It’s been a struggle for the past several months. One thing after the next in my life going down in flames. I sometimes wonder why God is allowing such nonsense. He can stop it all if He really wanted too, right? He can straighten every river, melt every mountain and turn water into wine (I really like that one…). But why won’t He help me in my situation?
I can only imagine that a few of you are also asking some of the same questions…
– Why did God stand by while they cheated on me?
– How come I’m still looking for a job after 2 long years?
– When will I finally have the life that so many others have?
– How long will I have to wait before God actually notices me and my pain?
– Your question here…
But a classic question many of us wonder is…
– God, don’t you promise me your favor if I follow close to you?
We’ve all heard it a hundred times. “Hey brother, I’m praying for God’s favor on you…” Or, “Sister, just seek God’s favor for your life and things will get better…” But what does that really mean?
If I must pray for God’s favor, then that means I don’t always have it. And if I don’t always have it, then I must go on a quest to find out how to obtain this mystical favor that everyone so desperately seeks.
In my small group, one person said, “I just wish I knew how to gain God’s favor.” It was as if she was desperate to find the “answers” of God, but not necessarily God Himself. I asked her to clarify what that looks like. As the tears softly rolled down her face she went on, “I look around and I see God’s favor on so many lives. People have thriving businesses, spouses aren’t straying from home, things just seem to be going in their favor and I want that: I want that favor.”
When I quickly look through the bible for verses that deal with God’s favor towards his creation, something catches my eye. Nearly all of the Old Testament scriptures seem to indicate that we must do our part in attaining the favor of God. But once we hit the new testament, everything changes. Here are a couple of examples…
Old Testament: 2 Samuel 15:25
Then the king said to Zadok, “Take the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the Lord’s eyes, he will bring me back and let me see it and his dwelling place again.
New Testament: 2 Corinthians 6:2
For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
Can you see the difference? Look it up yourself. Over and over and over in the old testament, we are trying desperately to find God’s favor. But turn the pages a few hundred years after Christ came to the earth, died for our sins and then rose again to bring us life, the favor is now within us. It’s not something to attain any longer, it’s already been provided.
God has given us all the favor and blessings we could EVER receive. And this provides us the freedom to live our lives in such a way that we no longer need to look over our shoulders in hopes that God has (or is) drawing near. If you’ve accepted Jesus as your savior, every bit of God’s blessings are now fully alive within you. There’s nothing to ask for, it’s already there!
I realize that this may not bring you immediate relief from your situation. I certainly pray that relief will come soon! Life is hard. It’s difficult and sometimes very dejecting. But God is here. He’s inside of us, filling us with immense favor and blessing. Let me leave you with one last thought.
When we ask for God’s favor, what we’re really asking is that He make things better. The “favor” actually becomes an idol. We want our situation better, but God is desperately wanting Him to be our need. When we seek favor, we aren’t really seeking Him, we’re seeking His power. And although that may not be entirely wrong, what God most desperately wants is for you to fall into His loving arms. He’s given you the favor, He’s provided all the blessings. The only thing left is for you to make God your greatest treasure. Make Him your answer, not the answers that you seek, not the favor that you desperately want. It’s God you truly seek and He is waiting for you…