Friday, March 3, 2017

Favor in Times of Nothing

It’s 7:50 p.m. and I’m just sitting down to write while trying to eat my dinner at the same time.  I’m so ready for a quiet rest and another cup of tea. 

Although the past few weeks have proved to be productive, they have also been full of “nothing” in the way of oodles of excitement.  That was about to change in a matter of minutes; soon after I’d think back on the times when nothing seemed to be happening. 

Welcome new friends this week from:
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USA Hialeah, Three Lakes & Vero Beach, FL; Jeffersontown, KY; Reisterstown, MD; Sebewaing, MI; Burnsville & White Bear Lake, MN; Winnemucca, NV; Smithtown & Suffolk County, NY; Chambersburg & Latrobe, PA; Washburn, TN; Maurertown, VA; Penns Grove, NJ; Koshkonong & Warsaw, MO ; Pearl City, HI; North Wilkesboro, NC.  

I am so thankful for your visit and hope that you come back each week to participate in the weekly challenges.  Join us in our new series as we spend time in the study of Daily Favor Prayers. 

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This Is Your Life 

For the past two weeks it seems we’ve done nothing more than get up, eat, work and sleep.  The days have been in overload with caring for rescue cats with specific needs, and this doesn’t include all the other things that need to be done in preparing for the spring holidays or getting the garden ready. 

Hours pass with the scooping of poo, spew and hairballs with intervals of putting on gauntlet gloves to give medications to the aging brood of castaways before the cycle starts all over repeating itself.  Surely this isn’t what “real” people do in life; their days must be jam packed with excitement, at least they boast as if it were so.   

If you’re a parent I can see you laughing already … this is your life, minus the hairballs (I hope so anyway)! 

Hoping for Answers 

It was Tuesday, well actually it was 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning when we were about to have prayer before going to bed.  Lately, no matter how hard we tried, we just couldn’t get to bed before the wee hours of the morning. 

Walking into the bedroom I noticed three baskets full of clothes that needed to be folded.  Of all the times for hubby to be kind and attentive … he was a good husband retrieving the laundry from the dryer.  For once I wished that at least one load was still in the dryer so I wouldn’t have to face it until the next day. 

Pleased with himself, he sat on the edge of the bed folding and sorting the clothes alongside of me.  Surprisingly he was pretty alert and a bit of a chatty Cathy for that time of night. It’s usually the other way around. 

Our conversation consisted of how our regular “routine” had been extremely active, while quietly wondering where God’s favor could be seen.  We’ve been praying and hoping for specific things to be manifested by now, but nothing …

“But I keep praying to You, Lord,
hoping this time You will show me favor.
In Your unfailing love, O God, answer my prayer with
Your sure salvation.”  (Psalm 69:13 NLT) 

Unusual Weather We’re Having 

Recently I was reminded of an expression the Cowardly Lion said in the Wizard of Oz: Unusual weather we’re having ain’t it?” 
 
The type of weather we’ve experienced in America for late February and early March has been strange regionally.  Although it is evidence to the signs of the times revealed in scripture, it’s not exactly one that we would think of as God’s favor. 

We enjoyed being outdoors with temperatures in the 70’s but by nightfall it was back below freezing. With extremes like this it causes events to happen that we aren’t used to in our area. 

Unknown to me, my husband was first alerted about “strange activity” in the weather when a text came to his cell phone at 9 a.m. with concerns of a tornado watch until 3 p.m.  Later that evening, another text came stating it was extended until 9 p.m. with The National Weather Service also posting a severe thunderstorm warning along with heavy downpours of rain, strong sustained winds and quarter sized hail.  

As we finished putting away the articles of clothing another text came through extending the watch until 4 a.m.  As he held my hand hubby prayed over the storms and rebuked them in Jesus' Name.  He had been praying and taking authority over them since the first alert earlier that day.  The March lion had begun to roar and our prayer seeking “hope for favor” was about to be tested to see if it was cowardly. 

Dealing with Fear 

The house was really quiet and the animals were still; not even the heaters came on that night. Preparing for bed we could hear the winds slowly becoming strong and steady as if someone was turning up a sound volume at the opposite side of the city. 

Then our street came alive with our neighbor's possessions as they blew across the road crashing into vehicles, trees and fences.  A large ice chest came to a thudding stop as it rested against a van.  It sounded like plastic bottles rolling around the front yard outside the window making a bang as one hit the glass. 

Off in the distance we could hear the loud and powerful thunder rumblings with lightning flashes steady and fierce.  Embarrassingly I confess that I was upset with my husband’s prayer, because I felt he wasn’t using his “forceful” voice like usual.  His words weren’t effective I thought because the winds picked up force rather than being punched out at the eye of the storm.  Dear hubby just went to bed leaving me to deal with my fear. 

A Prayer for Favor 

Now I knew better, but since I wasn’t feeling that great physically my emotions were trying to overtake what I believed.  I suppose that’s never happened to any of you strong in the faith people right?  

What in the world was wrong with me?  Come on girl, get a grip!  By faith I needed to take hold of the Word and not give the devil any foothold.  

With the storm in full force I reached for my Bible and began thumbing through the Psalms.  At that point I had my trusty memorized verses, but they weren’t working for me.  I have no idea why, suffice to say they just didn’t bring me the comfort I needed and expected from God’s Word. 

Even though I know God doesn’t always give us evidence of what He is doing, I felt myself leaning on how King David felt when he cried out to God for a sign of His favor on the situation.   

“But You, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
Look down and have mercy on me.  Give Your strength to your servant; save me, the son of Your servant.  Send me a sign of Your favor.”  (Psalm 86:15-17a NLT) 

A Sign of Favor 

Flipping from back to front of my Bible, a page turned by itself and landed on Psalm 63:6-8.  It was the Holy Spirit showing me that God’s favor is continually in affect for those who seek His face, even when it’s not visible in the natural eye.   

We don’t need a sign to know God is working on our behalf.  We have His Word … and that’s enough. 

I lie awake thinking of You, meditating on You through the night.
 Because You are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of Your wings. 
I cling to You; Your strong right hand holds me securely."
(Psalm 63:6-8 NLT) 


Daily I pray for God’s favor of protection claiming Psalm 91 as my authority through Christ Jesus.  The Lord will cover us with His feathers and shelter us within His wings during times of terror.  His faithful promises are our armor and protection. 
 
In my conversation with the Lord all of a sudden I envisioned a picture that I had loved from the internet.  It was of a swan with her wings covering her babies and then my eyes landed on the next two passages of scripture.  

The verses depict the before prayers and after song of praise when God’s favor showed up in David’s life. 

“O Lord, I have come to You for protection; don’t let me be disgraced.  Save me, for You do what is right. Turn Your ear to listen to me; rescue me quickly. Be my rock of protection, a fortress where I will be safe.  You are my rock and my fortress. For the honor of Your name, lead me out of this danger.”
(Psalm 31:1-3 NLT) 

“I love You, Lord; You are my strength.  The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my Savior; my God is my rock in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me.
I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and He saved me from my enemies.
(Psalm 18:1-3 NLT) 

God’s Shield of Loving Favor 

As soon as I finished reading those scriptures I heard this noise like Batman’s cape (can’t explain it any other way) swooshing over my head like a cover.  My peace was restored and I rested in the shadow of God’s wings that surrounded me in His shield of loving favor. 

“But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing joyfully
praises forever. Spread Your protection over them, that all who
love Your name may be filled with joy. For You bless the godly,
O LORD, You surround them with Your shield of love."
(Psalm 5:11-12 NLT) 

The New King James reads:
With favor You will surround him as with a shield. 

Waiting for the next clap of thunder, I noticed something. The storm seemed to have stopped at the end of our street. Yet the wind was still blowing, but it was as if the thunderstorm had met up with another force that wouldn't let it proceed any further. 
 
 

Peace and Favor 

When it tried to come closer I put up my hand commanding the storm to stop and be put out of commission not letting it come near our dwelling.  It continued to flash its lightning and roll its thunder, but made no headway. Not long after it ran out of energy and left just as it had when Jesus rebuked the storm.  

“And He (Jesus) arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

And He said unto them: Why are you so fearful?
How is it that you have no faith?”
(Mark 4:39-40 NKJV) 

Jesus showed us in Mark 4:39 how to use His Word to calm the storm, but He doesn’t stop there.  The Lord goes on in verse 40 asking the disciples why they were afraid and had no faith when He had given them authority and power over the storms of life from the enemy. They should have spoken to the storm as He taught them. (Luke 10:19) 

In saying this Jesus was also telling us that we too are able to take authority over any kind of storm whether it is one of nature or events caused by the devil, and they have to obey what is spoken by us in the name of Jesus.   

That’s what happened when my husband prayed. He used the authority given by Jesus and spoke to that storm.  It had to obey and my husband was confident that God heard His prayer. 

Frankly I don’t know what my issue was, because I trusted in what my husband prayed as truth.  However, something was unsettled in my spirit. 

When I called on the Word of God it obeyed in a different way through comfort and affirmation of Who God is to me – My deliverer.  Both actions were a result of God confirming His promises of peace and favor to those who believe Him.
 

This Week’s Challenge:
Relax in the Nothing Times 

I realize that each one of you have different things going on in your life.  Some of you are so busy with caring for your family that you can’t see which end is up or an end to the non-stop daily routines.   

Many of you are experiencing horrific situations and even face life threatening circumstances that you can’t imagine how you will escape. 

Then there are those of you in the middle … you’re pressing forward but nothing seems to be happening.   

The commonality here is that we all want that “sign of favor” from God. Like David, in prayer we keep hoping that this will be the time the LORD will show His favor and answer our prayers. 

I’d like to challenge you this week to think back on the times when you thought nothing was happening, and then God made a way through His favor on a situation. 

Relax in faith that God is working on something in the midst of your nothing times.  He is always aware of what is happening and will provide whatever is needed by faith.  Take joy in the times when life presents itself “routine” knowing that God is taking care of the tough stuff so you can do what you need to at that moment. 

Memorize scriptures that remind you God is your refuge and strength.  Know that when you call out to Him He hears your prayers, and the favor of God will surround you no matter how difficult things look. 

Use the authority Jesus gave you when you accepted Him as your Savior over the works of the enemy regardless of what kind of “storm” it is.  The power is in your mouth through speaking God’s Word. 

Right now my husband is sound asleep. Nothing much going on and that’s alright knowing that God’s peace and favor is at work for me no matter what is happening in my life. 

It’s 12:25 am on Friday and I’ve just cleaned up another “spew” …  

Thank You Lord that what looks like “nothing” is always working along with Your something. 

 
Peace and Favor Rest On Us by Kurt Carr & Singers 

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Until next time, nothing is something when God’s favor is on it! 

“I will show you favor and give you peace.”
Jesus Christ 

*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy. 

Note: Emphasis is given in some scriptures to show clarity or understanding and is not to take away from the inspirited Word of God. 

When used, the words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives. 

Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness.
 

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