For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield (Psalms 5:12).
There are times in our lives when we go through difficult challenges that can have us feeling burned out or overwhelm. If we are not careful our focus can be on what we don’t have enough of or dissatisfied with what is left in our hands. We can even find ourselves uncertain about what God has called us to do because we feel we have missed the Lord completely. However, when we find our heart is not focused on the Lord and His promises we need to turn back to Him and His unmerited favor.
There are several ways that I could attempt to describe how we are to depend on God favor but for the purpose of this blog I will share three important ways on how we can walk in His favor. The first way we can walk in God’s favor is by faith and acknowledging that it is Him that cover us and protect us. The second way that we can walk in God’s favor is by being obedient to Him and recognizing that His favor has you and me in the right place. Finally, a third way we walk in God’s favor is to know that we have a responsibility of how we are to handle God’s favor in our lives.
God’s favor keeps you protected
We live in a very dangerous world today. When we turn on our television to the local news we hear about the tragedies that have happened to people. These tragedies could be from car crashes that happen on the parkway late at night, a town devastated by an F5 tornado or another unjustified shooting of a person of color killed by a police officer. However, despite all of these things that are happening, God’s favor is there to protect His people. It is God’s favor which helps to protect you and me from dangers that are seen and not seen even when we travel from point A to point B. It is God’s favor that protects you and me from dangers that come from the outside and dangers that threaten to attack us from the inside. Our enemy is not flesh and blood but he is the devil and his demons that comes to steal, kill and destroy (Ephesians 6:10-12). When the devil tries to come against you and me by trying to use people, things or circumstances, the Father has provided us a shield which is His favor that surrounds us. In Psalms 5:12, the Psalmist declared “For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield”. When the devil tries to break you down emotionally through fear, depression, and hopelessness, it is the Father that has given us the shield of faith which will not allow the weapon of the enemy triumph over you (Psalms 41:11).
God’s favor has you in the right place
When we wake up to a brand new day directed by the Holy Spirit, there are times where we can find ourselves in a place that we are trying desperately escape from. This place could be a hostile work environment, a neighborhood that we lived in or even a church that we no longer want to be a part of. We pray and ask as the Lord for His guidance on how to get out of the situation but the response we have gotten from Him has either be silence or an answer we find difficult to accept. If we pray and ask the Lord and His response is silence, it does not mean that God is hard of hearing or He is not interested in answering our prayers. However, the reason He has allowed us to experience His silence is that the Lord desires to bring change in us first before He changes our situation. If the response to our prayers is a word we find difficult to accept, the Lord desire is not always to deliver us from things but there are times He will deliver us through them.
When we are in a place that we feel that we have to get away from, we have to be willing to walk in God’s presence and favor and not our own wisdom. We may feel that the winds of adversity have us bending in every direction, however, the Lord made us like palm trees, we may bend but we will not break. When Joseph was lied on and accused of raping Potiphar’s wife, it landed him in a place where he did not want to be. However, because God’s presence, mercy, and favor were with Him, Joseph was in the right place which gave him favor with the keeper of the prison and in the purpose of God for his life. Are you in a place where life has knocked you down and you trying to get up? The place you are now my brother is nothing more than an opportunity for you to walk in God’s favor and get into position to walk in His purpose for your life.
And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.
But the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it (Genesis 39:20-22).
Our responsibility toward God’s favor
And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the Lord, and also with men (1 Samuel 2:26).
One of my favorite scriptures that speak about having favor with God and with men is found in Proverbs 3:3-4. The scripture speaks about our responsibility in holding onto God’s mercy and truth, when we do this we will have favor and good understanding with God and man. As we grow in our relationship with the Father, we have the responsibility of not only walking in God’s favor but how we handle God favor in our lives. As the Lord allowed Samuel to grow as a young man in his prophetic calling to God’s people, there was a responsibility on how he was to walk in God’s favor in his life. The way the Prophet Samuel walked in that responsibility before the Lord was that he had to be willing to grow up in the things that God was calling him to do. I believe that part of his growth involved how he was able to live a consecrated life before God and being apart from those that he loved such as mother and father. At the same time of being apart from his love ones, he had to be willing to walk in his ministry in the Lord while being raised in the household of Eli who was the priest of the Lord. To be able to do this I believe Samuel had grown to understand that his training in ministry came from the Lord and the lessons he learned what he should do and the things he should do. I believe Samuel was able to see how Eli’s sons behaved with the people as priests of the Lord and how the Lord was not pleased with them and Eli failure to correct them.
As you grow and walk in your relationship with the Father you too have a responsibility on how you handle God’s favor in your life. As leaders, we have to grow in the ministry God’s has called us to which means being separated from people, places, and things because it is part of God’s process of consecration for our lives. The Lord knows about those that we love and there will be seasons in our lives when we can spend time with them and there will be times when we not. To live a consecrated life unto the Lord does not mean that we are live inside of a bubble, however, what it does mean that we are to live as godly ambassadors representing His presence in a world while others choose to reject God grace and mercy.
Finally, our God is able to provide us with His favor with people who may be for us and people who are against us. When the Children of Israel left the land of Egypt and from the bondage of Pharaoh, the Lord gave favor to the Israelites with the Egyptians who gave them their silver and gold (Exodus 12:36). The Lord is able to have people in the world, people who fight against us or who do not share our Christian values to give us the resources that we need. As the Lord provided for individuals like Daniel, Nehemiah, and Esther to stand before kings, He can also give us favor with people in authority so that the issues that plague our nation can be addressed by us (Esther 8:4-6). As God favor operates in your life, you have the responsibility to walk in His favor in a way that brings Him honor, which brings Him glory and all of the praise that He only deserves.