BY JOHN GARFIELD, BKC Director of Kingdom Advancement & Strategist
The best place to start a discussion on God’s favor is to understand the pain of living out of His favor. It’s worse than not having His positive intervention in our lives. It feels like the world is against us, and nothing works. Our health, finances, labor, and land are all in drought and everything stops producing.
Hag. 1:9-11 – “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house. Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands.” NIV
Here, God was building his house, and God’s people were building their houses. Their focus was on themselves and they reaped the same consequence discussed in 1 Cor. 11:27-32. Drinking the cup and partaking of the body is not primarily a communion sacrament, it’s a decision to put the Kingdom first and do what’s written in our book. Keep in mind this old testament physical house in the new covenant is people. We’re building a house; Jesus is the cornerstone and we are lively stones built into a spiritual house (1 Pet. 2:5). The Father’s heart has a priority on people.
Here are the best ways to experience God's favor:
#1 The easiest way to think about favor is, “Do what the Father does.” The genius of the heart plan is that we’re shopping for the desires God wrote in your heart that are already in His heart. Living out a purpose already in your heart is Kingdom – is fun. Trying to obey your way to favor is religion – a drag (see illustration below)!
We could skip asking what’s in Father’s heart. God loves His children so much that He often gives us good gifts simply out of love, not out of a larger agenda or a Kingdom purpose. But, that’s the long road to favor. Jesus made it simple; He just did what He saw the Father doing. He cooperated with God’s favor instead of asking for himself. God loves everyone, but extra favor is on those who share His purpose and co-labor with Him to make it happen (see illustration above).
John 5:19 – “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. NIV
Watch this! – Once the Son flowed with His Father’s purpose, an amazing thing happened. Father pulled the curtain back on everything He was doing. Even bigger, the Son was now giving life to whomever He wanted to because He understood the purpose in His Father’s heart. Even judgment was given to the son. Jesus was operating out of His own initiative because He and His Father were on the same page.
John 5:20-22 – “For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son.” NIV
The real ramification of initiative and favor is that it’s available to us. Jesus was the firstborn of many brothers who are also sons and carry the Father’s purpose, power and authority as well. As sons, we’re in the business of bringing heaven to earth. That’s pretty amazing Favor.
John 20:21-23 – Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” NIV
#2 Put the Kingdom first – Favor comes with authority and boldness. That all happens when you know your working on the Father’s purpose not just building your own house and tooting your own horn. Favor isn’t just financial prosperity or promotion. Favor is co-laboring with Kingdom purpose that can lead to health and wealth, but it can also lead to a cross. Our definition of success and favor aren’t the same thing.
We each have a book (purpose, Ps. 139:15-16). Everything with people has purpose too. If you know the Kingdom purpose for your life, business, organization, city or nation, it will be easy to find God’s favor.
Putting the Kingdom first instead of “running after all these things” (Mt. 6:25-34) has the same “build the house first” theme as Haggai. The Father has a heart for people and so should we. Your business dream may take off like a rocket, but it is wise to put your dream on a foundation of knowing what’s in your book and loving people first. If we start something outside His purpose, we open the door to fear, anxiety, failure, health, and financial issues.
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