Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked. – 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 [English Standard Version]
When you were born, were you named Pain-Maker or Grief-Bringer? Boundaries, destiny, and inheritance come hand in hand. Jabez’s mother’s expectations placed boundaries on him that would form his inheritance and his destiny. She saw pain so she professed pain, and her boundaries became his boundaries. Parents are powerful, but thank God they’re not God, right? They have power to project destiny over you, but with a single prayer God can change everything. And that’s what we see with Jabez.
Jabez famously and honorably prayed that God would abundantly bless him and expand his boundaries. It’s like he’s praying for God to fill his bowl and then make the bowl bigger. He goes on to pray that God’s hand would be with him. In other words, he was requesting God’s present favor and strength. He was inviting God into His life to be the power within his life. The statement “that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain” could be better translated, “keep me from evil that I might not cause pain”. He wasn’t praying for a painless life but for his boundaries to keep evil out so that it wouldn’t influence him to hurt others. He doesn’t want to cause anyone the grief that his mother professed over him. This is the final destiny changer, and God granted what he asked.
Jabez understood the following boundary principles:
- Our destiny is connected to our boundaries.
- God is the source of boundaries.
- God created boundaries in which to pour blessings.
- Only God can extend those boundaries.
- Boundaries keep us in intimacy with God.
- We need God’s favorable presence in order to steward the contents of our boundaries.
This past Sunday we introduced the basic principle of “boundaries”. If you didn’t hear the message or if you’d like to hear it again, it’s available on our Youtube page at Hedge: 1 Understanding Boundaries. This next Sunday, October 11th, we’ll be breaking into Lab Groups to discuss what we learned and how it applies to each of our lives.
Lab Groups are always a wonderful time for processing and applying what we learn, but also for building our relationships with each other around the presence of our Father God. I love hearing the feedback from the groups. Can’t wait! Join the conversation on Sunday!
Let’s grow together!
- 10/7 Zechariah 14, Psalm 131, Jeremiah 32, Philippians 3
- 10/8 Malachi 1, Psalm 132, Jeremiah 33, Philippians 4
- 10/9 Malachi 2, Psalm 133, Jeremiah 34, Colossians 1
- 10/10 Malachi 3, Psalm 134, Jeremiah 35, Colossians 2
- 10/11 Malachi 4, Psalm 135, Jeremiah 36, Colossians 3
- 10/12 Hosea 1, Psalm 136, Jeremiah 37, Colossians 4
- 10/13 Hosea 2, Psalm 137, Jeremiah 38, 1 Thessalonians 1
- 10/14 Hosea 3, Psalm 138, Jeremiah 39, 1 Thessalonians 2
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