These are my notes unedited from last Sunday: Sorry for the mess!
I want to help start a movement in your life today. I am going to dare you to take a step toward a life like you have never had it or remind you of the old days or take you even deeper than you have ever known!
You may not want that! (At least you don’t think you do. And yet your heart is awakened by movies and books that inspire heroism and valor. You long to make a difference!) Or you did once – but it got lost in minimalism and maintenance.
John Piper says it this way in Don’t Waste Your Life….
You may not be sure that you want your life to make a difference. Maybe you don’t care very much whether you make a lasting difference for the sake of something great. You just want people to like you. If people would just like being around you, you’d be satisfied. Or if you could just have a good job with a good wife, or husband, and a couple of good kids and a nice car and long weekends and a few good friends, a fun retirement, and a quick and easy death, and no hell—if you could have all that (even without God)—you would be satisfied. That is a tragedy in the making. A wasted life. (pg.45)
This next miniseries fits perfect with the three prayers we have been praying. And I want us to keep praying them and obeying what we hear! And I want to add a familiar prayer to those.
The Prayer of Jabez
Some of you just sighed. You just thought, “Wow, for real? That is so old. And man that was so overused and misused. I am not interested.”
I want us to read the prayer and talk about it.
1 Chronicles 4
Let’s look at it in parts:
1. Oh, that you would bless me indeed,
Indeed – 5!!!!! Capitalized and underlined
What does bless mean? Overuse and misuse. Bless missionaries and sneezes. “Bless this meal to our bodies and our bodies to Your service.” “Bless the gift and the giver.”
Basically, “fill me!” Eph 3 and 4 “filled with all the fullness of God”
Matt 7:7 Need to ask!
God’s disposition is to bless! God’s bounty is limited by us!
2. And enlarge my territory, (border, coast)
Don’t think Jabez wanted more real estate…more influence.
“This is how my Father is glorified, that you bear MUCH FRUIT.”
A life of minimalism is not for me! Just enough to get by….
Somehow there had been wakened in me a passion for the essence and the main point of life. The ethical question “whether something is permissible” faded in relation to the question, “what is the main thing, the essential thing?” The thought of building a life around minimal morality or minimal significance—a life defined by the question, “What is permissible?”—felt almost disgusting to me. I didn’t want a minimal life. I didn’t want to live on the outskirts of reality. I wanted to understand the main thing about life and pursue it. (pg.14)
“Give me opportunities to share your love and truth.” Then… “Give me more… ”
Out of comfort zone – Stretch my capacity!
3. That your hand would be with me,
Now it gets scary! “I need You Lord. I could handle my old life, but this one is crazy!”
“My strength is made perfect in your weakness” “OK, most gladly…”
“hand of the Lord” – Anointing/filling of Spirit (his control)
2 Chron 16:9 – For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.
The church is supposed to be a force for God in this world, not maintainers! For that we need supernatural anointing!
4. And that you would keep me from evil
Now you’ve done it! You’ve made the enemy mad. You’ve quit only shepherding your ‘four and no more’ and have ventured out of your comfort zone with God’s blessing and anointing! Watch out!
We don’t have to be afraid, but respectful. “Be sober, your enemy as a lion…”
This aligns with the Lord ’s Prayer, “Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil.”
Sometimes we cannot be kept from evil. There will be evil days and we must fight, but we still pray to be delivered from temptation and evil!
ARE YOU READY? Don’t answer cheaply!
All of March let’s pray this!