When one asks the question to another of wanting favor with God, we can be sure of the response from the receiver of such a question. The answer will be sure yes, I want favor from God. Many times, we all will change the tiny preposition with to from and think nothing of it. Even the pagan unbeliever wants favor from God.
We see favor from God (freely given to all humanity to enjoy) by all that He has supplied for us here on the earth. Favor from God is what God does for us externally, but favor with God is what we allow Him to do in us internally. There is a big difference in the two. The first is easy to accept and often times bring about great gratification.
For example, the wonderful things in all of nature placed here for our enjoyment. Bird watchers have endless specie of most beautiful and vastly different creatures for them to admire and study. Hikers afforded with a countless number of mountain trails of all varying degrees of difficulty and challenge. Physical riches and beauty fill the earth endlessly.
All furnished by Almighty God to the just and the unjust equally alike. He gives the external things of this earth for enjoyment even to the atheist who literally hates Him. This is all because of the goodness of God to His creation (man) whom He loves.
However, the latter or favor with God is not so readily accepted. The first thing it requires is for every mouth to be shut and every soul of man to humble himself before Almighty God acknowledging himself as a sinner and asking the Lord to be merciful to him.
Christ proved His love for all humanity by leaving the glorious splendor and riches of Heaven to die a vile and vicious death for every man. This has made the door wide open for any man to come to Him and not only be forgiven of sin and saved from Hell, but to now be able to have favor with Almighty God. What a glorious thought to have the creator of the entire Universe look upon you with favor. After salvation, then deeper favor with God must require the very painful extraction of habits and sins, we may not be ready to give up.
Here is what the late F.B. Meyer (1847-1929) had to say about what God is doing in us from his exposition of 2 Corinthians 5:1, “What is God doing for you and me? The Apostle answers--He is endeavoring to bring it about that our mortality may be swallowed up of life. God wants to wipe out in each of us all traces of the Fall.
It is His purpose to eliminate everything which brands us as members of an exiled race, so that our mortality, whether of spirit, soul, or body, may be swallowed up by Life--"the life of which our veins are scant, the life for which our spirits pant, more life and fuller!"
Think of it! For thee, and me, and all who have been translated from the region of darkness, and brought into the Kingdom of the Son of His Love! Mortality engulfed in Life! We cannot fathom it! We know not what we shall be, we only know that we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. Such is God's objective. He is working for us and in us, for this very thing!” You see favor with God is a cleansing process which takes place on the inside.
Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, that He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless]. (Quick Amplified Bible)
You see Christ must perform this act of cleansing in us because He will be presenting the members of His body to Himself. Surely, we cannot expect or think that He will allow any of His workmanship or products to be deficient in any manner. His inspection process is 100% on point with everything He produces.
From the moment Christ redeems each of us, He begins the purifying process immediately in the hearts and minds of every blood bought son and daughter. Christ does not force us to yield to His cleansing hand, but He exhorts and encourages us to allow Him to work in us.
John 15:1-2 I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit. (Quick Amplified Bible)
This is why the Apostle Paul said, “That if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged by God.” This Paul spoke of us before we partake of communion (the body and blood of the Lord Jesus). Paul went on to say that, “This is why many are sick and some sleep.” This exposition from the Apostle Paul clearly spells out for us that Christ is not sitting back allowing His children to live upon this earth any old filthy way they please.
1 Peter 1:13-16 So brace up your minds; be sober (circumspect, morally alert); set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor) that is coming to you when Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is revealed. [Live] as children of obedience [to God]; do not conform yourselves to the evil desires [that governed you] in your former ignorance [when you did not know the requirements of the Gospel]. But as the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living. For it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy. (Quick Amplified Bible)
Now when we allow Christ free access to our hearts (that He may purify us) then this will result automatically into favor with God. God does not dispense His true favor to just any soul. Favor with God is not some mere nice sounding slogan one can quote and it magically happens. But, it is an influence wrought in the heart by God.
Romans 5:2 Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God's favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God. (Quick Amplified Bible)
You see favor with God is something we can experience down here right now and forever. The Lord Jesus Christ wants every one of His children to know (by experience) this favor that He gives to all those who love Him.
Remember Christ said, “He that has my Word and keeps it, it is he that loves me and He will be loved by my Father and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” The Lord Jesus means that He is going to make Himself clearly visible by showing Himself to that person that loves Him in their hearts. They will know beyond any shadow of doubt that it is Christ (the Son of God).
What greater favor with God can anyone receive than to have the Lord of Glory show up on the doorstep of your heart and come in and make His home their, never to move out. However, the Lord Jesus also said those who did not keep His word do not love Him. That is pretty clear and strong language, but it is true.
John 14:24 “He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me.”(NKJV)
This is very strong language we have here in this verse of Scripture. This whole Bible is about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and it presents Him in all His splendor, glory, and majesty from Genesis to Revelation. His love for us is so great that we are not even able to understand it.
The Lord Jesus told us that the Father seeks true worshippers of Him, not those who require coercion or forcing as in some duty or job or ritual or routine or religion. But He desires that heart felt surrender that only can come from a heart redeemed by His Blood. Favor with God means to enter into a love relationship with Him, nothing more or less. In perhaps one of the most chilling verses in all of Scripture:
1 Corinthians 16:22 If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come! (NKJV)
The woman who washed the Lord Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried His feet with her hair showed an unashamed burning love for Him and an unyielding devotion to Him by her actions, not by mere words.
Pagan unbelieving people who work for a corporation or an individual try a myriad of things during their tenure with said employer to obtain favor with their boss. They seek such favor for increase in authority, finances, esteem, prestige, and even popularity. The sacrifices of family, time, and even sleep to impress their bosses sometimes produces negative results in their personal health and family lives.
However, with many people of the world this never stops or suppresses their pursuit of favor with their boss. How can one ever obtain favor with anyone if his or her actions do not please the object of said favor?
If the pagan, gentile, godless, unbelieving, worldly, and greedy man today is willing to bring himself to physical exhaustion and even the destruction of his family for something that is perishable, what should we who say we know and love our Lord, Master, and Savior Jesus Christ be willing to sacrifice for favor with Him. The answer is simple and it is all.
Remember when our Lord and Savior told us the parable of the unjust steward. In this parable He told us that the sons of this world are shrewder in their generation than the sons of light. This is obviously true because the Lord Jesus said it, but it is also evident today and in every generation by what we see occurring all around us.
The Lord Jesus was telling us that the pagan unbeliever should not be more diligent in his pursuit of worldly material things (that will perish) than we His blood bought children should be in diligently working to discover and obtain all of the spiritual blessings we have freely been given in Him.
Sure we have to live down here right now on this earth, but we know that our time here is limited, short and soon we will stand before Christ in eternity at His judgment seat. Should we be spending most of our time pursuing perishable things or spiritual things, which are eternal? This is how we can right now obtain favor with God.
I personally believe that the closer we are down here with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will determine how close we will be to Him forever. In the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John tells us that we will be serving our Lord and Savior in Heaven, but I cannot see where he ever says we will be earning any additional favor with the Lord Jesus Christ in Heaven.
I believe all of that is determined down here by what we allow the Lord Jesus to work out in our hearts and lives right now. I believe we will spend all eternity learning and discovering more of the splendor and beauty of His person and never ever discovering it all, but we will not be earning more favor with Him.
Everyone in Heaven will not be on the same level, but there will be different plains for the saints based on what Christ did in us while we were on earth. What a wonderful truth it is to know that we can be as close to Christ as we desire and nothing can stop us from drawing nearer and nearer to Him every day we pilgrim down here.
What must be our response down here to receive favor with God? True favor with God is being acceptable to Him. This can only happen when Christ saves us and makes us fit to be with Him forever.
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author, Silent Assassins of the Soul (not yet published; coming soon)
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