“I would ask God for more space because my brother won’t leave me alone a lot of times,” says Jenny, 10.
Jenny, I recommend that your brother talk with Kevin, 9, whose territory-development plan includes “being nicer to my little sister and not being a showoff around people.”
Most of us have never considered enlarging God’s territory in people’s lives by giving them psychological and physical space. You don’t hear the phrase “stumbling block” much, but it’s a graphic picture in the Bible of what we can become. One of the goals in all relationships should be to do no harm.
“I pray that God would enlarge my territory by being nice to people who are different than I am,” says Marshall, 12. Now there’s a challenge. Instead of avoiding people who differ from us in skin tone, culture or mannerisms, let’s see if we can appreciate the differences.
An incredible New Testament command says, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (Philippians 2:3). Expand your territory by applying this Scripture!
Good relationships in life begin with getting along with your parents, says Natalie, 9: “I would ask God to help me not have an attitude with my parents.” Having a bad attitude with your parents will definitely shrink your territory. I experienced this shrinkage many times. My parents called it “being grounded.”
Speaking of attitudes related to parents, Devon, 9, has got it going in the right direction: “I’ve got a messy room, and my mom cleans it. God can enlarge me by helping my mom out around the house.”
It might be fun to organize your territory just to see the expression on your mom’s face when she opens the door to your room.
After you expand your territory at home, why not take some ground at school, says Jacob, 8: “I would pray that God would enlarge my life by having a heart for education. I would enlarge my life by being smarter and making straight A’s.”
Many times we have to do things for which we don’t have a heart. For many kids, school is one of those things. It’s not easy, but we can pray that God will change our hearts. Many people work at jobs that are not exciting or fulfilling.
The Lord Jesus said that even a cup of water given in his name will be rewarded. You can do any dull job with enthusiasm, as if you were an executive vice president for the Kingdom of God, Inc. Remember, God said he would expand your eternal territory by rewarding you for whatever you do for him. Imagine the peace you’ll have in doing your job for the Lord.
Eternal life is a free gift received by faith in Christ alone, but rewards are earned. “You can’t take it with you” is a well-known cliche. However, you can send it on ahead in the form of eternal rewards by doing whatever you do as unto the Lord.
“I would ask God to enlarge my life by asking him to enlarge my love for him,” says Michaela, 6.
Experiencing God’s love in a deeper way will expand and transform your life more than anything. The journey into that vast territory of God’s love makes every other trek look minuscule by comparison. It’s a journey that transforms the heart from which all of life flows (Ephesians 3:17-19).
Think about this: God wants to enlarge your territory.
Memorize this truth: “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord, you will receive the reward of the inheritance” (Colossians 3:23-24a).
Ask this question: Are you in a place spiritually where God can expand your territory?
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Bible quotations are from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
COPYRIGHT 2006 CAREY KINSOLVING