Nothing replaces the favor of God.
God's favor is His deliberate blessing upon your life.
God‘s favor on your life will open opportunities for you that you would never otherwise see. It’s one thing to have sufficient preparation to take advantage of the opportunities you do see. One can do that by way of education, or specific training, or even just self study. There are many things you can do to prepare yourself and train yourself to take full advantage of an opportunity and its related benefits. But no one can take advantage of opportunities they do not see.
When you operate in the favor of God, He will open doors that you would mess. He will make connections that you would never have made. He will give you wisdom to understand things that would’ve been beyond your comprehension, in fact even behind your imagination.
As the creator and operator of the entire universe, God has unlimited access to unlimited resources for unlimited uses. There is literally nothing he cannot open before you and place in your hands if He desires to do so. And when a person's ways please the Lord, that person walks in the favor of God.
Here’s the challenge. Walking in the favor of God is not a comfortable experience. You would think that it would be comfortable. You would think walking in the favor of God would bring great comfort. It does have many, many benefits. There is a sense of joy in his presence. There is a reliance upon his intervention on your behalf. But the one thing it is NOT is comfortable.
The reason is a simple one. By definition, walking by faith cannot be a comfortable process. It always keeps you outside of your abilities, beyond your capabilities, extended beyond the resources you have in hand, and dealing with things that are utterly beyond your personal control. It is a place of reliance upon the move of God to accomplish the will of God.
Because we are who we are, our observation and understanding of situations is never 100% correct. So we constantly come across issues and problems where we feel as if God ought to act in one certain way or another. We look at the current situation and the current issue, and we believe we understand the perfect outcome. But we don’t. In fact, we very seldom do! We must come to the place where we trust what God does.
Because He is who He is, He sees things we do not. He understands much more than we are even capable of comprehending. He sees the end from the beginning. He understands what must be worked into the life of a person in order for them to accomplish the purposes that will fulfill their lives.
Sometimes these are dark paths. Sometimes these are situations fraught with challenge and difficulty. But a loving father does not try to solve every problem for his child. Our Heavenly Father understands that His child must develop internal strength, internal skills. In order to mature, children must develop their own skills.
As you learn to trust him, you do develop these elements in your life. He works in you and forms the skills and abilities to fulfill your calling faithfully and consistently. And then He allows you to walk into situations that will test the levels of skill which you possess. These tests will develop and hone them even further. And, after you have passed these tests, you will move into larger and greater levels. But the tests are not for God; the tests are for you.
They allow you to see what God has done IN YOU so that you have confidence to step into larger and greater things for Him.
One must recognize that there is a time for teaching, and a time for testing. There is a time when God will be speaking tenderly to you. There are times when He will open things for your understanding and amaze you with His wisdom and His strength. There are times where He will show you the amazing things that He is capable of, and bring you into things that He has designed for you to do. In the book of Ephesians, the apostle Paul says that God has created good works in advance for us to walk in them. And that He has faithfully prepared us to walk in those works, and equipped us with the very gifts we need to do them.
As surely as there is a time for teaching, there is also a time for testing. After teaching you about some skill or practice, God will allow you to be tested; this is in order for you to see the skills you have developed. He already knows; you need to learn and understand.
I discipled a young man for a decade or so. Now he is grown, and since he has just finished his medical residency, he is now a physician. During his time of medical studies, there were several times when his teachers would explain the intricacies of certain medical procedures to him. They would allow him to watch them as these procedures were accomplished. Then they would allow him to help. Finally, he would be asked to do them under a supervising eye. During that supervised observation, they would give encouragement and direction, suggesting things
based on their experience as mature physicians, allowing him to get the benefit of their skill.
But then came the time for the test. There HAD to come a time when he would demonstrate that he had in his possession the necessary skills to accomplish the procedures successfully without their direct intervention. In those times, he got no assistance from his professors! They simply stood back and observed.
It is a difficult lesson to walk through, but it’s a necessary step for maturity. During the time of testing the teacher is always silent.
The key is this: never forget in the darkness what you have learned in the light. When you go through one of these times of testing, it may appear that God has left you. The close relationship, the wisdom and insight, Him speaking directly into your heart – – – all of these things will stop. And one may wonder where has God gone? The truth is this: He has not gone anywhere. He has finished a time of training and now you were entering a time of testing.
Pass the test.
And when you do, you will move on to higher levels of operational capacity. You will move into greater places of responsibility and leadership. You will be given access to touch more lives. You have the opportunity to demonstrate His glory and his power in more and greater situations.
God has not placed the desire of nations in our hearts to tease us. When He said go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, He was not joking. He meant what he said! And therefore He will prepare the willing ones to accomplish the task. That task requires preparation. That task requires the favor of God. That task, that incredible task, requires that we walk by faith.
And, as we do, He is pleased. Because we are walking into those things for which we were created. We are stepping into the things that fulfill our very purpose. That requires faith. And without faith, it’s impossible to please him. Because without faith the only resources we have are ours, not His. And you may be sure of this -- OUR resources and skills are insufficient to win the world to Christ. HIS resources are necessary.
So, keep God happy. Learn to walk by faith.