In my previous post I pointed out some of the things in life as human beings we tend to be comfortable with, though not all are wrong, but I was particular in pointing out that while God’s blessing can sometimes make us very comfortable with our life, it is imperative that we do not let that type of comfort encroach into our spiritual life.
Now, how do we move out of the Comfort Zone? And not become complacent spiritually? I think the answer can be found in the life of Jabez in I Chron 4:9-10 we can see some facts that can help us to move out of our Comfort Zones, both as individuals and as a church. Let’s notice these facts as we think about, Moving Out Of Our Comfort Zone.
The Life and personality of Jabez reveal a lot about his character and about his desire to rise above the ordinary in his walk with God.)
His Place In Life – The opening few chapters of I Chronicles is the genealogy of the nation of Israel. For the most part it is a collection of “begats” broken only by a few insights into the lives of a few of the more notable people such as David. When we come to Jabez, we are confronted with a man whose life is like an oasis in a dry, barren desert. Most of the others simply state that they begat sons and daughters and that they died, it appears that Jabez wasn’t content to be like everyone else. It turns out that Jabez was a giant among pygmies. Like cream, the life of Jabez rose to the top. He was a real somebody in a sea of nobodies!
There are very few among us humans who rise above the crowd. There are very few who leave an indelible mark on the world. Most of us are content to live like everyone else around us. But, isn’t it sad to think that your life and mine might be condensed to a few “begats and then he died”? Wouldn’t it be a tragedy for your life to come down to no more than a few lines on a tombstone?)
His Problem In Life – His mother named him Jabez. This name literally means, “The Son Of My Sorrow; Pain; Affliction; He Will Cause Pain.” Many people would take a name like that and figure they were doomed from the start. They would do everything in their power to see that they lived up to their name.
It doesn’t have to be that way! We have the power, through the Holy Spirit, to break free of the chains of our past. Just because everyone thinks we will fail, doesn’t mean that we have to. Just because we were taught some bad thing growing up doesn’t mean we have to live that way now. Just because our family was a certain way; we were raised a certain way; or we have a certain reputation; does not mean we have to remain that way forever! All I am saying is that we have the ability to rise above ourselves through the power of God, 1 Cor. 15:10.
His Performance In Life – The Bible says that Jabez was “more honorable that his brethren”. This simply means, “he was worthy of more honor than the rest of his family”. He just looked at how they were living and decided that he could do better! Jabez was not remembered as a great leader, prophet or preacher. He did not make his mark on the battlefields of life as a great leader of men. His name is remembered because He was a man of prayer. His name is remembered because he was a man of God in a godless day!
When will we learn that we do not have to do like everyone else? When will we understand that the Lord has made us an individual and we do not have to fit into the crowd nor do we have to please anyone but Him? (1 Cor. 10:31)
This information regarding Jabez merely demonstrates that he refused to be forced into anyone’s mold. He was determined to live for the Lord, in spite of what everyone else did. This should be the heart’s desire of every child of God!