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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Training for a life of Favor- G. Cooke

Our biggest problem with favor is that we do not see it the way the Father wants to release it.
We want it mostly as an impartation or an event. Really, that is just a taster. Favor is a banquet.

Favor is a lifestyle of ever-increasing, ever-expanding preference that upgrades our relationship with the Godhead and our status in the Kingdom.

The development of favor goes hand-in-hand with learning the art of walking out and working in the truth of who Christ is for us and who we have permission to become in Him.
Favor is best received as part of a joyful process that enables us to contend against our own negativity, and overcome every circumstance of life because we have found favor in the eyes of God.

It’s the process that makes us rich, not the outcome.3

Process is the story of how we become like Jesus and the journey that He takes us on into Fullness and Abundance. The journey is more than reaching a destination. It’s about how we travel and who/what we become on the way.
Without an experience with the always brilliant Holy Spirit, we will not understand how essential process is in our development.1 That almost guarantees that we will return to our default position in our circumstances. That is:
  • Believing God will do it, but we do not step into the promise, own it and live in it (i.e. the process).
  • We step into the promise and believe it, but we do not act as though it is real now! Therefore we give up on it when circumstances don’t change.
  • We don’t follow through strongly enough and we settle for a measure of blessing, but not fullness.

There is no breakthrough without follow-through3.

Our training is always about learning God’s nature and our identity in Him. We train in favor and relationship combined. We learn how to behold and become.
Jesus has full favor and employs it on our behalf as we engage with Him in the course of life situations.
His Presence in us generates an expectation of the Kingdom working on our behalf. That is what we are learning when we talk about favor as a lifestyle.
Growing in favor is a huge part of growing up in Christ in all things. Relational training is concerned with learning who God is for us. He is unchanging; unceasing; unfailing.

Favor comes to us in surprising ways and occasionally through very difficult people.

A lifetime ago I was a landscape specialist working with some contractors and also for myself. During another dip in the economy, I was searching for work. I heard of a homeowner with a drainage problem in his rather large grounds.
Long story short: his garden had an underground stream. Four drainage companies and tens of thousands of pounds had produced no cure. A large section of an immaculate lawn was wet, boggy and an unsightly mess.
A thoroughly disillusioned, impatient and angry landowner showed me the scale of the problem. Tension was thick in the air. “Well,” he demanded. “What can you do that others can’t?”
“I’ll pray about it,” I said. “I bet no one has done that.” Streams of profanity ensued. It was the only job on the horizon; I took it.
Cue for meaningful dialogue with a certain king. Silence. I’m not put off by God’s silent routine. I know he loves me. He accepts that I’m weird, I know that He is not normal. He is a talker, so silence is mostly an invitation to sit, ask questions and ponder.
Waiting on the Lord is a very restful activity. On this occasion He and I were trying to out-peace one another. I won because the Prince of Peace is a resident in me. ☺
Favor should always make us smile. Is anything too hard for the Lord? [Gen. 18:14]. At least I wasn’t an older woman, way past childbearing, trying to have a kid. In the Hebrew the word for hard is Pala, which carries the context to mean “making difficult things wonderful.”
As a verb Pala means to be marvelous, wonderful, magnificent.
When Pala is used with God as its subject, it expresses actions that are beyond the bounds of human powers or expectations. All we can do is agree with David: “This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes” [Ps. 118:23].
A better interpretation occurs when we remove the difficulty and put God in its place. Then Genesis 18:14 reads, “Is there any situation where God cannot be magnificent?” Much better question.
In the silence I heard: “If you cannot change it, make a feature out of it.”
The Holy Spirit loves puzzles. Water is the thing that can’t be changed, therefore water is the answer.
I built a water garden. Beautiful pond with lilies, an island, a bridge and a pergola. A bench, swinging seat, lots of flowers. Perfect. Added thousands to the property value. The homeowner threw a huge party, invited me, recounted the story of me praying and got me lots of work. Favor.

Life is the training ground for favor.

Situations never get easier. The point is, you get better. Favor is the tipping point that turns things around. Your current situation is absolutely ideal to grow in favor with God and man. The bigger the situation, the more favor you need. Perfect.
Be calm. Put on some worship. Think deeply about Him and you together. Ask good questions. Wait joyfully. Expectation will rise and your favor will come to you. His name is Jesus.  
PS) This is part of the Favor Series
 LINK

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