Friday, July 22, 2011

In search of the blessed life....

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about what it means to live a "blessed" life. What does that word blessed really mean after all? We say it all the time: God Bless you, I hope you have a blessed day. I feel so blessed to live in this country.

In the Webster's Dictionary, blessed is described this way: Divinely or supremely favored, fortunate. Sounds pretty good to me, so far, so good.

A few years ago, a dear friend of mine sent me a wonderful little book, packed with a tremendous amount of powerful information. The name of the book is "The Prayer of Jabez" with a subtitle "breaking through to the blessed life." I glanced at the book a few years ago, but somehow I got sidetracked and admittedly never really embraced it until I re-read it again just recently. What a heavenly little book this is!

Let me tell you just a bit about Jabez and his blessed life. Jabez was only mentioned one time in the Bible. He's not a Moses or David, or Matthew or Paul. His story and the verses that mention him are included within one of (what I think) the most boring books in the Bible. The 1st 9 chapters of the book of 1 Chronicles are exactly what the book says, they chronicle the tribes of Judah and include nothing but genealogy beginning with Adam and proceeding through thousands of years to Israel's return from captivity. Talk about snore city.  This Bible Book can really put you to sleep by the the end of the first page.

But 44 names into chapter 4 of 1 Chronicles, the roll call breaks and you hear these simple verses:

"Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers and his mother called his name Jabez, saying "because I bore him in pain." 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 harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request. 
                                                                                                                               1 Chronicles 4:-9-10

Wait a minute. What do those two simple verses mean to those of us living today? How can some guy named Jabez, whose name meant "I bore him in pain." have any impact on life in 2011?

Well, I believe that this regular guy, Jabez, stood out and rose above his humble beginnings. He asked, and God delivered. It's that simple. But can it really be that easy?

Jabez story was so important that the powerful two verses describing his life are right in the middle of the roll call for the genealogy of Israel, then it picks back up as if nothing happened. But I think a lot happened and I think those two verses which ask for the Lord's blessing can mean a world of difference in our lives today, just like they did for Jabez all those years ago.

When is the last time you asked for the Lord's blessing? I mean on you and your life? Not for Him to bless the food you are eating. A lot of us pray over our food at the dinner table. But asking for the Lord's blessing, specifically on us, is a totally different thing.

I pray all the time for my needs and the needs of my family and friends. I interceed on their behalf, asking the Lord to watch over them, protect them, heal them, or help them through whatever crisis they may be going through at that time.

But, I don't really ask the Lord to bless me and "enlarge my territory." (code for "give me more" nowadays.) Doesn't that seem kind of self-serving? How dare I ask God to give me more?

But if you look further in the Bible, their are other verses that talk about God and His blessings for us:

"Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 
                                                                                                   Luke 11:9

"The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace."                   
                                                                                                   Numbers 6:24-26

                                           Lord - "That you would bless me indeed."

I want that. I want God's blessings to be poured out in my life. I want His power to be released in my life, so I'm gonna really begin asking for it. I'm not holding back. Not anymore.I've always felt God's Hand on me, ever since I was a young girl and I've always felt like I've been protected and guided by His will. But now, I've decided to follow Jabez lead and starting praying for God's blessings to be poured out upon me, everyday. I am going to ask him to enlarge my territory, and bless me indeed." And, with the God of the Universe at the helm, who knows what will happen?

As Bruce Wilkinson, author of "The Prayer of Jabez" says,

"We're all crying out for the wonderful, unlimited goodness that only God has the power to know about or give us."

That is what I want! I want to claim it everyday, so that God can use me in amazing ways to His glory. I want God's peace and God's abundant blessings, and I'm going after them with everything I've got. I'm expecting a windfall and more miracles because that is the way our God works!

My verses for today are above in red.

My prayer for today:

Dear Lord God:

Thank you Lord, that I can come to you and humbly ask for Your blessings on my life. I stand in awe of your Majesty and Grandeur and that I am able to ask something like this of you. I'm just one little person in this big world. But Lord, I know you want to bless me and you want me to ask you for your blessings. So, Lord, I am asking. I am asking you to bless me indeed. You tell me to ask, and that is what I am doing. I am asking that you heal me so that you may use me for Your Glory! Pour out all Your blessings on me and on my life and the life of my family. Please Lord, don't hold back, shower me with your blessings.

In Jesus Name I pray,

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