Taste & See
Favor is God’s “I’m for you” attitude. It is the amazing, undeserved benefit of being His child, yet many believers never taste its fullness. Why not? One reason is that we simply misunderstand His favor.
Biblically, favor can be thought of as being provided with special advantages or preferential treatment. That is God’s heart toward you. He wants you to experience His love and see how much He desires to bless, help and assist you. He wants to treat you “special.” In Romans 8:32 (TLB), we are asked this hypothetical question: “Since He did not spare even His own Son for us but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also surely give us everything else?” God’s answer is a resounding “Yes!” And He is calling us to experience just how good He is!
Examples of Favor
It has been said that one day of God’s favor is better than a thousand days of hard work, and we see examples of this throughout Scripture. Here are just a few:
Ruth asked for and found favor with Boaz (Ruth 2-4), and she became the great grandmother of King David.
David found favor with Saul (1 Samuel 16:22) and with God (Psalm 30:7). Despite his failings, God refers to David as “a man after My own heart” (Acts 13:22).
Esther found so much favor (Esther 5:2) that the King offered her up to half his kingdom.
Mary found favor with God (Luke 1:30) and became the mother of Jesus.
Jesus’ disciples had favor with both God and men (Acts 2:47), and the early church grew.
You see, God never intended His favor to be found by just a handful of people. Every believer – you and me included – can and should experience His favor!
Jesus, Our Example
Jesus possessed many traits that should be part of every believer’s character. From His youth, He was interested in spiritual things (Luke 2:49). He lived unselfishly and served others (Matthew 20:28). He focused on accomplishing His Father’s will every day of His life (John 6:38). Without a doubt, He left us an example so we could follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21).
When Luke boils down the first thirty years of Jesus’ life, he writes, “Then He [Jesus] went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them [His parents]. But His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:51-52 NIV). The four areas Jesus grew in (wisdom, stature, favor with God, and favor with men) are all areas that we also can grow in.
This type of growth is not so different from building our muscles. While each of us already has all the muscles we need – there are over 600 of them in the human body – most of us have not put forth the effort it takes to build them to their potential. As a result, we are not nearly as strong as we could be.
In the same way, God has made provision for all of the favor we will ever need. But just like Jesus grew in it, so can we. It won’t happen automatically any more than our muscles automatically become strong.
Raising Your Expectations
Our expectations have a lot to do with what we experience in life. There is a scriptural principle that says, “as we think in our hearts, so are we” (from Proverbs 23:7). It follows that the level of favor we experience in our lives will rise to the level of our expectation. There is no way around it; if we are to fully experience God’s favor, we need to believe in our hearts that God loves us, that He is for us and wants to bless us with it!
What should we expect this favor to look like? Psalm 103:2-6, 17-18 lists several effects of God’s favor. We should expect (or regard as likely to happen) that God will forgive our sins, heal our diseases, redeem us from destruction, crown us with loving kindness and tender mercies, provide for our health and strength, give us justice when we’re oppressed, and extend His righteousness to our children’s children as we keep covenant with Him. And, that’s just scratching the surface of what God’s children can, and should, expect!
Believe It Is For You
Even those who do not have a problem expecting that God will release His favor on His children, sometimes have a hard time believing that God’s favor is for them personally. They say, “It sounds good, but it doesn’t work that way for me. I believe in God, pray, and go to church, but I still don’t experience God’s favor.” They believe in God’s favor, but they don’t believe for it. They need to not only know that it is acceptable to expect God’s preferential treatment, but that they should believe God for it.
Believing has two parts. Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” We need to believe that God exists, and that He will reward us when we seek Him. Each of us has a need to personally accept God’s promise of favor as being true, genuine, and real – and each of us has a need to believe for His favor in our life.
It is God’s will for you to experience His favor. Every promise He makes is for you, and as Jesus said, “According to your faith will it be done to you” (Matthew 9:29 NIV).
Favor is not found by following a formula, and it is important to remember that you are not changed by what is in your head, but by what is in your heart. In Matthew 12:34, we are reminded that, “…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
What you say has the power to release God’s favor in your life. Jesus said, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says” (Mark 11:22-23).
There is no better way to express your faith in God than to agree with God and say the same thing His Word says. These scripture-based confessions on favor are an example of how you can confess God’s favor over your life:
- God surrounds and protects me with favor like a shield. Psalm 5:12
- The Lord is a sun and shield. He bestows favor and honor, and no good thing does He withhold from me. Psalm 84:11
- I actively seek and live by God’s wisdom; therefore, I am highly favored and esteemed in the sight of God and men. Proverbs 3:1-4; Proverbs 8:33-35
- God’s favor brings promotion and causes me to increase daily. Esther 2:17, Psalm 75:6-7
- My enemies cannot triumph over me because the Lord has favored me. Psalm 41:11 AMP
Remember that God is for you. He wants to bless, help and assist you. His favor can make an extraordinary difference in your life, but it will not happen automatically. You must turn it on the same way you turn on the lights in your house. The power of electricity is always there, but the lights won’t come on until you turn on the switch.
Because you are God’s child, you can live knowing that His favor is for you in everything you do and everywhere you go. Don’t miss out on it! Raise your expectations, believe His promises are for you and begin confessing His favor over your life.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Psalm 34:8
(All scriptures are from the New King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise stated.)