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If you were literally spending a day with Jesus, you would expect some special things to happen. You wouldn't fear anything. You would expect, because you are walking with Jesus, to receive preferential treatment. That's what I am talking about. Expect God's favor and walk in it by declaring it. When you pray, pray the favor of God upon your life.
1. Expect God's Favor by Delbert Young (Sermon notes) (Listen sermon audio mp3)
Psalms 84:11-12; Proverbs 8:35-36; (Amplified) Proverbs 8:35; Proverbs 18:21; Mark 11:23; (Amplified) 1 Peter 1:13; Joshua 10:12, 14
Let us begin with an explanation of what I mean by "God's Favor." God's Favor is when God causes people to desire to become a problem solver in your life and they do – divine connections. God's Favor is when unexpected people express an attitude of goodness toward you. For no obvious reason, they go out of their way to help you obtain something you need or want. God's Favor is when the "sun and the moon" stand still for you – strange things happen for your good. How many could use a little more of those things in your life?
God wants to pour out upon us his favor. He wants to provide us with special advantages and preferential treatment. God wants to make our lives easier and that is what God's favor is about. When you enter every day, you should expect the favor of God to be upon and with you.
Psalms 84:11-12 For the LORD God is a SUN AND SHIELD; the LORD BESTOWS FAVOR AND HONOR; no good thing does he withhold from those WHOSE WALK IS BLAMELESS. O LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.
God's favor is like the sun – warmth, enlightenment, clarity. God's favor is a shield – protection/boldness. Honor is associated with God's favor. That word blameless messes with us. Notice it is blameless not "faultless." King James interprets it as uprightly. The Hebrew word is tamiym meaning integrity and truth. It, basically, means being a good person seeking to live a life of goodness and excellence.
It sounds strange, but you should expect some preferential treatment. I'm not talking about going through life with arrogance, rudeness, or a narcissistic attitude. I'm talking aboutwalking in confidence, walking in light, and walking in boldness. It's a blameless assurance that you are a child of the Most High God walking with God as your light and with God as your shield.
If you were literally spending a day with Jesus, you would expect some special things to happen. You wouldn't fear anything. You would expect, because you are walking with Jesus, to receive preferential treatment. That's what I am talking about.
When we walk in the favor of God, great things happen. No good thing does he withhold.You get the promotion even if you are not the most qualified. Doors of opportunity open for you that may not open for anyone else. The favor of God will get you things like your children having the best teachers in school and special deals for purchases. Special treatment comes when you walk in God's favor. I know this is a different type attitude than we usually hear, but I can't find in scriptures where we are not to be bold and positive in our walk with God. You might ask, "Do you think you are special?" Well, yes I do. I am a child of the Most High God and so are you. Walking in the favor of God is walking in a different attitude.
You might say, "Nothing like that ever happens to me. I must not have God's favor." No. This is what I am trying to tell us today. Every child of God has God's favor.
Proverbs 8:35-36 FOR WHOEVER FINDS ME finds life and RECEIVES FAVOR from the LORD. But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death.
Have you found the Lord? If you found the Lord then you can RECEIVE his favor. The key is RECEIVE. The Amplified Bible says it this way.
(Amplified) Proverbs 8:35 For whoever finds me finds life AND DRAWS FORTH AND OBTAINS FAVOR from the Lord.
The image is drawing water from a well. The water is there, but must be drawn forth.For example, God's wisdom is a vast deep well, but you must draw it forth to drink of it. You are not born wise. You obtain wisdom and apply wisdom. It's that way with the favor of God. You must draw it to you, activate, and apply it. It's like salvation (Rom 10:9-10). There comes a time when you do more than believe. You must "confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord." The confession is key to salvation.
God's favor is available for you. The problem is you are living in an "underdog mentality." You are not walking in confidence and drawing to you God's favor. Most likely, you see everything as gray, dark, and negative for your life. You expect to lose and not win.You say things like, "I can't get a break. Nothing good ever happens to me. No one likes me." So, that's what you draw to you.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
Have you ever heard the term "eat your words"? In life, you literally eat what you say. So, I speak life or I speak death into what happens in my future. The reason nothing good ever happens for you is because that is what you are speaking and expecting, so that's what you get. You are "underdog minded." You need to be "favor minded." Expect God's favor and walk in it by declaring it. When you pray, pray the favor of God upon your life. Declare, "I am a child of the Most High God and I have God's favor with me today." If you will do that, you will IMMEDIATELY detect a change in your mentality. You will experience a rush of boldness. Timidity will leave. Your self-esteem will go up. If you maintain that mentality, you will go through your day with your shoulders back walking in boldness you didn't have before.
We all know there is something about a confident person that causes us to want to help them. When the favor of God is upon you, God's light is upon you. You stand out in a crowd. You are sort of in the spotlight.
You students can relate to this. Think about the "most popular" person at school. They don't walk around with their head hung and slumped over. No. They walk in confidence, seem to stand out in the crowd, and seem always in a spotlight. They always have a confident smile. Everybody likes them and wants to do things for them. They may not be the most intelligent or best equipped, but there is that "spotlight" sun/shield thing. Everybody likes them, even teachers.
We adults relate. There are those at work who are confident and seem always to get the best jobs and advancements even though others can do the job better. When I worked for a textile plant before I came into the ministry, I was that guy. Even if I didn't know what I was doing, people thought I did because of my confidence. I would declare and expect the favor of God. I would get the promotion even though there were people way ahead of me in seniority and ability. That's the favor of God.
The reason some are not experiencing God's favor as much as you could is you are not expecting it and not speaking it. Give life to God's favor by speaking it out. Jesus said if you want things to happen, you must use your mouth.
Mark 11:23 "I tell you the truth, if anyone SAYS to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that WHAT HE SAYS WILL HAPPEN, it will be done for him.
Do you think Jesus walked in the favor of God (Luk 2:52)? So, how big is speaking the favor of God? The Greek word translated says is epo meaning to speak or say by word or writing. What are you saying? What are you writing? Saying and writing negative things about yourself, spouse, life, or work means that's what you get. You speak what you expect.
If you speak the positive favor of God, you charge the atmosphere with good. You feel energized and pumped. This is why we should, every one of us, get into a habit of speaking/praying even writing God's favor to be with us as the sun and shield.
We decided years ago we wanted to live debt free, but we were so in debt living week to week. We prayed and believed God gave us a plan. We were paying for our home and had equity built up. We would sell it and build a new home using the equity and pay off all our debts. The house we would build was larger and nicer than the house we had. I think equity was around $35,000. That didn't seem like enough to build and be debt free, but we believed God. We literally wrote out the plan, anointed it with oil, laid hands on it and waited to see what God would do. The house sold and we began building. I would literally walk through that house speaking to it. Six months later we moved into a brand new home totally debt free. You get what you speak and write. Later, we actually sold that house and gave the money to this church.
Speak God's favor over your business. Speak it over your employees. Speak it over your children. Speak it over your spouse. If you are in sales, you should speak, "I have favor with your clients. My clients like me and will purchase from me." If you are in real-estate say, "I will find favor with people needing this real-estate today." Don't get all "spooky" weird about it, but realize something happens in the atmosphere when you speak and write it.If you are about to have a presentation, say it silently, but say it. I do this every week before I preach especially lately. The more favor minded you are, the more you speak what you expect, the more you charge the atmosphere, the more of God's favor you experience. You eat the fruit thereof.
Are you living life with a "favor" mindset or with an "underdog" mindset?
(Amplified) 1 Peter 1:13 So BRACE up your minds; be sober; SET your hope wholly and unchangeably on the GRACE (DIVINE FAVOR)…
We brace and set our hope and minds – mindset – on divine favor meaning we do it on purpose. You think about it on purpose. You set your hope on it on purpose. You brace your mind for God's favor on purpose.
A problem we have is not asking for and expecting God's favor. We feel foolish, or think that won't happen for me. No. That's underdog. Brace and set your mind for it on purpose.
One day Joshua was in a battle. He was wining, but it was getting late and he would not experience victory. He asked for one of the most amazing things in the Bible.
Joshua 10:12 On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: "O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon."
Wild isn't it! Notice how specific Joshua was. Would you dare to ask such as thing? Did it happen? Oh, yes! Joshua very specifically spoke and declared it. If you will, God will stop the sun and moon for you. Are you in a battle? Expect God's favor. God is your Father and as parents understand, we do anything for our children including stopping the sun and moon. The truth is there is nothing God can't do.
Joshua 10:14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a man. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!
I believe God has things planned for you that never happened "before or since." I thought about that. We were going through a bad time at Life Gate. We were in a battle. We couldn't make our building payments. We had a school, teachers and salaries we couldn't pay. To us, we needed the sun and moon to stand still. Judy heard the Lord. He said, "Make a board. Ask people to purchase a square and we would pay for the building." I would never ask that. I would feel foolish, but when you are in a battle and feel you are running out of time, you do anything. So, we did and, we did – plus more. When the favor of God is there, things happen that never happened "before or since." The favor of God is amazing.
You might say those things happen for you because of who you are. No! It's not because of who you are. It's because of WHOSE YOU ARE! You are a child of the Most High God. You found him. Lower your bucket and draw God's favor to you. Speak and write. Charge the atmosphere with the favor of God for you.
You have a right to live in victory and receive preferential treatment. Does that bother you? Well, are you a child of the Most High or not? If Barach Obama's two children (Malia Ann and Sasha) came to Life Gate, people would make certain things went their way. Do you think they would get a little more security (shield) and receive a little more spotlight (sun)? Sure they would. Same thing for you! Except better! Do you believe that? If not, then that's why you are not experiencing the favor of God.
It's not always big things, it's small things too where God's favor shines upon you. When you come into a crowded parking lot and there are no parking places, but you get a spot next to the door, you are not "lucky." That's the favor of God. When you are in Wal-Mart and the lines are long, but the cashier opens a register and says, "I'll get you here," that's the favor of God. You are out some place and meet someone you've wanted to meet, that's the favor of God. When those things happen, don't think happenchance. Say, "Lord, thank you for your favor. You made my life special and easier today." If you will, more favor will come.
Are you living "favor minded"? Do you go out every day EXPECTING THE FAVOR OF GOD, or are you simply passive and "underdog minded"? I get lazy and forget to expect God's favor. When I do, I don't see much of God's favor happening for me. I am asking you today to EXPECT GOD'S FAVOR. Expect preferential treatment not because of who you are, but because of whose you are. Brace and set your hope and mind on purpose for God's favor. Drop your bucket into God's well of favor. Watch God stop the sun and moon for you and do things he never did for you before. Smile big and walk with your shoulders back. Be very careful about the words that come out of your mouth. You will eat them. INSTEAD OF USING YOUR WORDS TO DESCRIBE YOUR SITUATION, USE YOUR WORDS TO CHANGE YOUR SITUATION.
I declare the favor of God upon this church and upon every person here. You will walk in God's light and God's shield. You will draw the favor of God. People will do amazing wonderful things for you. The sun and the moon will stand still for you.