It seems like a strange phenomenon that I’d have a bit of a struggle with this thing called favour. Who struggles with that? Geez. I started school in 2013 and one of the prophetic words that accompanied me on my journey was “you will find favour with your lecturers and school…”. My reaction? “Yes Lord…that’s cool…thank you Lord…let it be”. And like a good Christian, I prayed that word into being. But, as with most things we pray about concerning our personal lives, we can never quite imagine the extent of it.
I’ve found favour to be a few things:
What comes to mind when say unfair? Maybe you’re thinking along the lines of the “I don’t deserve Your favour.” And you’d be right. In our humanness we don’t deserve a lot of things God gives us, but “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down from God our Father…” (James 1:17) And though “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10) our sufficiency is from God (2Cor3:5). BUT I wasn’t quite going down that road…
Favour is unfair, but favour is your opportunity to influence. Favour is unfair in the sense that it is not placed on everyone’s life and well, it will cause you to shine above others. Lets look at Joseph. The man had favour from the get go. In his teen years, a small snippet of greatness was revealed to him in the midst of simple living. I’m sure he didn’t fully understand it. The favour on his life didn’t make his brothers any less special. They each served a purpose in the weaving of history. But Joseph was to play an especially big part. Though unfair, there is no room for fear. No room for fear of jealousy or what others may do to try to thwart your purpose. The favour upon you gives you a unique platform to influence and shape those around you. And don’t make excuses for why you’re prospering. God placed you there. “Understand who you are and your assignment. It is then that you become a leader… the person who is called to be an influencer rarely grows up knowing it. Until they stumble into the situation.”- Brent Pedro. Embrace the unfairness and know that even in the midst of persecution, God is allowing your character to be refined, allowing self to die and your voice to be tuned and prepared for taking over the kingdoms of this world.
There is already a sense of that from the previous paragraph. But lets look at David. David had 7 brothers. David was the youngest and in his father’s eyes, the least important. David risked his life every day taking care of those sheep. You’d think that a father would place more value on a son back in those days. But God was deliberate. Samuel came and looked at each one presented to him and God said no. David was called from the fields and subsequently anointed. “So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David”(1Sam16:13). Who would’ve thought? The deliberate favour on his life cost him a lot and for a very long time but it was his obedience, sacrifice, and yielding to God that shaped the fabric of Israel and the royal bloodline. It was David’s training before knowing he was to play this part, plus the turmoil he faced in the waiting that made him the perfect person for what was to come. David may not have felt deserving at the time of his anointing and he wouldn’t have been able to observe his impact for generations to come, but he played an integral part….and so will you.
Evident and Everlasting:
Next on my list is Samson. The favor here was definitely physically evident. Samson sported his long hair not as a fashion choice but because of the hand of God on his life, entwined with a promise- he was a Nazarite. “You shall have a son, and when he grows up he will begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines. But your son must never drink any wine or strong drink as long as he lives. And his hair must be allowed to grow long and must never be cut, for he shall be a Nazarite under a vow to the Lord.” (Judges 13:5). Samson wasn’t even born yet, but he was chosen. As he began to grow, it then became evident that something was different about him. As a common thread in this article, favor upon your life isn’t always what you saw coming. You were chosen before you were born and at the appointed time, the divine was set in place and you stepped into the unknown. Samson didn’t see it coming, but he was chosen. One thing I learned from Samson is that 1. God’s kingdom WILL be established 2. just because you have favour doesn’t mean you can do anything you want with it 3. Favour that is yielded to God is better lived out than that manned by human will. Samson stayed true to most of his commitment and the terms of this favour for most of his life, but possibly not up to his full potential. He also gave into the persistence of a distraction. And just like Samson, many of us want to, in our heart of hearts, continue to say yes every day to the platform God has placed us on. But we can become distracted or even have good intentions but our process and plan of action is our own, but not God’s. But Samson learned in his last days, of the unconditional love of a Heavenly Father. Samson had broken the terms of the agreement and it seemed like in the midst of it all, that this favor and love and closeness he felt to his God had all been washed away. He felt like he failed the one person he knew was in his corner. “But while Samson was in prison, his hair grew long again; and with his hair his strength came back to him; for Samson renewed his vow to the Lord.” (Judges 16:22). In those last moments of his life, favour went from being evident, to everlasting, when God looked down on him in love, as he said renewed his yes and God used him for the betterment of his people and ultimately his Kingdom. God forgives. God knows we are human and we mess up. He also knows our hearts and our desires to please him, and his ears are open to your yes, even after falling down. He is a God of multiple chances and there is still a kingdom out there fully aware of its expiration date and fully aware of your key role is establishing a Sovereign Eternal Kingdom.
My closing message? Don’t shrink under favour, but rather, stand upon that platform, with a yielded heart and say yes to the process. You’ll be better for it.