This new year’s number lends itself to all sorts of interesting ideas and comparisons. And, as with any new year, comes the idea of New Year’s Resolutions.
A friend recently used I Chronicles 4:9-10 as the basis of a Bible study/devotional, and the minute I read the verses, I knew that would be my prayer (or resolution) for this new year as well as this new decade.
In the midst of several chapters of “so and so was the son of so and so”, the Lord plops a two-verse story of a godly man named Jabez. The section of Jabez’s prayer I claim for myself is: “Oh, that You would bless me and expand my territory.” Jabez prayed for several other weighty blessings and since nothing is too difficult for God, He answered Jabez in the affirmative.
Now if you have not made a New Year’s resolution or if you scoff at the thought, please do consider Jabez’s prayer and making it your own. For me, personally, I’m not anticipating acquiring land or houses. I would consider expanded territory to be good book sales (“Lissie’s Story” should be out this month) and increased ability to write interesting material, doing it well.
My personal “territorial expansion” could also include ministry interaction as I lead a Bible study group and just listen as friends come to visit over a cup of tea. An “out of my comfort zone” territorial expansion might include visiting with people on the bus, for instance, and sharing the hope God has given me. However, expanding your territory can have all sorts of meanings and lead to many interesting adventures.
Bruce Wilkinson wrote a little book, “The Prayer of Jabez” where he speaks at length on the subject. However, if you are still mulling over a worthwhile goal for this year of 2020, I recommend you read and meditate on Jabez’s story in I Chronicles. In the meantime, during this new year, may we all be blessed with 20/20 vision--spiritually, mentally, and physically.