The Bible says that your gift will make room for you in Proverb 18:16; the prayer of Jabez talks of enlargement in 1 Chronicles 4:10, but have you ever wondered how that happens? Can we really stand to be blessed? Could we go through the process of being tested to move into the broad place? We often times think that if we do the right thing there will just magically be an open door of opportunity that we are to just walk into with ease. Don’t you know envy, contention, and opposition will be present when you begin to experience the blessing of God in your life? The bible never says it would be easy, and many times I think we don’t even recognize the time of shifting into the broad place because of the opposition that we are encountering. Often times we allow envious people, contentious situations, and opposition to causes us to stop short of the next place of greatness the Lord has for our lives. But in fact, it is exactly the tools intended to shift us into it. A great example of this is found in Genesis chapter 26 with Isaac.
In the midst of a great famine Isaac obeyed God and went to dwell in Gerar, but because of the principal of sowing and reaping even during the time of famine He reaped 100 fold what he’d planted. He became great because of the blessing of God. Not only was he great; He showed evidence to the fact that he would keep on expanding into even more greatness. The blessing of God caused the men of the land to become envious and fearful of Isaac so they closed off his wells and the king told Him to leave from among their mist. He left there and went to the Valley of Gerar. He dug again the wells of His father and dug a well in the river bed finding a well spring of living water, and again the Philistine shepherds were dissatisfied with Isaac. They contended with him asserting their claim to the water. Isaac once again had to move on to another supply. So, Isaac once again dug a well and the Philistines opposed Isaac which means they were more antagonistic, combative and hostile in their treatment of Isaac and his herdsmen. For a third time Isaac was forced give over his water supply to the Philistines to dig again. However, now he finds himself in a “Broad Place”, having room, experiencing enlargement.
We look at this story and focus on the warfare to get to the place, but I look at it and see the fact that Isaac was so blessed the former supply could not maintain; neither could it contain his blessing. Isaac was never meant to remain in that land; just as Abraham he was to sojourn or temporary dwell there. It is like that land is a birthing ground for greatness; just as Abraham multiplied and became great through the birth of the promised seed Isaac in that land; So did Isaac multiply in the blessing of God. And just as Abraham outgrew the land so did Isaac. But neither was meant to live there continually and in order to get them from the place of comfort in the blessing they had to experience opposition. God allowed them to experience the same struggle in order position them to move to the next place God has ordained. Not only that; Isaac came out with the testimony of how much more God was going to expand Him in this place saying “For now the LORD hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.” – Gen 26:22 (KJV)
You know what is even more amazing. Immediately after all this struggle God took Isaac to Beer-Sheba which is translated well of an oath. This is the well dug by Abraham for which covenant was made with Abimelech as a witness that Abraham dug the well so there would be no contention with the servants of Abimelech and the servants of Abraham. Basically this well was legally Isaacs and no one had the right to try to fight with him over it. It is in this place the LORD appeared to Isaac and made him this promise: “I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake. And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac’s servants digged a well.” – Gen 26:24-25 (KJV) which brought forth water.
Interestingly, Abimelech came to Isaac to make a covenant of peace with him because he saw the blessing of God on Isaacs life and did not want Isaac to retaliate for being sent away. Isaac did so because he had no reason to be at odds with these men, he was in his place of blessing. He did not need the former supply they’d fought over because the Lord supplied for Him.
I challenge you use this as a lesson to be applied in your life. Learn how to recognize the hand of God at work during your times of struggle. Understand people’s negative emotions and actions towards you are not personal; they are based out of fear of their needs not being met on some level. You will be fought for what is yours, and even when it seems you’ve had to give up something, know that God has an even greater plan in store for you. Experiencing enlargement may come by way of struggle, but to be able to look at this Broad place and see the potential God has given you; to experience your full potential knowing God is with you, blessing you, and causing you to succeed, this must be one of the greatest testimonies one can live! It must have been for Isaac because it caused even his enemies to come make peace with Him. Allow God to process you through to the Broad Place. The reward is worth much more than the struggle.