Gaining God's Favor
by Shiju Vincent
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ďThis is what the Lord says: Heaven is My throne and earth is My footstool. What house could you possibly build for Me? And what place could be My home? My hand made all these things, and so they all came into being. This is the Lordís declaration. I will look favorably on this kind of person: one who is humble, submissive in spirit, and who trembles at My word.Ē (Isaiah 66:1, 2 HCSB)
The great majestic God recommends here strongly that we must practice humility in our daily living. We must be humble during trials as well as when everything is well. The values of humility are various. Some of them are growth in Christlikeness, ability to depend on God and making us what God designed us for. My readers have their personal opinions on humbleness. As it is true for other human values, humility is best understood when practiced. If a man gives a 4 hours lecture on humbleness and the students do not put his teaching into practice, the teaching will be fruitless. What is humility? It is denying our self for following Christ. It is being moulded by God to become what He wants us to be. It is seeing others better than ourselves. In this world, we have many temptations to think that we are someone to be noticed, but God looks favorably on the humble. The more humble we are, the more precious we become. It does not count how much identity we have in society, but it counts how much we are careful in preserving the Christian values injected in us through our daily walk with God. Our spiritual life may seem to stop by seeing the hurdles on the way, but if we are humble even at that time and not murmur or complain, we can enjoy Godís favor.
Next, God looks favorably on people who are submissive to His voice and leading. There may be a large majority of people who want to obey and please God, but only a few walk through the narrow path. Following Christ is not an impossible thing to do, but it demands from us total submission, urging us to deny our self made rules and follow the example of Christ. A man with a submissive spirit has a tender and soft response to Godís voice. He does not start arguing with God but gently accepts to follow Him whatever the circumstances may be. To obey God in all circumstances requires our full potential coordinating with the graces and guidelines of God. If we obey God with full energy but not according to His grace, we are not obedient in the real meaning. Even if it seems hard to obey, we must obey.
Finally, God loves those who tremble at His word. So it is very necessary that we make it a thorough habit to read the Bible daily. When we go through the teachings in the Bible and follow them, we will naturally grow in our fear and reverence towards God. Trembling at His word means that we love His word and follow it without any compromise. It is believing in it without looking on outward possibilities. We have many reasons to tremble at His word, the two main things being its authority as Godís infallible word and its authenticity in all matters pertaining to true living. When we practice to tremble at His word, we are living a life of faith and courage. To develop in this, we must constantly apply the Word in all our opportunities.
We just looked on the three qualities one must have to gain Godís favor. These are not hard to follow if we have the grace of God. His grace alone can sustain our Christian growth. The more opportunities we utilize for our spiritual development, the more we will come closer to Godís favor. Indeed, it is true that we are humble, submissive to Godís voice and fear at His word, but it requires that we must grow on these qualities. May the grace of Christ and our submission to Him cooperate with each other so that we can be Christians, true Christians.
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