Friday, December 27, 2013

Back to the Favor

In a few days we’ll welcome in a new year. Reflecting back, what kind of year was 2013?

How closely did I keep track of all the events, changes, disappointments or celebrations that have come and gone over the months?

It wasn’t until reading my Facebook page year end review that I really took stock of what has been happening in my life in 2013.  Looking back I can see where the Lord’s favor has brought me through situations where nothing else would have.

The television evangelism world was saddened by the home going of Paul Crouch several weeks ago.  Reading the comments online about his life I clicked on to an interview he had made last December.  Mr. Crouch said that looking back on his entire ministry he could see the favor of God opening doors while closing others.  Every path he took he clearly could see God’s hand in each move, when in past times it was questionable.

These Things

There have been more times than I care to admit that I have questioned God and wondered why “these things” were happening to me.  The passage of scripture that I have posted on my refrigerator is one that I lean on often. 

Without this point of reference I could easily waver and lose faith, but it helps keep me grounded so that I stay in God’s favor during those times when I question what He is doing in my life.

“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”

The New King James version says it like this:

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.  Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!” (Psalm 27:13-14)

When we left our home state there was no way I could see that it was God’s plan for us.  Why would we have to leave everything and everyone we loved when things were just getting started? 

It wasn’t until 2010, six years after leaving home that I would begin to realize that God was indeed behind what looked to be heartbreaking events. 

As we learned to lean on the Lord and trust Him as our source for everything, “these things” that were tests and trials were actually points where God was trying to elevate us into new areas of faith.

The more people we met and talked to the more we recognized it was God moving on the hearts of man to bestow favor, kindness and generosity toward us.  It was God acting on His word because we were willing to follow the call on our lives.

Ain’t God Good?

There was an older lady of faith that had difficulty in breathing and was on oxygen.  No matter what she was going through at the time she would say, “Ain’t God good? 

I would look at her and wonder how can she say that, especially when I knew the rundown condition of her home, her lack of finances, poor health and being a widow.  Yet, she always found a way of praising God, and seemed to come through every trial victoriously. 

What did this lady know that I didn’t know about God?  Why is it that people seem to give her stuff all the time?  Mrs. Pierce learned about trusting God as her source and praised Him during the storms of life as well as in calm times.

She believed God’s promises and called them to His attention. I remember her doing it in prayer services, while we listened and learned about the favor of God on a person’s life.

God was good and that was it.  Anything that passed her path didn’t matter, because God would work it out for His good and hers.

We started professing the same thing in our church and as one would call out “God is good,” someone else would answer saying, “All the time.”  It didn't matter what was going on at the time.  Someone else or even the Pastor would shout out, "God is good," even in the middle of a sermon or song.  The congregation would respond "All the time."

Once you really get that down in your spirit, it’s easier to believe that something good is going to come out of this horrible situation that you might be experiencing. 

This is one reason why the apostle Paul told us to hold fast to our profession or confession to the words of the Bible that we speak.  Our profession leads to our belief or unbelief.  Changing the way you think in your heart will change the way you act to the tests in life.  Learning to respond to situations with confessions printed in the Word of God really does change the outcome of circumstances when you believe.  (Reference "Hold fast")

We need to simply confess the word and profess it on a daily basis.

The Goodness of God is Real

Our confession of the Word will take root in our soul when we do it every day.  When we believe God's Word is real, it will work in our lives.

Believing God at His Word will bring the manifestation of blessings and favor we need to carry out the plan He has for our lives.

In order to fulfill our task, we must have God's favor and blessings on our life.  We cannot complete our journey without it.

Last week our car needed more “healing” as I call it.  On Monday we needed to get some final details finished for handing out gifts on Tuesday. 

While we were at the grocery store the car began having major issues.  It had been making a noise and turned out to be the water pump.  It was so bad we prayed our way home.

These problems caused my husband to lose work and pay on Monday and Tuesday.  Instead of getting upset, with a smile on my face I simply said, “OK, Lord, how are you going to make this up? What are you about to do?”

The next morning when my husband was leaving for work there was an envelope with $40 in it on our front porch.  We were totally surprised by who turned out to be the giver, but not by what God had done to move on the person’s heart to do it. That made up for the time he missed on Monday, but what about the entire day on Tuesday, plus all the expense of the parts?

Thursday afternoon a gentleman told my husband that God had blessed his business that year and he was giving everyone that worked there a bonus.  My husband doesn’t work for the man, but contracted jobs for him.  He handed him a $200 check.  The amount covered all the car parts and his missed time.  The verse in Psalm 27 was real in our lives, as we saw the goodness of God in the land of the living.

Favor for Open Doors

Not everything went according to the way we would have liked this year, but I can tell you that God always provided a way.

You may be facing some of the most challenging situations you have ever experienced in your life.  Let me encourage you that God is still in the habit of opening doors of favor to His children.

As you begin the New Year, start it with favor on your mind.  Ask God to show you ways to bestow blessings on others so He can do the same in your life.

5 Things you can do:

1: Look for new opportunities to give where you didn’t in the past.  Places beyond your church where you give your tithes and offerings.  Ask God to show you where He wants you to sow a seed.

2.  Volunteer in an area outside of your expertise so you can truly learn to be a servant (otherwise you may think it is your skills and not God).  Keep in mind though that God does use us in our skilled areas to be of service to others as well.

If God is going to shower you with His blessings, He has to know that you will be willing to be a blessing to others.  We have to be willing to serve, give and bless at all times even if blessings don’t come our way or no one is helping you.  A servant’s heart must be toward God’s will and not their own.  He will exalt you in due time if you remain faithful regardless of the situation or circumstances.

3: Stop looking to people as your source and seek God for everything.  Although He does use people to be blessings, don’t come to expect them from the sources that you relied on in the past.  If we continually go to the same people to bail us out of a situation, then we are depending on them as our source and not God.  We really aren’t acting on faith then.

4: Be willing to walk through the valley with God so He can lead you to the mountain top.  Spend more quiet time with the Lord and get to know and understand His ways.  Sit back and watch Him work out a situation as you fully rely on Him.

5: Believe that the Lord is leading you into deeper paths along your faith journey as He shows you great and mighty things you did not know. (Reference Jeremiah 33:3)

It's time to return to God ... time to go back to His favor so the Kingdom of the Lord can be built.

The year 2014 is the year of Journey.  It will be one that brings great excitement and blessings for those who truly put their trust in Him as their source.  God will open doors of favor, opportunities you never would have imagined and He will take you to places that were not part of your plan. 

Remember ...
 God is good all the time, and all the time God is good!

God Is Good All The Time by Don Moen

Until next time, believe God for open doors of favor in 2014.


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Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Gateway Bible
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License.

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