Friday, May 17, 2019

5 Things that Lead to Increased Favor

Receiving a letter from a ministry I was saddened to read that their United States outreach was closing due to lack of charitable giving and product sales. 

I suppose that news shouldn’t have surprised me with the way government is pushing God out of everything, but it did.

As a partner in their work for spreading the gospel message, I was preparing myself to look for other resources or places to purchase tracts.  This isn’t that easy with so much being online.

I could only imagine how disappointed and discouraged this ministry must have felt.  What was going through their minds?  Had they failed at their God given vision and about to shut it down, or did they have “a new approach” (ANA) for continuing the work they were called to do?

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When Revision is Better than the Vision

While scribbling notes on the back of their letter using it for scrap paper, I noticed a statement they added underneath their letterhead information, which read: “A personal note from the Director.”

In bold capital letters it highlighted their hope and faith in God’s new direction for their work.  Here’s what it said.

     “While tract sales in the United States continues to decline,
      the India ministry is exploding and we get to participate!”

Wait a minute!  Why were they so pumped about what looked like a sinking ministry?  What happened to the vision they started out with from the beginning?  All that work … their location, plans …

Continuing in the announcement I was delighted that they weren’t discouraged; nor were they quitting the vision God gave them back in 1922.  On the other hand, I wasn’t sure why they were so excited about the changes.

This international ministry decided to make the choice to step forward and move where the Holy Spirit was moving – in India!  A new phase was about to unfold in their journey, and letting go of the past didn’t put a glitch in the works after all.  On the contrary, God had answered their prayers.  The vision was revived and elevated, not squashed.

They were excited that God accelerated them and stretched their borders for greater works, just as Jesus said we would do.  To think – we can either ignore this door that had opened or join in on the fun.  This revised or shall I say, “revision” was turning out to be bigger and better than the original one!

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that
I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do,
 because I go to My Father."  (John 14:12 NKJV)

Prepared and Ready to Receive

“He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain! And God granted him his request.”  (1 Chronicles 4:10 NLT)

Have you ever prayed like that? I know I have, but then was scared to get the answer!  We want to be used by God, especially when it includes our vision and desires of the heart, but not if it means compromising, waiting for years or is totally different than we envisioned!

Were my friends afraid of the uncertainty in working overseas?  Of course.  The unknown is something humans always fear, but it didn’t stop them because God was already where He was taking them.

The people’s hearts were prepared and ready to receive, because someone else had planted the gospel seed in their lives.  Listening to the voice of God would allow them to reap the harvest and set them up to receive His favor for increased ministry, which just so happened to include larger sales!

Obedience Brings Favor for Increase

Trickling sales and faded interest in gospel tracts caused this once thriving ministry to actually stop printing materials in English.  After all, where was the need if no one was distributing them.

Why were these leaders in their field ready to move wherever the Spirit led?  Several years earlier the praying ministry had their resources, including gospel tracts, translated into several languages based on the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Not sure why they needed to start printing in languages no one they knew spoke, they obeyed anyway flying in translators from other countries to handle the task.

God’s perfect timing had come for favor to increase on this organization, because of their obedience.  They adhered to the Lord’s direction not knowing what the future held and were ready to “go” without hesitation being led by the Holy Spirit as described in Acts 11:12.  

They asked the Lord for wisdom in what to do.  In bringing their situation before Him they received favor that changed their entire ministry.

“For whoever finds me (Wisdom) finds life and draws forth
and obtains favor from the Lord.” (Proverbs 8:35 AMPC)

The Lord honored years of faithfulness to the vision for that specific area, but now He has opened doors through increased favor that they could never have opened on their own.

“Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous cause;
and let them say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, Who has
pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” (Psalm 35:27 NKJV)

Stop in the Name of Love

You know, life has a way of turning things upside down when we least expect it.  Sometimes it’s because we did something wrong, but what about those times when it wasn’t our fault?

Then there are times when it feels like everything is happening at once and it’s too much to handle.  We spend endless hours trying to figure out what God is doing all to no avail. 

You know what?  Eventually we come to accept that it’s a waste of time, because some things are just for God to know.

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things
which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that
we may do all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy 29:29 NKJV)

We are supposed to keep believing in God when things don’t make sense and they’re not going our way, but that doesn’t always happen.  Panic and fear creep in so we try to fix things soaking in all the set-backs, then scramble to come up with solutions to a problem we don’t understand.

Whether or not we want to face facts, because we live in the “natural world”, there are events that need to take place in order for the plan of God to be manifested.  We may be doing the right thing, but if it’s not the right time for it to happen there is no blessing on what we want to achieve.

There are times in life when God may stop or start us in going forth because He loves us and doesn’t want us to fail.  We may get frustrated that nothing is happening, but there’s a reason. Until all parts of the puzzle are in place for what God wants to do, He can’t release favor on the situation because it will be ineffective.

Unless we are in tune with the Holy Spirit, we won’t be able to figure this out or perceive such things.  If we are still operating in the natural world as a believer, things just won’t work out for what our “feelings” tell us to do.

When God Shows Up – Suddenly

There’s a secret to anything you may be experiencing and it involves FAVOR.  God can take a situation headed for disaster and turn it around for our good.  He works behind the scenes to move people into areas to accomplish greater things for His glory, without them even knowing it.  This includes you and me!

The Heavenly Father will use situations, people and even the devil to turn things around for His purpose and will if we let Him.  When He shows up, often it is suddenly and how I love those “suddenlys”!  You’re right … that’s not a word, but you can gather my enthusiasm.

I know how you feel; we want God to use us now and think we’re ready for the challenge.  However, if He thinks we’re not ready He will put a hold on our plans even if they are good ones.

The more we try to make things work on our own the more He keeps shutting down the project until we finally get it that He is in control.  Oh, but look out my friend – you will be astonished how things will change when you least expect it and “suddenly” fall into place.

“Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over how God Elohim
had prepared the people (because of what God had enabled the
people to accomplish), for it (the resolution of doing this thing)
had come about suddenly.” (2 Chronicles 29:36)

Just when it looks like you’re not going to make it God will show up, if you are trusting Him to release favor at the right time. 

This Week's Challenge:
Be Ready to Participate

God may be speaking to your spirit to do something that doesn’t make sense.  It may seem like it’s as far fetched as the east is from the west in your life vision.  

Don’t be afraid to do something new.  Your season of suddenly is coming.  Embrace the situation expecting it to be great.

I want to leave you with five things that will help you obey the leading of the Holy Spirit in making the decision to move forward, and knowing whether you are hearing from God.

5 Things that Lead to Increased Favor

First - Make sure you are hearing from God through prayer and the written Word.  You will know because it will always line up with His Word.

Second - Be ready to participate through action upon what you hear in your spirit.  God will only tell you to do good things, so don’t be hesitant thinking it’s not a word from the Lord.

Third - God will tell you to do something you can’t do on your own in order for it to succeed.  You will have to have favor for it to come to pass.

Fourth - Leave your fears at the altar in prayer.  Believe that God wants to reward your obedience and faithfulness, then trust His decisions are targeted for your good.

Fifth - Stop thinking negatively no matter how things may appear.  If things are starting to look grim stop thinking, “Okay, this is it, we're finished … it’s over, we’re done.”  Stop that train of thought from derailing your destiny.  Take a deep breath and get ready to move forward with God’s increased favor.

You must remember this: The amount of favor you receive will depend on the amount of obedience you give.  If you don’t obey fully don’t expect full favor or blessings.  The measure you give will be measured back to you, it’s God’s law for increase.

When we don’t obey God’s instruction, we’re basically telling Him we don’t trust His decisions. Well, if we don’t trust Him why should He trust us with increase of anything?

Seek the Lord’s Kingdom and righteousness.  Listen for the prompting of the Holy Spirit and learn from His wisdom.  Earnestly long to do good, and obey God in every area of your life.  

"But seek first the Kingdom of God, and His Righteousness;
and all these things will be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33 NKJV)

Trust that the Lord is moving you into a new area, and you (yes – YOU) get to participate in reaping the harvest!  Don’t be left out on things that could be added unto you.  Move with the Holy Spirit’s greater vision for increased favor into the “expanded” territory He has prepared for those who seek Him.

“He who earnestly (diligently) seeks (and strives to do) good finds favor, but trouble will come to him who seeks evil.”
(Proverbs 11:27 NKJV emphasis mine)

Seek Ye First - Maranatha! Music

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Until next time, increased favor comes from obedience!

“Participation is rewarded with Holy Spirit favor.”
Jesus Christ

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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.
Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy.  Closed  Obedience  Suddenly
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.  

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