expands your territory – He starts from the center and pushes the boundaries of the circle outward.
There is no joy like being used beyond your human ability to join with God to do something supernatural.