Don't Box Me In
by Lady Patricia Houston | January 3, 2014
There are many situations in our life that make us reflect upon our lives; a birthday, a death, a birth, a loss of something that meant a great deal to us, harsh words from someone we love. We really begin to reflect when we are in the midst of trouble and it has our attention. We begin to try to find a way out of the pain or avoid the damage because of the trouble.In Psalm 9:9 the psalmist writes that “The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.”
He also says in Psalm 27:5 “For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock”
Through His Word he makes promises and he allows us to make requests…. I want to talk about a familiar passage of scripture concerning Jabez… where the request is made…. “That God would enlarge his Coast.”
1 Chronicles 4:9-10 (KJV)
9 And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow.
10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.
When I reflect on my life I see the hand of God may be you are right where you thought you be but where I am I don’t think I could have thought of but I see His hand with me all my life, I see how he worked to keep me from evil even when I kept running toward it. But I can see like Jabez that his request is being manifested in my life and my coast is enlarging. I would bet if you look you could see it too!
It has become easy for many to tell the stories of our sorrows and more and more difficult for us to tell about victories. For these stories have become a fabric our lives and we can tell them with great flare, with comic relief, and or to evoke a response to meet our needs from others. This has become a box that holds us within the boundaries of not or just enough! Look at your neighbor and tell “Don’t Box Me In!”
Society, the world and sometimes our neighbors have created and projected these outward signs that will tell us and them that we are living blessed and one of those ways has become how materially blessed we are. As soon as we think we know the signs of being blessed in our prayers we begin to include those material things. Gone is the deliver me from evil and in its place is the big screen HD TV. Our testimonies has become all about what God has blessed us with that we can see and not the sin that he delivered us from that you can not see! Look at your neighbor and say “don’t box me in”.
And because of it we find ourselves walking in lack and not enough, there is a struggle with budgets and bills and yet we are rich in our relationship with Christ, supposedly overflowing with love that covers sins, have the authority to use the name of Jesus and possess the Holy Spirit who provides comfort. We are the answer to what is happening in our own lives and this World! But we live in the box!
It’s time to venture outside of the box … says “Don’t box me in”….
Acts 3:2-10 (KJV)
2 And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
4 And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
10 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.
Money could not answer this man’s problems, could not heal his disease, could not make him whole! Somebody had to help him out of the box!
God wants to pull you out of the box so that you can pull somebody else out. Tell your neighbor don’t box me in. You see as people we find ourselves looking to other to give us identity and too help us define who we are, what our lives will look like, and who we should have in it. We should be looking to God to define us because his vision is so much larger then theirs or ours.
Our plea should be for God to enlarge our life so we can make a greater impact for Him. Our prayer much like Jabez should be for more influence, more responsibility, and more opportunity to make a mark for the God of Israel.
I am writing to remind you….. to renew your mind and don’t let others or yourself think you out of what he is trying to do through you! Use these 5 steps and get yourself out of your box!
- Remember it’s about His plan for you.
Matthew 9:37 (KJV)
37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
Matthew 9:38 (KJV)
38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
- Acknowledge God
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
- Give the Power back to God.
Deuteronomy 8:18 (KJV)
18 But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
- Ask God for his definition of Abundance for your life.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Ephesians 3:20 (KJV)
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Proverbs 10:22 (KJV)
22 The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
James 1:5 (KJV)
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
- Then pray the prayer… not for things… but to be used by him. See Jebez heard from his mother that he was born out of sorrow… He could have taken that box and lived in it… but he believe in God!
Luke 11:9 (KJV)
9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
Remember : You didn’t chose Jesus he chose you……
John 15:16 (KJV)
16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
Lady Patricia Houston
(adapted from sermon 12/29/2013)