Divine favor will change everything about any man on living on this earth. His favor was extended to us to bring us out of our misery into an abundant life that transcends our imagination.Sadly, many believers function on the first step of favor and never enjoy the fullness of the second dimension of God’s favor in Christ.
A Prophetic duality
The Prophet Isaiah, by the Spirit of God, saw the lives of those who will be touched by the favor of God.
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to ………To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. (Isa. 61:1-3 KJV)
Notice the last part of the scripture above- “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness”. There is a glorious exchange that takes place, where God takes what sinful man had and gives him what heaven has. The prodigal son gives us a graphic illustration of this process. When he return to his father in his disheveled state, the father commanded that is torn and worn clothing be removed and replaced by a gorgeous apparel from the father’s house.
Divine favor begins with dealing with what sinful has done, and leaves us with where God wants us to be! He brings us out of sin, so that He might take us into His glory!
The atonement for sins
This is the first aspect of divine favor. First, God takes from us sin, and all what came with it from our lives. Christ came to deal with the sin of humanity.
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (Matt. 1:21 KJV)
Forgiveness of sins is the first wonder of our salvation. Christ paid the full price of the sins of the world, and now offers forgiveness to every one of us. There is no more condemnation, guilt and shame for us to carry for our sins. Sin has been paid. And God did this for man freely, and lavishly. Many believers still do not comprehend the greatness of the miracle of the forgiveness of our sins. In fact this is part of the blessing of Abraham that the rest of the families of the earth will be blessed with.
Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. (Rom. 4:7 KJV)
Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindred’s of the earth be blessed.Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of y (Acts 3:25-26 KJV)
The touch of divine favor begins with getting rid of sin, and the scars it has left on our lives.
Brought into glory!
But there is more to grace than the forgiveness of our sins. It is unfortunate that many believers live on this earth with only this revelation of grace. Divine favor did not end at forgiveness of your sins. In fact that is where it began! The thrill of Christianity is not in the forgiveness of our sins but in what God has brought us into after our sins are forgiven. Grace dealt with our sin and brought us into the very life and glory of God! The glory is the experience of His life, holiness, presence, power, wisdom etc. It is the very experience of God!
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you ( 1Peter 5:10).
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, (2 Pet. 1:3 RSV)
It is vital to grasp this truth that grace came for this double purpose. He did not only take away the ashes of our lives. He gave us beauty in its place.
Dealing with sin was really not the ultimate end of Grace. It was a mandatory beginning. The destination of Grace was to bring man into the glory of God. We have not been called to spend our days battling sin on earth. We are babes if we remain in this dimension. As we mature in the things of the faith, we begin to reach higher. God wants to fully express Himself in us to the highest degree our earthly bodies can handle in this life. When we shall receive our glorious bodies, the full expression of the divine life through us will be seen. We will shine like the days with the glory of God!
Reach on! There is more to our faith in this present life than being forgiven of our sins or spending all of our days battling Satan and his demons. The glory is here and its getting brighter and brighter until the perfect day!
But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. (Prov. 4:18 KJV)
Divine Favor in Action
The story of the prodigal son gives us an excellent example of how God in His favor removes the shambles of sin from our lives and adorns us with the beauty of heaven.
“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”‘ “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’ “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet.And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began. (Lk. 15:17-24 NLT)
This is grace in action. Note the change of clothing. The ring on his finger and a new pair of shoes! Do not forget the party! The transformation of a sinner, worthy of nothing but rejection and judgement, into a gorgeously dressed son of the house! Can you imagine the drama that was going on as he was being dressed – his old tattered clothing being removed from his body and the best robe being put on him, with a ring, and a pair of shoes? Did you notice the word, best? He gives us beauty for ashes. The prodigal was ornamented with the beauty of grace. This is possible and can only be found in the wonder of Who Jesus is and what He did for humanity. How the loving Father is waiting for prodigals to come home, not to judgment, but to the beauty of grace!
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