(1 Chronicles 4:10) 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.
Enlarge my territory… a phrase that implies a desire for more…
As we grow in Christ, and become increasingly more committed to His will for our lives, we begin to have the desire for more responsibility, bigger blessings, and a greater reach into the world. In fact, if we are truly growing, it’s a natural progression to have these desires, because we want to see the kingdom of God expand and become stronger. Furthermore, we want to be a PART of it! So we begin to ask the Lord to give us increase. However, we must understand the importance of being a good steward with the blessings that God bestows on us.
First: We have to relinquish ownership. Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” All that we have within our grasp is but a collection of gifts, given to us for the purpose of making the kingdom of God bigger…fulfilling our great commission. We have work to do, and every blessing is a tool…an avenue. “But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” (Deuteronomy 8:18)
Second: We must take responsibility. Owners have rights; stewards have responsibilities. We are are but managers of God’s great wealth and vast domain. He has given us dominion, but we must never forget that He reigns over us. His will and desires are what we are called and purposed to carry out, and that is no small undertaking. It’s important, and it matters.
Next: We have to be accountable. Just as the manager of a business has to answer to the owner, we will one day have to stand before God and answer to Him for the way we managed all that He entrusted to us as stewards. We will be held accountable for how we gave of our time, our money, our love, and our commitment.
Finally: We must work toward our reward. Colossians 3:23-24 tells us, “23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
When we ask the Lord for blessing and increase, and He grants it, we ought never to make the mistake of viewing that as reward. A good steward will instead add it all to the inventory, using everything wisely and carefully to magnify the Creator, all with the understanding that a greater and truer reward awaits in Heaven…one that is eternal and far more glorious than anything we’ve yet to see.
Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. (Revelation 22:12)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I understand that I am living on borrowed time and resources with a purpose to do Your will. I am Your creation, and as such I am Your servant. Help me to continue to grow and mature as a steward, and as I prove myself faithful with few things, I ask you to please…enlarge my territory. Amen.