Published on November 21, 2016
1. Walkingin the favor of God– 21st November2016 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight”(Proverbs 3:5–6). The best definition of the word favor is “demonstrated delight.” The favor of God can be described as “tangible evidence that a person has the approval of the Lord.” When we favor someone, we want to be with him or her. We delight in him. We connect with her in a way we don’t connect with everyone. We usually favor peoplewho also favor us. In the same way, God shows favor to the ones who delight in,connect with, and give honor to Him. We can read from Isaiah 66:2, “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.” We can see also from2 Chronicles 16:9,“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”.” To be “perfect” toward Him means we seek His favor more than we seek the favor of anyone else, even ourselves. The omnipresent God we believe in seeks out those who loveHim and love His commands so that He can bless, guide, and protect them as we can learn from Psalm 37:23,“The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him”. We can also learn fromProverbs 3 that we must learn to trust in the Lord without depending on our own understanding: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight”(Proverbs 3:5–6).But we must bare in mind that this does not mean that everyone who is prosperous or healthy has found favor with God. We can learn from what is stated by the prophet Jeremiah when he asks God: “You are always righteous, LORD, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease? (Jeremiah 12:1).Further to above we can learn from Psalm 37:7, “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes”. We must also knowthat nor doesitmeanthat those whomthe Lord favorswill neversufferdifficulties. Many people inthe Bible hadthe Lord’sfavorbut alsosufferedhardship.We canlearnthisfrom 2 Corinthians 6:4, “Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses” and again fromActs 14:22,“…strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.” Again from 1 Peter 2:19,“For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God.” Heroessuch as Noah,Moses,Daniel,andMary were favoredof the Lord, buttheyalsostruggledwithdifficultieslike anyone else. Those who are favored of God know that God is with them and that nothingcan happen to them apartfrom His good purpose as stated in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose”. We can also knowthat their struggle to remain true to Him will notgo unrewarded as we read in Matthew 10:42,“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” In addition to outward evidences, God’s favor can be felt in the spirit.When we have the favor of the Lord, we rest in quiet confidence that our sins areforgiven as said in Romans 4:7, “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.” Once we receive forgiveness we also fall within Gods plan of us:“Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name (Psalm 86:11).We can also knowthat He is there for us at all times as we learn from Matthew 28:20,“… and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” We walk with God as with our closestfriend.We begin to see and appreciatethe littleblessingsthatGod provides for our enjoyment—blessings that we once took for granted. The Lord invites us to seek His favor.When we seek His favor,we humble our hearts before Him, seek Him for
2. Himself,not justfor the blessingsHegives becausewe can learn from Jeremiah 29:13,“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart”. We also need to arrangeour lives around lovingHimwith all our heart, soul,mind, and strength as we can learn from Mark 12:30,“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” And as we can read again in Luke 10:27, “He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” In the gospel of Matthew we can learn when Jesus tells us: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”(Matthew 6:33). One way to obtain favor from the Lord is to seek wisdom. Proverbs 8:35 says,“For those who find me [wisdom] find life and receive favor from the LORD.” Then again in Psalm 5:12 says,“Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.” Findingfavor with the Lord keeps our lives and thoughts pure because we desireto pleaseHim more than we desireto pleaseourselves.We can learn when in Hebrews 11:25 says of Moses, “He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.” It teaches us that we have to be the same…we need to bear our trustin God and not on anybody else! When the samecan be said of us, we know we have found favor with God and His delightin us will be demonstrated.