God’s Favor for a Surrendered Heart | August 6th, 2019
Whenever my mom and I were together, people often used to comment on how much I favored her. Although we did not have the same coloring, our facial features were very similar and we had many of the same mannerisms. Sometimes, we even dressed alike!
Beyond the surface, we favored each other on a deeper level as well because we had spent so much time together. Our hearts were connected. We talked about the everyday little stuff and the
The Reward of God’s Favor
As you spend time with God, you will begin to favor Him. It starts by accepting Jesus Christ, putting your faith in Him as your Savior. As you grow closer in your relationship by staying in His Word and living in a way that is honoring and pleasing to Him, you become more and more like Him. When that happens, God responds by showing favor to you, demonstrating His delight in you as you are delighting in Him.
For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord. Proverbs 8:35
God rewards those who seek Him by granting His favor – His goodness and His grace. Grace comes from the Greek word charis which is sometimes translated as “favor.” Grace is a gift from God that is completely unmerited as there is nothing we can ever do in our own power to deserve it.
If favor comes from seeking God, it is important we know how to seek Him.
Seek God’s Favor Through Intimacy
The Hebrew word Baqash (pronounced
God greatly desires for you to seek His face and promises that when you earnestly seek a relationship with Him you will find Him.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
I love how David the Psalmist describes, with great passion, his deep desire to seek an intimate relationship with God:
You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. Psalm 63:1
When you have an intimate relationship with God, you desire with everything in you to please Him because you love Him. Pleasing Him includes obeying and honoring Him with your words and actions. You also fear Him, meaning you have complete reverence and awe for your Creator. And your heart is loyal to Him. You seek His favor more than you seek the favor of yourself or anyone else.
God is always looking for a few committed hearts fully surrendered to Him so He can pour out His favor on them. Oh, the favor that you will receive from Him when you do this! His favor means He is on your side strengthening you, supporting you, blessing you, caring for you, guiding you, protecting you, and defending you.
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. 2 Chronicles 16:9a
When you experience God’s favor, you are given peace, knowing that nothing can happen to you apart from His good purpose. You have joy, even during your most difficult challenges in life, knowing your final destiny is with Jesus for all eternity. And you have His never-ending love. The closer you are to Him, the more you become aware of all the sweet ways He is loving you through His blessings in your life, big and small.
Seek God’s Favor Through Humility
Humility is connected to obedience. It takes humility to submit to God and obey His commands. Without humility, your arrogance will reign. If something that God requires of you doesn’t appeal to you, your arrogant heart will say, “That’s ridiculous! Why should I have to do that? I will do what I want to do!”
It’s interesting to see the way people often pick and choose from God’s commands. They say they are a follower of Christ, yet their actions show they really don’t want to follow Him. Their spirit of arrogance scorns anything that doesn’t fit comfortably into their lifestyle. Yet ALL of His laws are a part of what God commands for righteous living. Otherwise, He wouldn’t ask us to live by them. He knows what is best for us.
When you proclaim with your mouth that you are a follower of Christ but continually make choices that do not have God’s blessing, you are mocking your Creator. It’s not hard to understand why He opposes a proud and arrogant heart. You are basically telling Him you want to be your own god – that you know what’s best and you don’t need Him. If you think you are in fellowship with God with a heart like that, you are deceiving yourself.
God grants favor to those with a humble, repentant heart and who have a holy reverence for His Word.
Isaiah 66:2b says, “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.”
The Heart of King Hezekiah
King Hezekiah was one of those people who had true humility and an obedient heart. It is no wonder he’s described in the Bible as having a close relationship with God. God granted favor to Him throughout his life and even on his death bed…
In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”
Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from
After hearing that incredibly good news, Hezekiah must have been so thankful He had chosen to be loyal to God with an obedient and humble heart! God has many amazing ways of showing favor to us. For Hezekiah, it was to heal him and lengthen his life.
If you want God’s favor, you must have humility to be able to submit to Him and obey His commands. If that is a struggle for you, ask Him to take away your arrogance and lead you toward making godly choices that line up with His Word.
Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he shows favor. Proverbs 3:34
Seek God’s Favor Through Wisdom
Wisdom is a treasure that does not come to us naturally. We have to seek it. And in order to seek it, we must have humility because we have to be able to submit ourselves to the wisdom of God above our own wisdom.
When arrogance comes, disgrace follows, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2
It is important to be teachable and open to learning. Humble yourself and ask God for wisdom as He is the ultimate source. He promises to give it to you!
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5
I have found this to be true in my own life, time and time again. If I ask God for clarity and wisdom about a particular issue, He shows me through His Word or through the advice of my friends who are walking close to God. He is always ready to give us His perfect wisdom when we ask!
What are some of the ways God shows favor when we seek His wisdom?
One way He shows favor is by saving us a lot of heartaches. We have discernment and wisdom because we are walking according to the truths in God’s word and not living a life of foolishness based on our own self-centered choices.
Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, but a man of understanding walks uprightly. Proverbs 15:21
Just as there is pleasure in tasting sweet honey, there is pleasure in having godly wisdom. Another way God gives favor for those seeking His wisdom is a future hope – an eternal Home with Him and everlasting life. What a gift!
Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 24:13-14
Once you have tasted God’s wisdom, there are no substitutes that can compare. The kind that is offered by the world is bland and bitter!
Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. 1 Corinthians 3:18-19a
Wisdom is worth far more than gold and silver. When you have Christ living in you, you are given all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Wisdom is far more profitable and useful for living a godly life than having the very best worldly treasures which do not last.
How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver! Proverbs 16:16
In Psalm 84:11, God explains even more ways He shows His favor for applying wisdom to live a godly life:
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
Just as the sun is a continuous flow of goodness with its healing warmth and light to our world, God is a steady source of all that is good. And, like a shield, He is our Protector against the enemy who greatly desires to keep us from walking uprightly in a close relationship with God.
His favor also includes not withholding any good thing He has purposed for you whether temporal or eternal. If it is truly something that is good for you, He will not keep it from you. If you do not receive a particular “blessing” you are praying for, rest assured that it is not something He considers to be good for you – at least for now. You just have to trust Him that He knows best!
Seek God’s wisdom so you can know how to live a godly life and then delight in Him and His good favor. You will avoid the heartaches that come from making foolish decisions. You will have a hope for your future to live in eternity with Him. And you will be able to enjoy the abundance of good things that He has prepared for you at the right time. Just as you are delighting in Him, He will be delighting in you as you seek to live a life pleasing to Him.
The Sparkle of Life
With all of the beautiful, sparkly vintage jewelry I repurpose, I can’t help but think of God’s favor as the sparkle of life. One of the most sparkly vintage pieces I ever repurposed into a ring was created by jewelry designer Albert Weiss during the 1950s:
His trademark is that he used rhinestones from Austria which were known for their exceptional quality and clarity. The stones had a higher lead content which gave his pieces much more dazzle and sparkle.
When you seek God through intimacy with Him, offering a humble heart, and desiring His perfect wisdom, you will be able to enjoy the many benefits of God’s favor. It is the greatest dazzle and sparkle in life that you could ever experience!
Sparkler #1: Prayer
If you are not fully committed to God, ask Him to give you a heart of humility so you can be completely surrendered to Him and experience His favor – His goodness and grace.
Sparkler #2: Action
Seek God’s wisdom by spending time in His Word and surrounding yourself with godly friends who deeply desire to honor and please God.
Sparkler #3: Challenge
Ask God to reveal to you the ways you may be mocking Him with an arrogant heart and then be willing to make the necessary changes to have a heart that is loyal to Him.
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