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. I Chronicles 4:10
Why is it that when you indulge in positive behaviors, expecting to receive positive outcomes, our loves ones and friends are quick to label us as fanatics? I have to admit I fall prey to this amazing phenomenon! When we hear that a person has drastically changed there diet, we say, “Oh My God, he is a fanatic!” If you share radical ideas, such as, no longer reading secular material and devoting all those hours to reading your bible you may be warned, not to be a fanatic. We are taught, balance is good. But we over indulge in so many areas, television, technology, eating, drinking, and sex. Usually when we devote extra time to bad habits there are no complaints, until you are labeled an abuser. When I was well over 200 pounds, no one called me a fanatic, just fat. It is my experience that you have to DO MORE, TO GET MORE! My favorite and most often repeated phrase I hear concerning the church is, “It don’t take all that!” Even in my exercise program, I am quickly told, “be careful. . . you don’t need to work out daily,” or “that is too much!” When directed by my coach to engage in 1000 sit ups, I myself quickly called him a fanatic and a few other choice words! However, today I have been thinking about increase. I have never heard anyone call Michael Jordan a fanatic. Nor have I heard these terms connected to Bill Gates or Donald Trump. I am sure that they spend hours a day perfecting their craft! Yet we refer to them as phenomenal, genius, creative, brilliant! I have to thank Coach Rasheed, for teaching me, DO MORE! I also thank his wife, Anita, for showing me that it is possible! I must do more! I now realize my teammate, Charlotte, was right when she said, “being tired is no excuse!” It is a hard pill to swallow because I am kinda lazy! The author of, “The prayer of Jabez” relays that he prayed Jabez’s prayer for 30 years! As a result he testifies to a different lifestyle. Sometimes I struggle to be faithful to a task for 30 minutes. Yet, I am always looking for the increase. The goal of work is to achieve a higher standard of living. The verse, “to whom much is given, much is required,” is starting to make sense. It truly means, if you know more, more is expected. I now know and overstand! So God, today I pray, help me increase in my time I spend with you! Help me become a fanatic about your word! Help me increase my love for your people. Most of all, help me treat my body like its your temple. Lord increase and stretch out my territory, while strengthening me to obtained the goals you designed for me!