He Is Able

He Is Able

Oct 26, 2017

by Pastor Michael Spearl






Pastor Michael Spearl had a passion for science and engineering early in his life. But after earning an MS in Electrical Engineering, and working and teaching in that field, God redirected him into a new direction working for the kingdom. Pastor Michael says, “My passions have changed. Now, I teach about Jesus and disciple others.” He also had the opportunity to study seminary classes at Columbia International University. He enjoys pastoring Union Station at Dunedin SDB Church in Florida.

Do you feel that God has something for you to accomplish in your life? Do you desire to do your part to help make a better world? If you follow Jesus, the correct answer to these questions is yes because the Holy Spirit has planted a desire, a passion within you to be about God’s business.

There are many stories of godly people in the Bible with a passion to be about God’s business. One short story is found in 1 Chronicles 4:9–10. This story is about a man named Jabez who cried out asking God to bless him, to keep him from harm, and to enlarge his territory. The result: God answered his prayers. We are clearly told that God granted his requests.

When I was a young Christian, I would have considered it selfish, maybe even arrogant to ask God to “enlarge my territory.” I thought God did not approve of prayers like that. I thought prayers like that were offensive — that God would not be pleased, as if success was a worldly pursuit.

But this short story tells us that God listened seriously to Jabez and that God granted his request. So, if God answered the prayer of Jabez, are we to believe that He would also answer a similar prayer from us?

The correct answer is again, yes. God promotes our activities — especially those that are beyond what we can do on our own. It is God’s nature, His power, and His provision that are being demonstrated. The world will take notice when it sees God’s kindness and His people blessed, especially when it sees something happen that can only be done with His help. People need to see God at work.

When our passion is to serve God and to be a positive influence for His kingdom, it is right for us to ask God for success. God needs successful engineers and teachers and businessmen and tradesmen. If we are working our job or building our business God’s way, then God will answer our prayers to “enlarge my territory” — because our work and our business represent God. Our business is His territory and He wants to bless us to enable us to touch the lives of others living in our communities. God is pleased when we ask Him to use us to bring glory to His name; He is pleased when we use our success to share the gospel message with others.

And don’t think that “enlarge my territory” is a prayer reserved only for the younger generation. Recall that at the age of 85, Caleb, who 45 years earlier had stood firm with Joshua in the Desert of Paran, was not ready to retire, nor was he content with the status quo. He asked for more territory. He said, “Now then, give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke on that day…” (Joshua 14:12).

Another good territory story is the one about Nehemiah who was the cupbearer for King Artaxerxes of Persia. The Jews, who had returned to Jerusalem decades earlier, were facing annihilation from their surrounding enemies and Nehemiah desired some time away from his job and enough supplies to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls to provide safety for the people.

So, Nehemiah prayed, boldly, repeatedly, day and night culminating in his prayer that God would grant him success:

“O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king. (Nehemiah 1:11)

Amazingly, it pleased the king to send Nehemiah to Jerusalem. Nehemiah went with the king’s favor, an army escort, and with the funds and supplies needed to make the wall-rebuilding project a success. Nehemiah knew why the king showed him such incredible favor. Nehemiah said it with his own words. It was “because the gracious hand of the Lord was upon me.”

(Nehemiah 2:8).

Indeed, God is able to change hearts and minds.

Now for a few Thankfulness in Action stories from the South Atlantic Association of Seventh Day Baptist churches. A few years back, I was having a conversation with Sister Marlene Campbell from the Southeast Atlanta SDB Church. She asked for prayers concerning their church building project. She also commented that the members of the Southeast Atlanta Church were committed to make their desire for a community worship center come true; they were all-in; they were ready to sacrifice whatever was needed to make it happen. God answered their prayers “to enlarge their territory.” Today, they are thankful to have a beautiful worship center that can host 250 people for an association meeting.

A few months back, I was speaking with sister Marie Ward from the Edgewater SDB Church. Their church has embarked on an ambitious building project. She mentioned how expensive the project is and that they are using a pay-as-you-go approach to build their new worship building. The project is underway, the walls are up, the roof is on, and Sister Marie marveled and praised God for the significant volume of funding that had materialized — seemingly from nowhere.

This year the Union Station SDB Church at Dunedin, FL, (formerly Bradenton SDB Church) celebrated with thanksgiving because its members were able to purchase their own worship center. But it only happened after they prayed like Jabez and Nehemiah and asked our great Father in heaven to enlarge their territory and grant them success.

The West Palm Beach SDB Church owns land outright and is in the process of having architectural and engineering plans developed for their future worship center. They too are praying that God would enlarge their territory believing that God’s gracious hand is upon them.

My challenge to you: look at your own situation. Is there someone who needs to grant you favor if you are to carry out a successful ministry and follow God’s plan? “Grant me favor” and “enlarge my territory” are words that we all need to pray. Start praying these words now and see what God can do through you. Our loving God is able and willing to make you what He wants you to be.


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