This very second, as the breeze gently touches the velvety curtains cascading your window sill, millions of people around the world are down on bended knees, in front of their own velvety curtains, and they are asking God for the very same thing. Every one of them (and this might include you and I) is muttering the same phrase, and if not aloud then in the silence of a meditative prayer, hoping that somehow the ever-loving Father would catch a whiff of the sweet aroma of expensive offerings of praise & thanksgiving, and that He would finally answer this one true deep request today.
"Bless me indeed, Father. Enlarge my territory."
Jabez prayed it. Abraham sought after it. Joseph dreamed it. Joshua acted upon it, he saw the territory and took the city. David sowed into it. Solomon asked with style. Ruth gleaned in it. Even Jesus sent his disciples outside their familiar territory to make disciples of all nations, thereby enlarging their limited scope of things.
The absolute truth is that blessings will surely come with an increase in space, or an enlarged territory. Blessings come with the freedom to stretch farther than you've ever stretched before. Or with the ability to go beyond your greatest imagination. Or to do what you formerly thought was impossible. The blessings of God can cause you to be fatter (not literally). To be more than the man or woman you ever dreamed of.
♖The Secret:But what's the secret behind the purpose of an enlarged territory (blessing)? I was just reflecting on the prayer of Jabez and it occurred to me that in those days territories were not for bringing chairs outside and having a party. They were more for planting lots of vineyards and farm crops large enough to feed a fortified city. If a man was known to be "blessed," he usually was the owner of large farmlands.
Farmlands (and enlarged territories) represent fruitfulness: sowing seeds and reaping plenty, using the harvested crops to collect new seeds and then sowing again into the same land for the next season, owning livestock and selling farm produce to both locals and foreigners, and so much more. That's the reason why people wanted to be "blessed" and own "enlarged territories." It wasn't just to feed their families, it was for a greater purpose. People did not just pray for enlarged territories, they understood that a bigger land meant a bigger responsibility and a higher level of vision. The bigger the territory, the bigger the level of fruitfulness required.
|[Image by Mauro Luna on Flickr]|
♖There's So Much More:
Today, we have such a limited and myopic view of "being blessed." We live in a society where people ask for blessings through drive-thru windows. We think the phrase is only subscribed to owning big houses, cars, money, husbands, wives, kids, a white-picket fence (or a tall one with barbed wires), two dogs and a cat and a garden in the backyard. If you only think of material things when you think of "being blessed," may God enlarge your mind for this phrase goes beyond material things to the depths of a "productive mind."
I agree that these things are blessings, but you see, there's so much more where that came from. When God blesses, He is not saying, "take dear, I give you this gift today, when it finishes come back and ask me for another one." He is saying, "take this and turn it into a miracle." He blesses to sustain us for a lifetime. He gives something like 5 bread and 2 fish and expects these to feed 5,000 people. He grants us wisdom so that we can become innovators and creators (made in the likeness of Himself).
What I'm trying to do here is to inspire and provoke you to enlarge your mind-set of asking for a blessing. When you say, "Father, bless me indeed; enlarge my territory," don't pray for just a one-time blessing. Pray for a major investment that can sustain not just yourself, but the people around you for a very long time. Pray for Godly wisdom in every single thing you do and in every action you execute. Pray for excellence. Pray for zeal. Pray for passion. Pray for the strength to endure.
You were made for more than one-time blessings. You were made to be a seed planted for generations to come. Your blessings are not to be used one time and disposed of like disposable plates and cups, no, when God blesses you with something, it is for your entire POSTERITY. You have a deeper responsibility to take it and reproduce. It's like the story of the talents over again. The one who was given 5 went and made 5 more. The one who was given 2 took them and reproduced 2 more, but the one who was given 1 went and buried his own into the ground. What good is a territory if you cannot turn it into fertile ground for more territories to be constructed?
Dear Lamp Readers, may the Holy Spirit expose to you the true purpose of your blessing so that you will in return bless nations and generations with it. May you not pray just for a cup of water but for several wells to provide a continuous supply of water. May our minds be broadened today to pray for enlarged territories not with the old mind-set of getting scraps or bits and pieces from His foot-stool, but with the mind-set of getting the full ingredients to turn a vision into a harvest field that yields fruits year after year.