Favor

Have you ever needed a big favor or special permission?  You know what a difference it makes when you have approval from someone high in authority.  Now, think about what a difference it makes when you have the approval of Almighty God on your side!

I believe God wants Christians to carry His supernatural favor; He wants to lay His hand of blessing on our lives.  We can learn a lot about the power of God’s favor by studying the lives of two people who took unlikely paths to positions of prominence.

First of all, let’s consider the life of Joseph. He dreamed as a teenager that his family members would bow down to him. However, for a long time it certainly didn’t look like those dreams would come to pass.   Joseph was rejected by his brothers, sold into slavery, taken to Egypt, framed as a criminal, and placed into prison.  Yet, even in prison, he found favor with the guards and was put in charge of the other prisoners.

Also while in prison, Joseph demonstrated his God-given gift to interpret dreams.  When he accurately interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh, Egypt’s leader, Joseph was suddenly released from prison and placed second in command of the whole nation. He saw his dream come to pass after all.  Joseph encountered a wild set of events, but the favor of God followed him everywhere he went.

Now, let’s look at the life of a young woman named Esther. She was a displaced Jewish orphan being raised in the land of Persia by her cousin.  Though there was nothing “special” about her background, she was set apart from others in that she “obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her” (Esther 2:15, NKJV).  In fact, when the king initiated a search for a queen, he selected her over all young women in the kingdom, because “she obtained grace and favor in his sight” (Esther 2:17).

She continued to experience favor while serving as queen.  In one instance, she went to the king’s court without being invited, a major risk that could result in death in the culture of that day.  Yet, she took the bold step in order to stop a plot by one of the king’s associates to kill all the people from her Jewish homeland.   When she approached the king, she again “found favor in his sight” and was welcomed to speak with him (Esther 5:2).  Her actions paid off, as the evil plot was uncovered and stopped.  Yet, none of that would have been possible without God’s hand of favor upon her.

When Jesus walked the earth, He also experienced supernatural favor.  “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52, NIV).  In a similar way, it is good for you and me to grow in favor with God and man.  When you need a job, God’s favor can make the difference. When you need special permission, God’s favor can make the difference. When you need to be shown mercy, God’s favor can make the difference. When you need to be protected, God’s favor can make the difference.

Consider this promise: “Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield” (Psalm 5:12).  Let’s set our faith in agreement with those words and expect victory in our lives.  Let our prayer be as the prayer of Moses recorded in Psalm 90: “May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands” (v. 17).