Summary: We cannot manage the bigness of life without God’s hand upon us.
1 Chronicles 4:10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, "Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!" So God granted him what he requested.
If you are a parent you probably have heard the words, "don’t let go!" Whether it was your child learning to ride a bike, walking along a ledge, or in the dark … those words sound familiar.
Maybe you’ve said those words at one time or another in your life. Finding yourself in some difficult or confusing situation you simply want someone to hold on to you. It’s a secure feeling.
Jabez up to this point had prayed:
· To be blessed … beyond what he could get for himself.
· For the enlargement of his territory … so as to live larger than life.
Jabez now realizing he could not manage the "bigness" of the blessing and extended borders he prayed for now requests of God that "Your hand would be with me."
· Jabez understood the necessity of God’s hand needing to be upon him.
· Jabez understood the availability of God’s hand.
· Jabez understood that without God’s hand his ability to live and work beyond his normal borders would be hindered.
When you start seeking the blessings of God you have to remember that with them you have to seek God in the blessing.
· The hand of God is the presence of God.
Joshua 4:24 "that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever."
· The hand of God is the Holy Spirit working in us.
Acts 11:21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
Scriptures reveal to us that the "hand of the Lord" can either be with us or against us.
God’s Hand Against:
1 Samuel 12:15 "However, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you, as it was against your fathers.
God’s hand can bring or be:
· Calamity … Judges 2:13
· Heavy … 1 Samuel 5:6
· Fury … Isaiah 51:17
God’s Hand With:
· Merciful is God’s hand …
2 Samuel 24:14 And David said to Gad, "I am in great distress. Please let us fall into the hand of the LORD, for His mercies are great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man."
· Granting is God’s hand …
Ezra 7:6b The king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.
· Encouraging is God’s hand …
Ezra 7:27-28 Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, who has put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem, and has extended mercy to me before the king and his counselors, and before all the king’s mighty princes. So I was encouraged, as the hand of the LORD my God was upon me; and I gathered leading men of Israel to go up with me.
Jabez wanted God’s hand with him … if that is your prayer you must seek God to keep His hand on you to keep you, dependant, desiring and devoted.
1. Keep Your Hand on Me: To Keep Me Dependant
Living in an independent world makes it hard to live dependently.
· Independence says, "Keep your hands off me!"
· Dependence says, "Keep your hands on me!"
2 Corinthians 3:5-6 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Sufficiency = ability
· Ability to manage and maintain the blessings of God comes from His hand.
· Insufficient on our own … no ability aside from what God gives us.
We all have the tendency to live thinking we do not need God is everything area of our life.
We like our "m&m" life. As long as things are manageable and the fears and risks are minimal we think we have things in hand.
Bruce Wilkinson says, "The second your not feeling dependent is the second you’ve backed away from truly living by faith."
Jabez knew he needed the power of God lifting him up … working in him … blessing others through him … therefore he prayed … keep Your hand on me.