God’s favor for all men, everywhere has come to us. The Lord stands with open arms of love and grace to welcome disenfranchised, broken humanity to Himself. And when we come home, He has a banquet feasts of precious things ready for us.
God’s favor is real
You might be tempted to thing divine favor is simply a religious cliche to make us feel better as believers. Favor is real and has tangible effects both on our present life here and now and on the life to come. Divine favor can literally change a man’s life overnight.
God has given to us a literal story that is a picture of divine favor to all men. It is the story of David and a man called Mephibosheth recorded in the the book of 2 Samuel.
One day David asked, “Is anyone in Saul’s family still alive — anyone to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” He summoned a man named Ziba, who had been one of Saul’s servants. “Are you Ziba?” the king asked. “Yes sir, I am,” Ziba replied. The king then asked him, “Is anyone still alive from Saul’s family? If so, I want to show God’s kindness to them.” Ziba replied, “Yes, one of Jonathan’s sons is still alive. He is crippled in both feet.” “Where is he?” the king asked. “In Lo-debar,” Ziba told him, “at the home of Makir son of Ammiel.”
So David sent for him and brought him from Makir’s home.His name was Mephibosheth1; he was Jonathan’s son and Saul’s grandson. When he came to David, he bowed low to the ground in deep respect. David said, “Greetings, Mephibosheth.” Mephibosheth replied, “I am your servant.””Don’t be afraid!” David said. “I intend to show kindness to you because of my promise to your father, Jonathan. I will give you all the property that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will eat here with me at the king’s table!”
Mephibosheth bowed respectfully and exclaimed, “Who is your servant, that you should show such kindness to a dead dog like me?” (2 Sam. 9:1-8 NLT)
As Mephibosheths, we have been “caught” by God’s favor because of Christ even when we were not looking for it!
The Year of the Lord’s Favor
There is no better life than living under an open heaven, under the God’s favor on the earth. We are more than blessed to be living in these days of the showers of God’s favor. . These days may appear the worst days to live in because of what is going on around us. But for those who have believed in Jesus Christ, it is the best time to ever live, and it is only getting better and better!
God in His invite wisdom has planned for a set time to pour out His favor upon all men.
Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come. (Ps. 102:13 )
The set time in God’s timetable of life has come to show His unmerited, unearned and abundant favor upon man.
The prophet Isaiah speaking under the Holy Spirit said .
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn. (Isa. 61:1-2 NIV)
The year of the Lord’s favor is the period of time during which God has chosen in His eternal counsels to bestow unmerited favor to man. It is not just one year, but an season of time. This period will be brought to an end by the onset of the “day of vengeance of our God”, during which period God will judge the world. God will, for certain, judge the world and those who choose to refuse the payment Christ made for sins will bear their sins themselves under the full wrath of God. In sharp contrast, during the period of the year of the Lord’s favor, God is not counting men’s sins against them but giving them an opportunity to find life
..That God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. (2 Cor. 5:19 NIV)
The scripture above means just what it says-God is not counting people’s sins against them. This is a large pill for some believers to swallow. God is not judging people’s sins in the year of His favor in which we are living now. He is in the business of saving, not judging men for their sins. He wants all men to come to the knowledge of the Savior. A time for judgment is coming. Natural disasters from a fallen earth or natural consequences of the sins of men are often mistaken for divine judgment against sin. When God will judge sin, heaven and earth will quake, and no human being will have any doubt those judgments were from the wrath of God.
It is the year of the Lord’s favor. It is our season to shine forth as stars illuminated by the brightness of God’s glory. It is His choice, and we are the vessels He has chosen. His favor will never cause a single soul to seek to live in sin-Never, ever. It will produce such freedom never before known, such passion for God, such release of His power and wisdom and such glory on earth!
You are Favored!
When the angel Gabriel announced the Word of Grace to Mary, the initial reaction was fear, as is often the case with angelic appearances to men. But angel quickly explained the meaning of what he just said to her
And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. (Lk. 1:28-30)
Mary found favor with God. What a description! The context, as presented above gives us the meaning of “finding favor with God”. Mary did not do anything on her part to actively find the favor of God. As noted above, she was in absolute surprise that she had found favor with God. She stumbled on favor.
In the Old Testament, the phrase “find grace in the eyes” if often being used to describe this process by which one finds favor in another person’s eyes.
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. (Genesis 6:8 )
The usage of the Hebrew word translated “found” in the verse above is ver informative. One of its meanings is to find something one is actively looking for. Ever had to look for something and then come upon what you are looking for? In the case of Mary above, it is obvious Mary was not looking for divine favor. She was busy going around preparing for her upcoming wedding! Another usage of the word is “meet by chance, happen to meet”. This is exactly what happened to Mary. She met what she was not looking for. She stumbled on favor, not by chance but by the Lord’s doing. This is the parallel of what has happened to the gentile believer,
What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. (Rom. 9:30-31)
The favor we have in Christ is the Lord’s doing. That is why it is to the praise of the glory of His grace. We are “victims” of God’s favor by His doing!
And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, (Rom. 9:23)
We are vessels of mercy, chosen of God!
Gentiles, who were lost, going about minding their business of walking in darkness and dancing their way to eternal perdition and having no plans to seek God had their paths interrupted by grace. They stumbled on the grace they were not even looking for and were changed for ever.
Favored before we knew it
We must therefore come to terms that the favor bestowed upon us was done ever before we knew how to ask for forgiveness of sins, get committed to church, pay our tithes and offerings or sing praises to God. It requires us to have the mindset of recipients, and not active participants in generating that favor.
After Mary found herself in favor she did not work for, was not looking for and was not even thinking about, the expectation was that she should simply receive and be glad. The song she sand following the realization of this favor tells it all, that grace leads to a blessed spontaneity of praise and worship to God. Grace is revealed instantly and leads to thank Yous! That is the receiver of mentality.
Stay away from this!
The Old Testament presents us with an interesting story that shows us the other side of trying to find favor. Rather than passively stumbling on favor, there is active attempts to prompt favor. We see that in Jacob’s life. He is about to meet his brother Esau whom he had grievously offended years ago. Jacob sent many presents ahead of him to Esau in an attempt to pacify his anger. Then they finally met and Esau said
… “What do you mean by this whole procession I met?” “To find favor with you, my lord,” he answered. (Gen 33:8 CSB)
Jacob sent gifts to find favor in the eyes of Esau. This is not the favor that we have in Christ. Can you picture gifts being poured into heaven from believers on earth in an attempt to find favor in the eyes of the Lord? Nothing wrong with the gift, but something wrong with the motive. Gifts of religious good works, church commitment, financial seeds, tithes, good deeds or even holy living and praise to God should never be used as an attempt to earn God’s favor. And the Lord is shouting in the Word written for us “you are highly favored in the Beloved!” “It is finished”. “You are blessed already in Christ”. The blessing of Abraham is already yours by faith in Christ! (Ephesians 3:14).
What a weariness and a waste to live attempting to duplicate Christ’s work. When the work on the cross becomes enough, then and only then do we enter into His rest in this life.It is the year of the Lord’s favor! Praise Him, and make maximize it! Do not take God’s favor in vain, by not receiving or accepting it. The set time to favor you is now! Praise the Lord!
Must Read!: What is a Daily Devotional?