Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Favor of God

This word – FAVOR – can change your life. In the Old Testament it means grace, charm, acceptance, goodwill or desire. In the New Testament, “favor” is from the Greek word “Charis” or “Grace.” It is the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life; the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace. Lance Wallnau may have defined God’s favor the best when he said, “Favor is the special affection of God toward you that releases an influence on you, so that others are inclined to like you, or to cooperate with you.”

Favor is different from grace, although it comes from the same root word. Grace is undeserved, unmerited. But the Bible is full of instruction about how we can obtain favor. Often I think we believe that God’s favor is reserved for the giants of the faith, i.e. Moses, Joseph, Ruth, Nehemiah, Mary, Paul or John. These luminaries we know God granted favor to but we also realize that we are not in their spiritual class. We need to remember, however, that God's favor is not reserved just for the gifted of the flock. It is available to all of us no matter our stature. But how do we get it?

There are many Scriptures which teach that favor is obtained by the righteous, “For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield” (Psalm 5:12). “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth” (Deuteronomy 28:1-14). “When a man's ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Proverbs 16:7).

There really is no magic formula when it comes to God’s favor. He bestows it on anyone who favors Him and His commandments. In Matthew 6:33 we are told to put the kingdom of first and “all these things will be added unto you.” These “things” are referring to our physical needs – food, water, clothing and shelter. So we see that God will continually bless our lives even down to our basic needs IF we put His kingdom first in our lives. And I think this is where most of us struggle. The cares and trials of this world seemingly make it impossible to put the things of God first, yet this is how we obtain His favor. Of course, this makes perfect sense as God wants a relationship with us not just a token hour of worship each Sunday. He wants what is important to Him to be important to us.

I have found in my own life that as I have walked in obedience, God will meet my needs and the needs of my family in ways I would never have expected. Just this past week, I had a friend who I have only known for a few months give me bags of clothes and toys for my daughters because her daughter had outgrown them. I can’t even begin to express the gratitude I have toward this woman as we are not in a financial position to be able to afford to buy such things right now. This is just a simple example but I found a wonderful list of what God’s favor can do in your life. I have included it below. I hope it is a blessing as you realize all that God wants to bestow upon your life as you commit to following Him.

What God’s Favor Can Do in Your Life
1. Produce supernatural promotion and increase (Gen 39:21)
2. Bring restoration of everything the enemy has stolen (Exodus 3:21)
3. Bring honor in the midst of adversaries (Exodus 11:3)
4.  Produce increased assets (Deuteronomy 33:23)
5. Give great and unusual victories even against impossible odds (Joshua 6:20; 10: 9, 20)
6. Give recognition and promotion even when you seem to the least likely one to receive it
(1 Samuel 16:22)
7. Produce prominence and preferential treatment, favor and kindness (Esther 5:8)
8. Get petitions granted, even by ungodly civil authority (Esther 5:8)
9. Change rules, regulations, even laws if necessary to your advantage (Esther 8:5)
10. Win battles you did not even have to fight because God will fight them for you (Psalm 44:3)
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” - Jeremiah 29:11

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