Finding Favor with God
Delivered by ASE Joseph Olorunnisola, November 19, 2006.
“Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the post of my doors. For whosoever findeth me, findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord.” Prov. 8: 34-35.
If you find favor with God, you will become an extraordinary person, a peculiar individual, an excelling talent and a symbol of admiration and wonder. This is a gift that exudes exceptional grace and charm. God’s favor is truly free but not cheap, it is not given discriminately, it is not capricious – the difference is created by the action of individual believers stemming from obedience and faith.
Enoch walked perfectly with God and found favor with Him. Noah was just and perfect in his generation; he walked with God and found the favor of God. So also was Abraham, who sacrificed his substance to entertain messengers of God and also readily offered his son Isaac as sacrifice. Those who accept Christ as their Lord and Savior and worship God in holiness and truth, and keep His commandments, will experience the goodness of God and secure the citizenship of eternal Kingdom of glory, but finding favor with God calls for one overriding gesture: bowels of mercy and charity.
A number of believers trust on fasting and prayer to secure their special need from God. They worship God devotedly and keep His entire commandments, but yet they remain unfulfilled – their requests are still not answered by heavens. Why? The seed is indeed planted and the watering is done, but unless there is an injection of fertilizer, the growth will remain stunted and the fruits without any glory. “If thou give thy bread to the hungry, and thou bring the poor that are cast out into your house, when thou see the naked and thou cover him, and thou shall take care of your relative. Then shall thy light break forth as the morning and thine health shall spring forth speedily and thy righteousness shall go before thee, the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward. Then shall thou call, and the Lord shall answer you; thou shall cry, and the Lord shall say Here I am.” Is 58. 7-9.
During the days of Prophet Elijah the Tishbite, heavens were shut for 42 months and there was neither rain, sowing , nor harvesting – a period of pronounced famine and drought. People were surviving on human flesh, yet a Zarephath widow released the very last handful of meal she prepared for herself and her son, so they could eat and die, to Prophet Elijah – the servant of God. She was blessed and throughout the duration of the famine, her vessel of oil and pot of flour remained overflowing from the abundance of heavens. Hesitation and fears at providing for servants of God, the widow, orphan, and the destitute is normally due to a negative mental attitude, lack of faith and an ingrained habit of thinking small. It is often a product of ignorance or function of a mean, stingy and stagnating mind.
To find favor with God, you must learn to give out to the servants of God, the widow, orphans, the destitute and all those who are sincerely in need. The Shunammite woman in II Kings 4: 8-37 was a rich, great and significant woman of immense nobility, but she had no child. She was already in her menopause. She identified Elisha, the prophet of God, invited him into her house and lavished him with overwhelming hospitality. Elisha in return made supplication to God on her behalf, and she was blessed with a boy, even at her old age. For Christ said in Matt 10:40-42, he that receiveth my servant, receiveth me and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me…And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
Luke 7: 37-50 tells us, that Mary Magdalene was a sinner – a prostitute, who was also possessive of seven evil spirits. She came to Jesus Christ with a tremendous sense of profound gratitude for her acceptance, despite her unworthiness. She washed the feet of my Lord with her tears, toweled it with her hair and anointed the feet of Jesus with a whole bottle of expensive alabaster ointment value at a whole year’s wage. For her act of overwhelming generosity, she was forgiven all her sins, conferred with sainthood and granted the singular opportunity of being the first disciple to see the resurrected Christ. Mary, jointly with two other women who were healed of evil spirits and infirmities – Joanna and Susanna, continued to provide out of their substance to sustain the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ and they were all lavished with the favor of God.
“Blessed is he that considered the poor: the Lord will deliver him in the time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive, and he shall be blessed upon the earth and thou will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.” Psm 41: 1-2. Have you been praying for something for long without receiving an answer from above? Why not sow a seed of mercy today, by providing for someone around you, within your family, your neighborhood, your church…etc and you will find favor with God. Someone like Lazarus, the beggar (Luke 16) is crying at your table for crumbs, answer him/her today and you will also receive from above. “Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.” Prov. 21:13.
At Dorcas death, the barrage of testimonies to her works of mercy and charity from widows invoked heavens immediate response to Peter’s cry for her resuscitation. Act.9:36-41. Almsgiving, Charity and bowel of mercy unto your parents, your less privileged siblings, widows, orphans, the disease and war ravaged people of Ruwanda, Congo, etc and ministers of God will not only provide for your treasures in heaven, it will also multiply your earthly possessions, enlarge your coastline, and remove you from the cage of penury, stagnation, and sorrow. Luke 12:33-34. Luke 18:22. More importantly, it will be counted unto you by God as work of righteousness. Psm 112:9, Matth 25:34-40.
Despite your hard work and exalted position, are you still ravishing in poverty, misery or barrenness? Add to your duty of worship and uprightness from today, a bowel of mercy and charity. Learn to give and you will be favored from above. “Mercy, I seek and not sacrifice”, says the Lord. Just as Paul apostle, may I say that my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus, as you cultivate the spirit of giving like the Philippians. Ph. 4:15-20
ASE Joseph Olorunnisola.
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