Examining The Lord's Favor
by Joseph Jagde
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There is a lot to be said for being humble and going with things as they are, for not being always self seeking and to keep the focus towards altruistic causes. In the process of prayer, this might lead us away from not outright asking for God's favor in any possible endeavor as we think the rays of his favors must belong somewhere else. While the Lord's favor may be there whether we ask for it or not, we should be aware of it as belonging to his favor and oftentimes it is in fact a matter of the Lord's favor and we are called to realize that much of what happens is a matter of God's favor and there in lies the explanation.
The major major point is that you really don't know what is involved as a whole in the favor you are seeking. For example you assume you get that one call, one job, one situation, and you have got it. But it isn't like fishing, where you pull a fish out of the water and there it is. Favor can involve so many things and things you just may not be aware of. That is why it is so important to add the request for favor into the prayers regarding what you are seeking. .
In many places in the Bible it talks of the Lord's favor and also reveals the possibility that it may be withdrawn. It is not something that is expected to be automatic or something either to be taken lightly or for granted. For example someone might say if I win the lottery I am all set now that I have this type of money. This isn't automatic either, as how the Lord's favor rests is the primary indicator. While winning the lottery can be part of the Lord's favor, the favor needs to continue on.
The Lord's favor unfolds in very specific ways. Moses, within his writing in psalm 90, asks that the Lord's favor be upon us and from his experience and closeness to the Lord, he realized the importance of asking for the Lord's favor specifically and that there could be both an absence and presence of favor.
In any given situation, there are any number of components involved. You can make all the plans you want, but if you are going sightseeing and your best view of what you want to see is going to come from viewing this in the bright sun, then if this particular component is missing, then you will just not get the same enjoyable views you would have had it been there. That one missing component, in this case the sunlight, makes all the difference.
For example, I am planning a day at the beach and I'm picturing a great beach day, the water temperature will be mint, the waves will be high and coming in to where I can time them, and everybody will be around and in a great mood. In the meantime, I go to the beach and there are jellyfish in the water, I lose my keys in the sand, the water is too cold and any number of other things go wrong. I wanted that great beach day, I was picturing it otherwise, but unfavorable elements came in.
Then there may be a number of components involved that need to be there in a favorable way, for this to work, for this to go well and go forward in a hoped for way as what I am dealing with is very variable. When those one, two or three things are missing, it makes all the difference for what otherwise would have been great. Nothing then should be taken for granted or understood to follow automatically based on my own efforts,plans, and hopes.
There might be unexpected components that you were not immediately aware of but necessarily make a difference. Unexpected and unknown variables are involved such as chance meetings, being in the right place at the right time, getting that one call at the right time and so on.
At the beginning, throughout and for the duration of an endeavor we can seek and ask for the Lord's favor and recognize it as such when it rains down upon us and then also come to understand how much comes under the purview of this favor. We do want to ask for the Lord's favor in very specific ways, such as for example, asking for favor for a short trip, a work project, or even reading the paper and choosing what to watch on TV. I might ask for the Lord's favor over a conversation, a business meeting, a date, a trip, a visit, a course I'm taking at school and so on.
There might be communications as to the possible favor from the Lord that are presently given at this time, but would have implications into the far future and many years down the road. For example, you might be receiving a call towards a pathway, that would involve years. That path would needs favor not only now but for years yonder but the indication of favor towards this path is given right now from the Lord.
In says in the psalms that his favor lasts for a lifetime and that can be the case as well, but again it doesn't automatically happen but is contextual to an ongoing relationship with the Lord under the banner of his love for the inidividual person.
Psalm 119 verse 17 says, " Deal bountifully with me O Lord, that I may live and observe your word."
Psalm 116 verse 7 says, " Return O my soul, to your rest, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you."
In the verse in psalm 119, the psalmist, as he asks for the Lord's favor and bounty, is saying that I might live to see it, and also is outright saying that he will observe the favor of the Lord as it comes to pass in the real world. So there is no reason to have one's head in the sand as to God's favor and just hope for it, like a blind hope in a storm, where I can only hope for some favor to emerge out of the dark clouds. This can be the case of course, but also the Lord's favor according to this verse can be observed, maybe even step by step. It is something that is delved into and discussed in prayer and also observed within the watches of prayer according to this key verse in psalm 119. And this reality is something that he observes as coming from the Lord's hand and he does not just blindly hope for the good but asks for the presence of favor and then observes the ways in which it comes about and acknowledges within this that this is the way the Lord is dealing with him personally and it not the outcome of just his own plans, own devices, and own tending to talents. There is in fact something to observe that is coming through that is indeed defined as the favor of the Lord and needs to be named as such and is from the goodness of the Lord for him as an individual. It is indeed a matter of the Lord's favor.
In psalm 116, this verse identifies that when the Lord is dealing bountifully or with favor to the individual, him or her becomes at a greater peace in terms of his or her soul. The proper dwelling place for the soul is within the Lord's bounty. This is another hint, that the Lord's favor is something that can be lived with, enjoyed, and something that we dwell with, co-exist with in the manner of joy, peace, and rest for the soul. Rest doesn't mean just sitting n a chair and relaxing, it means that you can actually stand within the situation. It more refers to a navigatable course, one that can be charted. It is a balancing beam that you can balance on.
The reason to ask for the Lord's favor, in very specific and also in general ways, is that it should be continually understood how many things are indeed a matter of the Lord's favor, and the Lord's favor should be observed and understood in its various components as the Spirit of the Lord manifests favor to the individual soul It is Biblical, and there is no reason not to ask fo the Lord's favor and this can be practiced not only in larger ways but in smaller ways as well within a given day.
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