Did We Mention Expansion?
"Jabez cried to the God of Israel, saying, Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and You would keep me from evil so it might not hurt me! And God granted his request." 1 Chronicles 4:10
"Great gifts mean great responsibilities, greater gifts, greater responsibilities!" Luke 12:48
For the majority of us, it's highly likely true to say, we'd like to see expansion in our lives, in some, if not all areas of our lives. Whether it'd be a pay increase, a job promotion, a bigger house, a larger sphere of influence, higher education, a bigger ministry or church, a more successful business, and the list could go on and on from there. What we oftentimes forget to take into account is that with increase into our lives also comes increased responsibilities and accountability.
The idea of more sounds really great, and I'm not saying it's not great, I believe it is, but more often than not, when we imagine increase being given to us, we neglect to consider there will be a process of learning how to manage our newly instituted level of increase. When we find ourselves not transitioning as easily or as swiftly as what our mind's eye had imagined, we might tend to consider it as failure. Let me reassure you, what you might be tempted to view as failure, is not. It's the process of growth and with growth there are awkward stages and unpleasant times, and possibly even some painful experiences. Growth is success. It's victory. It's conquering each step as it's presented, maybe not always at an all out run, but even at that, a slow & steady pace is still growth.
"Is there anyone here who, planning to build a new house, doesn't first sit down and figure the cost so you'll know if you can complete it?" Luke 14:28
It's important that we be not disillusioned with what it means to have more, or else it sets a tone for discouragement to set in. There is no room for discouragement in our walk. Discouragement causes us to lose sight of truth and the promises we've been given by the Lord. Remember, He gave us more because He knows we can utilize it with success as we continue to release it back to Him daily and allow Him to teach and expand us. He believes in us and has equipped us with all that we need to be victorious. It's more of us uncovering the tools He's allotted and distributed within us and discovering how to use them in the best and most successful manner.
We cannot have room for expansion in our lives without our lives capacity being stretched. Not always easy, but always necessary and worth it.
Imagine your physical body stretching. We stretch our bodies to become more flexible and more able-bodied to perform better, knowing we will eventually master it with greater ease. A little bit of stretching feels good because it's within our comfort zone. It gets our endorphins flowing into various body parts that make us feel a sense of life and energy charging through us. In fact, it kind of motivates us for movement, similarly the way the thought of increase does to our brain.
But on the other hand, when we want to increase our capacity of stretching beyond where we've been able to go, it may feel uncomfortable and even hurt somewhat. The pain is stimulated because we're going beyond the limits of where we've pushed our bodies to go to prior to this. That's about the time we say reality has set in. When the natural realm becomes greater than our heavenly perspective, we claim that as reality but what is important for us to apprehend is, the natural is merely a temporary state. The discomfort we experience in stretching our physical body, our spiritual person, or our stepping out of the comfort zone in whatever way it might be, is only a temporary time of transition before we step into the greater reality of fulfilled promises from the Lord.
Think of it this way; stretching may hurt for awhile, but it actually creates more mobility and freedom of mobility in the long run. Within time, the benefits of stretching will outweigh the pain that the body endured in the beginning and will show the productiveness of it all. Time is the key word. In due time what once was a struggle will become a piece of cake. One day, before we know it, we'll realize all the stretching and pushing ourselves to go a little farther past our usual limit, all worked together to take us straight into our goal/destiny. The seasons of stretching and maybe even a little pain that's involved in it truly did carry purpose and good fruit.
Be prepared to have those tent pegs moved farther out, any day now. That's part of what this season holds for us. Let's do all we can to keep our eyes on the goal, knowing that any stretching we may feel is ultimately beneficial. The kingdom of God is limitless, therefore let's allow ourselves to stretch that we may walk in more of it than what we presently are.
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