Summary: God is working to expand His reign and rule. Open your eyes and life to the oppportunities He provides. Pray like Jabez, enlarge my territory.
This call is unabashedly challenges the reader to pursue influence. For Jabez, that meant enlarging his territory. In America today, there is a broader application: the idea that our relationships, our experiences, and our work can, and should, be caught up in the larger purposes of God. That’s a throwback to a more unpolluted ideology, which counts all of life’s activities as opportunities to respond to the Divine Call.
So, when we pray enlarge my territory, we’re praying enlarge the range of my effort your Kingdom; open new doors of opportunity, increase my influence.
Part of what is going on here is that God has a plan. God strategically places each of us to accomplish elements and roles of influence in the spreading of His kingdom. Our jobs, our neighborhoods, our relationships are all venues through which God can use our influence to expand the kingdom and enlarge his territory.
So, recognize your territory - the places where you have influence for the King. The settings in which you operate are the territories that God has given you to represent the wishes, the plans and objectives of His kingdom. Your territory is your mission field, your ambassadorship.
And now, God invites you to pray as Jabez prayed, ‘enlarge my territory.’ Ask God to increase the range, the width, the depth of the territory you are to patrol and serve for His kingdom. Give me more influence for you God. Give me more opportunities for you. Wrap up all of my life in your great pursuit of your creation. Use each and every moment of my life, every muscle of my body, every word of my mouth to further draw people into your Kingdom, your rule. Enlarge my territory.
This is no small thing you’re asking. What you’re asking for will demand much more of you than perhaps you’ve ever asked for. There are two demands you’ll immediately face when you begin praying for enlarged territory:
First, when you pray for God to enlarge your territory, I will need to grow in my faith. You will need for God to increase not only your influence, but also your ability and willingness to trust him and to rely on him.
Secondly, when you start praying for God to enlarge your territory you’ll have to give up your comfort zone. When God enlarges the realms of your influence, he will also enlarge your realm of responsibility. In addition to enlarging your arena of responsibility, he will expand your span of concern and care, requiring a greater maturity from you than ever before. And the more God increases your influence, the more responsibility you’ll face, the more maturity you’ll need and the more selflessness will be crucial to your life. When you pray for God to enlarge your territory, you are asking God to increase your ability to live with responsibility, with maturity and in self-sacrifice.
Listen to these words from Jesus, as rendered by The Message in Luke 14:33:
"Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it goodbye, you can’t be my disciple.” Luke 14:33