Stepping out into what God has promised is sometimes harder than the hype. Seriously, a million “what if’s” go through your mind.
I was reminded yesterday about my own father. I’m thankful to have a great relationship with my parents, especially my father. To this day, he goes out of his way to make sure we are blessed, comfortable and provided for. I know when my dad promises me something, he will deliver. I don’t sit there thinking “what if he forgets”, or “what if he was just joking, or changes his mind”. I know he won’t, so those thoughts don’t even cross my mind! Dad always comes through!
I realised my Father in heaven is even more so stubborn with his promises. (Yes, I called God stubborn.. stubbornly in LOVE with ME!), and if He has promised me victory, healing, prosperity (the P word – get over it please), goodness, blessing, protection, then without any worry or anxiety on my part, I know He WILL bring it to pass.
I was reminded of Jabez. This guy was named such because he brought great pain at birth to his mother. Can you imagine being reminded of that all your life?! In the same way, people speak words of condemnation, discouragement, failure, curse, over us each day. It’s tough to shake off. When bad news comes, we huddle up straight away and speak out the worst possible result of that news. Then we pray and ask God to avert disaster. So back to Jabez, he didn’t live according to his name, or let that get him down. There’s hardly anything mentioned about him, but obviously the two verses that are mentioned about him in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 are significant enough to be included in the Bible, that I believe we should take note:
9 There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez[d] because his birth had been so painful. 10 He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request.
Basically, he just straight out asked God. “Bless me, be with me, protect me”. Wow. I’ve heard it said many times “God helps those who helps themselves” – whilst it’s not a scripture as many believe, I think it bears some truth, in that, we need to make the decision ourselves to trust God’s word, and His promises, to see our lives blessed. I heard it said recently that life is not about a faith/work/family/ministry balance. It’s about an integration of faith into our family/work/ministry. There’s a major difference – and outcome! And with that in my spirit, I’m stepping out!