By Michelle Moore
In the previous blog, we talked about what the favor of God is, what it looks and maybe feels like. But, like everything in the Kingdom and in the Word, what has been said or discussed is never complete because the Word is alive and active; because we go from revelation to revelation and glory to glory. It is impossible for us, as temporary and finite beings, to fully cover any one topic in any one conversation or blog or book or …………….
So, let’s continue…
We already talked about the “favor” of God not always looking like our expected definition or ideas of favor. We tend to the think that “favor” looks like success, never failure; like popularity, not rejection; like financial prosperity, not poverty nor lack; like being healthy, not sickness nor death. Favor with God would never, should never, look like tragedy, loss, grief, trials, hardships.
If we have laid down our lives, we are being obedient, repenting daily, reading our Bibles, praying, going to church, forgiving quickly, loving well, then surely we will receive favor that corresponds to that, right?
The problem with that set of expectations, whether conscious or sub-conscious, is that when (NOT if) something painful and unexpected happens, then we must ask who is at fault or what did we do wrong that the consequence would be less than favor. This line of thinking, this belief, exposes a core belief that God’s favor on us is based on our works, not our faith and that salvation is about performance, not grace. It also means that God is not always good. It also means that He is the author of confusion, pain, and tragedy.
Every GOOD and Perfect(ed) gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
We must also consider Deuteronomy 28:1-14. You know this passage. All these blessings will come upon those who observe and obey the commandments of God. The blessings outlined in this passage are very tangible, very visible and it is the promise of our good God. So, then why does this truth of the Word seem to not always be the reality in which we are living??
What do we do, what are we to believe or think when our reality does not match the Truth of the Word of God? What about the fulfillment of the promises of God.
There is a reconciling that needs to happen in our hearts and minds; a shift of our mindsets.
Paul charges us, “I urge you, brothers….do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing, and perfect will.”
Jesus told us that we are to expect trials and tribulations for His name’s sake. Our faith will draw to us trials and tribulations. Matthew records Jesus telling a crowd on a hillside that God makes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and that He sends the rain on the just and on the unjust. James tells us to “count it all joy” WHEN we fall in to trials and tribulations.
So, how do we reconcile this with Deuteronomy (and so many other verses or passages about the blessings of God)?
We must re-set our expectations. To re-set, we must first recognize, expose what is our current set of expectations. When faced with confusion or disappointment, we must stop and ask our hearts, our minds, “what did I expect?”, “What was I hoping for?” Then, we must lay that before the throne of Heaven and, maybe before the cross of Christ to be crucified with Him. We must yield our hearts to the Truth that our reality is temporary and will not always reflect, in fact, may seldom reflect, Truth. BUT, our reality does not change Truth!!
God does in fact desire to pour out blessings on His children. Because He created us body, soul and spirit, He desires to bless us physically, emotionally and eternally. What that might look like for each of us, in our realms of living, will not always be expected. Does He desire for His children who are living in the reality of poverty and persecution to have all that they need? YES!
Does it “look” like He does?? Not through the lenses we, in the west, most often wear….
While we tend to be content with material things as the evidence of God blessing us, our brothers and sisters are truly thankful for waking up, having a single meal today. I wonder if this is why we hear of the signs, wonders and miracles in other nations more than in our own? Really, I do wonder, because my heart & soul long to see the dead raised, the lame healed, the blind see, the deaf hear.
Favor or blessing…My choice, our choice is obedience. Taking up the cross daily. Fellowship with His sufferings. There IS favor in trials and grief. I may not know now what the impact of my life, a life, has been. But, I do know that He is Good, He is faithful, He keeps His promises and fulfills His Word. I do not want to be in bondage to the idea that the favor or blessing of God on my life, your life, a life looks like easy living, health, wealth and worldly success.
In Everything give Thanks. Count is ALL joy. Be anxious for nothing.
Be Still and Know that (He) is God
We are Kingdom people…we have been saved out of darkness and now live from within Him, His light, from heavenly places. Therefore, we must know and believe that going from revelation to revelation means there is revelation yet unknown to us, glory yet not revealed to us or through us. That means, therefore, that there is mystery in our God. A secret place reserved for us to meet with Him. That place where we sit at His feet, sometimes in the presence of our enemies, our lack, our wrong mindsets. In our weaknesses, our lack, He is (His strength) is perfected. We are tried and proven. Our expectations or understanding of favor and blessings are not the measure of our identity or faith. The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. While we are in deed growing in favor with God and with man, we may need to let go of what we think that is supposed to look like or how it feels.
Fear not, Favored One!