Friday, September 27, 2013

Requesting and Releasing Favor

As a Christian, I am continually at the mercy seat of God for requests of blessings, favor, forgiveness and whatever brings me into His presence.  It’s something every believer does or should do if God is a vital part of their lives. 

I can't speak for others, but I want to live blessed; even more I want to be a blessing to others.  Staying blessed allows God to keep using me as a vessel for His purposes, and that requires me to continually respond to His calling regardless of my feelings in the situation.  That also means my faith is in a testing mode daily.

*What's that sound?  Read my special memo at the bottom.

The Envelope Please!

 Let your requests be known” is something I spend much time on with God on a regular basis.  After all isn’t that what prayer is all about?  I’ve learned that I’m not the only one who petitions for something they desire.

We received an unusual appeal on Tuesday. “The Favor of Your Reply is Requested!” was printed on the front of a large white envelope.  It was from an investment company asking us if we would favor them over other firms, with our income.

My husband and I both looked at each other and smiled as he said, “You can use that on your blog.” I tore off the front with the message, and tucked it under a stack of papers ... you know, just in case he happened to be correct.
Right away it got me to thinking.  Overnight I tried to process what that statement actually meant in the company’s eyes and if God was trying to get something through to me.  Well, of course He was, who was I kidding?

Release of Favor Calling

Earlier in the day I received an urgent phone call asking me to pray for a person concerning a situation. I called my husband and asked him to pray with the vet at the animal clinic where he happened to be working that day. 
We discussed the state of affairs briefly and went into more detail later that evening.  What appeared to be an attack from satan I actually thought was a testing from God. 

That person’s problem took me back to the message on the envelope and if they were somehow tied together.  Both had requested something from me, but what they wanted was entirely different.

Bestowing Favor on Believers

It doesn’t come as a surprise when another Christian asks me to pray for them and it shouldn’t to you either.  This is something we are to do for one another daily as members of the family of God. 
What I felt honored over was that the individual called me (us).  This person knows plenty of believers, but felt that if they called us, we could agree with them in prayer for the desired answer.  Wow, isn’t that something?  Doesn’t that make you feel special knowing someone trusts you to have the faith you need for Heaven to move? 

“For where two or three are gathered together in My name (as my followers), I am there in the midst (middle/among) of them.” (Matthew 18:20 NKJV emphasis mine)

When someone asks us to pray for them, they are requesting favor from your faith reserve.  They believe in your faith, because you have demonstrated you are trustworthy of God’s favor on your life in answered prayers.  Somewhere along your faith journey they have seen God work on your behalf, and want to tap into that grace. That says a lot about your Christian walk.

If no one is calling you to ask for your “two or three” faith, there is a reason. Our favor walk is directly related to our faith walk, and people can see if it is working in our lives.

Bestowing Favor Unintentionally

As a teacher, minister, counselor and writer I read a lot for my work.  Researching material takes quite a bit of my time, and in my exploration I have come across some great and not so great writing.

One of the places where I write has thousands of contributors.  As part of that community of online writers we encourage one another by reading articles written by other people.

I have been writing for this establishment for almost two years and by the time this is published I would have read 7,000 out of the three plus million articles they have online.  I enjoy the research aspect of writing and always have.  It’s actually the best part of it for me, because I often get to meet writers from around the world, and learn tons of interesting facts.  If you want to be a good writer, you have to do your homework.

The thing about looking at other people’s work doesn’t mean they will look at yours.  Let me explain why that little bit of information is so important to an online writer.

Most people who are online writers are doing it to make money and do it part or full time.  If a person is writing online as a career, they don’t often look at articles unless it pertains to the topic they are working on at the time.  This particular place where I contribute some of my articles keeps tab on how many articles you have visited.  So when I see that a top writer has only visited 25 articles in the past five years and mine was one of them, I am thrilled!  Not all writers feel that way, and get angry when that individual’s article gets top billing.  They feel that socializing should play a part in the rank of the article.  They’re not too off with that thinking, because the Internet search engines think the same way. 

The more visits a site has, the higher it goes in ranking for the search engines such as Google, Bing or others.  Having more visits is important to an online writer, because it generates traffic from other search engines all over the world.  Visits (likes) mean your message was noticed and hopefully will be promoted to the public successfully.  This is something every Christian writer strives for in winning a life to the Lord – “getting the word out to the World.”

What does this have to do with favor?  If you receive something from the world that causes you to increase in any form, that is God sending favor to you from man.  An experienced writer that notices my work and promotes it causes increase to my credibility as a writer, thus increasing my income. Most of the time the world doesn’t realize that they are being used by God to increase you in finances, position or favor.

There are countless times when the unsaved have given to ministries or a religious cause because they want to do something good or need a tax break.  Either way, it is another lesson of proof that God does fulfill His promises.  In reality, it’s favor given unintentionally, so God can receive the glory, not man.

Bestowing Favor Like Christ

Scriptures tell us that we are to show exceptional kindness, grace and favor to our brothers and sisters in Christ.  That is usually easy, even though not everyone does it.

“As we have therefor opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10 (KJV)

The hard part about operating in obedience to God is demonstrating the grace of God toward those who we feel don’t deserve it.  I have to be honest, I don’t always want to be nice to nasty people, and surely don’t want to hand out my grace card of favor to them.  However, that’s exactly what we are supposed to do… show love to the unlovely.

“Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine (your) hand to do it.” Proverbs 3:27  (KJV)

“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power (ability) to help them.” (from the NLT)

The person that called for prayer was facing several serious things, in which they were being treated unfairly and unkindly.  It was as if a swat team from the devil was zooming in to destroy their faith, finances and family.  Doing something good for this individual would be easy, because they certainly were due my kindnesses.
“But I (Jesus) say unto you, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Matthew 5:44  (KJV)

Love, bless, do good, pray for my enemies? Ooh, I don’t want to do that.  Love the enemies that are trying to destroy my world?  You’ve got to be kidding.  My phone friend told me that along with the persecution came cursing, ridicule and threats as well.
Sure we know that’s what the Bible says, but doing it is another thing right? That would mean I would have to give grace like Christ did regardless of what was coming against me.  I’m not sure I can or want to do that.

That brings me back to the envelope. So what do we do when the world seeks a favor from us?  When it is within our power to do good we are to do it right?  Isn’t that what God is telling us?  Yes, however, we are not released to give favor to those that are not of the faith when it goes against His Word, because that would be an unequal yoking with Him.  
God sometimes asks us to do things that seem unreasonable and makes no sense to us, but it will not contradict the Bible.  For this very reason we need to stay in the Word of God so that we recognize if it is a favor request from God, satan or man.

I came across an old television program this week that happened to deal with a similar situation of the person who called me.  There was an accident where the person hit them from behind.  Neither of the vehicles was damaged, and an agreement of $5 was given to the first driver because of the inconvenience caused by the second driver. (That tells you how old this program was!) As soon as the person realized that the other driver was famous, they decided to sue for $250,000. 

The mother chose to show mercy and goodness to the individual that was suing them.  She showered the disgruntled driver with kindness, grace and favor even though she was the one being sued.  In the end, the charges were dropped.  What happened?  Mercy happened.  Even in situations where favor, God’s mercy is not warranted, God still gives grace when it comes to repentance.  If we are to be Christ’s hands and feet in this world in order to win souls, it means we are to reply to the request of “favor” in order to bring others into the Kingdom of God.

Vessels of Favor

There are many ways God shows His favor; we perceive them as blessings or forms of His protection from the evil one. 
Vessels of God are to become vessels of His favor for Him to pour out on others as He blesses us.  We learned this in our lesson about God’s favor shield.

“But let all those that put their trust in Thee (God) rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them: let them also that love Your name be joyful in You.

“For You, LORD, will bless the righteous; with favor You will compass (surround) him as with a shield.” (Psalm 5:11-12  KJV)

“But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in You. 12 Surely, Lord, You bless the righteous; You surround them with Your favor as with a shield.” (Psalm 5:11-12 NIV)
Vessels of God Brief Testimony

Are you a vessel of favor God can use to dispense on undeserving souls?  I think that we often forget that we were once unbelievers that God showed grace to when we received His favor to forgive us from sin. 
Maybe God wants to use you to do something that will change the life of an unbeliever and you really don’t want to do it.  You might want to reconsider the cost of not obeying the voice of God. 

We receive blessings, grace (unmerited favor) from God because He loves us.  Favor is never given because we “deserve it”, but is given as a tool or vessel for a greater cause. 

Paul admonishes us that we have knowledge of the good news of Christ in our bodies or “vessels”.  This information is a hidden treasure to the world, and God’s mercy allows us to be a part of His overall plan.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.  We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair.” (2 Corinthians 4:6-8 NKJV)

In order for favor to be increased in our own lives, we have to be willing to give it to others freely.  God didn’t ask us to validate His reasons why we need to be kind to others that persecute us; He just said to do it. 

I feel richly blessed when God calls on me to give blessings (which are favors) to others.  It lets me know that He feels I am a vessel He can use, and that draws me closer to Him.  The more I am used to bless others, the more my favor levels need to rise.

If you are seeking God and longing to walk in His blessings, there will be times when someone out of the blue asks, “The Favor of Your Reply is Requested!”  How will you respond? 
You cannot give favor if you don’t have it to give.  This company was hoping I would bless and favor their company above any others with something I had that they needed (or wanted).  They did not realize that I was not required to bestow anything on them without the direction of the Holy Spirit.
On the other hand, my phone friend messaged that God heard our prayers and the situation was resolved.  As a fellow believer, I was required to use my faith and reply to their plea. Praise God for His mercy and favor toward our request.

It’s Time to Release God’s Favor

Christian Mom with six kids 

After reading this, I guarantee that your favor vessel will be tested.  As a matter of fact, if you have been seeking God for blessings (favor) I know you have been in trials.  The question is, what are you going to do when a request is made of you from God or man?  It may have to do with finances, but not necessarily. 
Perhaps God is asking you to give the favor of time to someone or something.  You may be asked to give up possessions, friends, family or a position.  Whatever it is, don’t delay giving God what He requests of you.  If God wants you to release something into His hands so He can reply to someone’s request for favor, do it.  You can be sure that what you give up will not compare to the blessing He has that will replace, restore and renew what you gave away.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly above all we ask or think, according to the power (of the Holy Spirit) that works in us.” (Ephesians 3:20 NKJV)

Our God is able to do above that we can ask or think.  Release favor blessings and your request for them will come back to you. 

“Give, and it will be given to you” (how) good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom.  For with the same measure that you use (give blessings, favor and mercy), it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38  KJV)

Let God use you as His favor dispenser. Get excited when someone calls on you above all others and reply “Yes” to their request according to God’s Word, knowing you have been called as a chosen vessel of favor for our Almighty God.
If You Can Use Anything, Lord Use Me - Ron Kenoly

Until next time, release blessings of favor at God’s request!

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Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by
Gateway Bible

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