We have talked about the promises of God for the last four weeks. We talked about some unconditional promises of God and some conditional promises of God. God gave us some promises that require nothing from us and He gave us some promises that require something from us. But for the next couple of weeks I want to explore favor. What is favor from God and how do we get it?
First let’s look at the definition of favor. Webster defines it as 1. a kind or helpful act that you do for someone, 2. approval, support or popularity, 3. preference for one person, group over another.
So if this is the secular definition of favor what does it mean to have God’s favor and is it even possible? Should we seek God’s favor? Should we even think we are worthy of it? There are people in the Bible that God showed favor to and I do think we can seek HIs favor and even ask Him for it. And sometimes I think it is ok to pray for a favor from God. To ask His favor to be upon you in certain circumstances and circles. But like the conditional promises of God, we also have a responsibility when it comes to favor. When we ask God for favor in a situation or if we are asking for a specific request we can come boldly to His thrown to ask but we also need to look at our hearts and our spirit.
“These are the ones I look on with favor; those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.” Isaiah 66:2 (NIV)
I have been that person who wanted God to give me what I wanted and to allow me to serve Him how I wanted to serve Him and to be the person I wanted to be. And I have been that person, who knew that the grace He has upon my life is underserving and that I could not get out of bed every morning if not for Him. This verse is real to me and it gives me hope that maybe I can find favor with God. I want to be that person who comes boldly to His throne but all the while knowing I don’t deserve to. That’s what I think this verse is saying that God will look on with favor the person who knows they don’t deserve what He has already given us. I believe that God wants to give us favor. I love the way the Message puts it.
“But there is something I’m looking for: a person simple and plain reverently responsive to what I say.” Isaiah 66:2 (MSG)
That’s who I want to be and who I want others to see me as. I am just a simple and plain woman who loves God with all her heart and I pray that His favor will be upon me and my family, but I want to reverently respond to what He has to say.
How do we find that balance? Well first I think it is attitude of the heart. I think we come boldly to Him because of what He did for us not because of who we are. We accept His grace and we seek to live a righteous life because of Him. We realize who we were before we were covered by His blood. And then we know the difference between praying for the promises of God to be upon our lives and His favor on our lives. There are things that He has promised us like direction, wisdom, provision and there are things that we can pray for in favor that, when it comes down to it, God knows the big picture and we may or may not get those things. We have to know at the end of the day He knows and He wants what is best and we trust Him to know best. In the next couple of weeks I will be studying people who God showed favor to as well as people who asked God for something and they didn’t get it and how they responded to that. If you so desire, I hope you will join me.
May His favor be upon us as we study!