Friday, January 25, 2019

Begin in Favor: Part 2

Learning to trust God and obey doesn't always come easy, but the covenant benefits truly weigh in our favor!  

Read more as we continue part two of the teaching series "Begin in Favor".  

Haven't read part one?  Here it is: Begin in Favor: Part 1

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The Impossible Dream

I've always been a person that has something swirling around in my thinking.  

Like the majority of starry-eyed youngsters, from the time when I was a kid, my world has always been filled with the most impossible, wonderful dreams and expectations.  In my "reality" they could all be met.  Then I woke up ...

No, I wasn’t sleeping, even though while asleep I have had some pretty outrageous dreams that just might make jaw dropping, sit on the edge of your seat, kind of reading.

At times I have grand ideas for fiction writing from the things that played out in my head throughout the night, but then when I try writing them down the whole thing falls apart. 

Falling back to sleep I’ll re-dream the same scenarios, but get to a certain spot and never finish the story.  Replay after replay gets rather old quickly so eventually, I give up on it.

The truth is I merely woke up to the fact that not everything I want to do will be things I actually accomplish.  Shocker, right?  There goes the bucket list!  

It's not that my desires aren't good ones, but they may not necessarily lead me into living the vision that God has for me.  Only His plans include the abundant life Jesus died to give each of His followers. 

Impossible dreams?  Maybe for me, but with God all things are possible!  This is where the decision between better or best comes through choices and obedience that lead to living a life of favor.

Obedience Brings Favor

There’s no other way to put this but straight to the point. To stay in God’s daily favor one must walk in obedience to His Word.  I remember hearing Joyce Meyer say in one of her conferences that people want what she has but they aren't willing to do what she did to get there.  That’s probably true for most who have achieved great things for God and are living their dream vision.

“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” 
(Proverbs 14:23 NIV)

Some people want all the good things from God, but they aren't willing to do what He says to receive the promises and His favor.  Although we automatically fall into the salvation, Holy favor category as Kingdom Kids, we do have responsibilities that go with receiving blessings like our Christian forefathers did.

There’s not one time, except at His birth, where we read that Jesus received favor for doing absolutely nothing (and we know this was part of God’s Divine plan for His future).  Scriptures declare that He was always about His Father’s business.  It was in staying focused on doing God’s work that caused Jesus to grow (increase) in wisdom and favor.  (Read Luke 2)

Increase is always tied to a behavior, 
whether it is positive or negative.

By being obedient in following God’s plan, Jesus received the oath promises for success and prosperity (yes, I said prosperity – He did run a ministry you know…) that were given to the sons and daughters of Abraham.  If you are a born-again believer in Christ Jesus as God’s Chosen only Begotten Son, then you too are part of that privileged group.  I guess you could call us "privileged characters".  (I went to far didn't I?  Okay, I admit that was a bit lame.)

How did Jesus know what to do in order to follow God’s vision?  He spent time in prayer.  It was His number one “go to” thing that worked every single time.  Ask the Father!

Why did Jesus keep gaining momentum in wisdom and favor?  The same reason Abraham, Jacob, Solomon, Mary and yes, little Timmy T. did.  They spent time in prayer then obeyed God AND their parents.  

This is one reference that gives us the who, what, where, when, how and why things turned out as they did in Jesus' life pattern for receiving even more favor.

“He (Jesus) went with them (His parents) to Nazareth and 
obeyed them. But His mother (Mary) kept all these (Gods) 
words in her heart. Jesus grew strong in mind and body. 
He grew (increased) in favor with God and men.”
(Luke 2:51-52 NLV emphasis mine)

Now let's look at the same verse in the Common English Version.  

“Jesus went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. His mother cherished every word in her heart.  Jesus matured in wisdom and years, and in favor with God and with people.”
 (Luke 2:51-52 CEB)

As David Cerullo of Inspiration Ministries once said:

"If you want increased favor in your life,
 obey God in every area of your life."

That's a big chunk of lifetime behaving isn't it? That'll take work!  Surely, there's got to be an easier way.

It Don’t Come Easy

Lyrics from an old song from the 70’s that Ringo Starr and George Harrison co-wrote sums up their perspective on how to live life and make it count for something.  Even though it’s not “scripture” the world related to this.

“Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues, and you know it don't come easy

Here within your reach, if you're big enough to take it …
I don't ask for much, I only want your trust and you know it don't come easy.”

This philosophy of life came from recording artists who during another original recording session (which later got cut from the song) sang,

“Christmas time is here again, do it for Jesus, Jesus loves you!
It's been 'round since you know when.”

Whether the musical artists were serious or not, they were right to some extent.  God is looking for certain qualities and characteristics in each of His children that will walk out His vision.  Yes, He’s looking for people that will “do it for Jesus” no matter the cost.

When God sees obedience, trust and the Fruit of the Spirit in action, He releases favor into the plan, vision or dream.  Those things aren’t always easy to do, especially when society is dictating the opposite, but with the help of the Holy Spirit it is possible.

Paying Dues Isn’t Always Easy

Throughout scriptures we read of individuals who have “paid their dues” so to speak in working hard and being diligent to seeking God’s plan for their life.  “Yes, but they were people from long ago and it was easier then."

I hear you … and yes, some things may have been easier especially for those who actually physically walked alongside Jesus.  However, in the end for many followers of the Lord, their faith cost them their life.  For them, the Heavenly reward outweighed the earthly favor they received.

We don’t need to keep our noses stuck in the pages of the Bible to realize that history is still recording acts of God’s favor.  Take a look at the internet news for example … it is alive and thriving among His modern age people.  Stop looking at what the world sees as “trending” and see what’s happening in God’s world.

As Tim Tebow matures he continues to “pay his dues” with each step of his journey so far, and indeed it hasn’t come easy.  Living a wholesome life in the eye of the public is filled with pressure, yet time and again he stuck to what God said and obeyed despite the challenges that came with living a life of obedience.  Walking in the continual favor of God is more precious to him than anything the world could offer.

Having the desire to bring the message of faith, hope and the love of Jesus to the world is more important to this star athlete than fame, the amount of games won or trophies collected.  Tim has openly said that he expects to receive favor on his life based on the promises of God by being obedient to the Word.  Shouldn't this be a vision and goal of every believer?

A Universal Impact

Right now, it appears that Tim is living a life that most envision, with fame and fortune only being a part of his universe – literally by winning the girl of his heart.  Now branching out and tackling the Christian film industry with his debut movie Run the Race, how much more are we going to witness through the life of such a young individual?

It’s great and sometimes even fun seeing the things people do with their lives that bring entertainment into our living rooms, but while we are sitting in front of our television set, we’re watching someone else live their dreams.  How are we making a universal impact for God if we become only viewers and not doers of the Word in action?

Your Vision Key

There are times when making the choice to be obedient to God will bring a heap of pressure into your life, but that’s where faith and favor meet before falling into place. 

Choosing to trust God's wisdom by remaining faithful to the Lord’s plan. plus knowing that Jesus loves you and is for your vision, is a key part for Him opening doors of opportunity to fulfill your heart's desires.

In other words, your vision key is attached to God’s favor, and that comes with helping Him fulfill His plan of leading souls to Christ. If we want God to let lose of those favor keys, it will start with releasing our vision, faith, desires and dreams into His hands.  When we do, He will give us the platform needed to serve Him using our gifts, talents and abilities, but we have to be willing to start where we are at this point in our lives.

This Week’s Vision Challenge: 
Trust, Obey, Repeat

I’d like to make something very clear to my readers. 

This series isn’t about Tim Tebow (or any other earthly figure for that matter), but about the tie between vision and obeying God so you can live that impossible dream!  He is merely one of thousands, dare I say millions, of examples that we can learn from in seeing how Christian living is everything Jesus said it could be to those who truly trust and obey Him.

Initially this started out to be a two-part series, but I hope you are pleased like me that it has turned into more.  For our vision challenge this week, keep working on your overall vision board to see if it is lining up with God’s and ask yourself these three questions,

1 - How can I impact the universe for Jesus?
2 - Does my vision look similar to God’s?
3 - What must I change in my vision for God to favor it? 

If you are tired of being frustrated with your life, you've got to start by trusting God. I know it doesn't always come easy, but if the world can trust a pop-star our faith in Jesus should be "off the charts" when it comes to our future.

Stay focused in prayer and always “go to” the Lord with any questions on whether or not your next step is His step for your life.  Study the Word of God and His promises. Then by faith trust and obey His voice (the Rhema, spoken word of what you heard in your spirit and the Logos word of what you read in His word.)   

Take the step(s) given in order to receive the covenant blessings of obedience.   The Holy Spirit will teach or remind you of what God said, and direct you to the path of favor that opens doors for your dreams to be established.  After all, isn’t it easier to begin in favor rather than keep chasing after it?

“I am telling you these things now while I am still with you.  
But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative,
that is the Holy Spirit, He will teach you everything and will remind you
of everything I have told you.  I am leaving you with a gift, peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give as a gift the world cannot give.
 So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:25-27 NLT)

I look forward to being back with you soon, but for further encouragement click on the trailer below to view the latest act of God’s grace (undeserved blessing) and favor (tangible evidence of the Lord’s approval) on our Christian brother Tim.

Sharing one another’s accomplishments for Christ is an act of love that pleases God, so let’s do that and totally freak out the world!

If this article has encouraged or helped you please consider sharing it by using the social media icons provided at the end of this post.

Until next time, keep maturing in wisdom and favor.

Is there any favor due to you?
-        Jesus Christ

P.S. – FYI “Run the Race” will be released in theaters on February 22, 2019.  Plan to see it and show favor to someone by paying for a stranger's ticket!

What’s New This Week: Click on the link.

Experience the Protection, Power and Favor of God
for You and Your Loved Ones
by John Eckhardt

Available in audio, eBook and Spanish versions

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

Favored1 on FacebookTwitterYou TubePinterest and Articles.  

Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me About Jesus” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.

Note: Emphasis may be 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 is geared toward spiritual awareness.

Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.

Unless noted, scripture reference in series was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Bible Gateway.  Image credit:  Creative Common License if not specified.  

Tags: Salvation, Favor of God, Favor, Favored1, Daily Favor Blog, Tim Tebow, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, John Eckhardt, Covenant, Obedience, Trust, Joyce Meyer, Holy Spirit, Teaching Series, Weekly Challenge, Run the Race Movie.

Additional Notes: It Don’t Come Easy: Songwriters: Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr) and George Harrison 1971 Album “Ringo” 1973.  It Don't Come Easy lyrics © Startling Music Ltd C/O Bruce V. Grakal, BMG Rights Management

Songwriters: Paul Mccartney / John Lennon / Richard Starkey / George Harrison
Christmas Time (Is Here Again) lyrics © Sony/ATV Tunes LLC