I'm one of God's favorites.
No, I'm not bashful about that at all. Know why? Because I seek His favor every day.
In fact, there is nothing more important to me than God's favor. I need, desperately, to have His favor upon my life every single moment of every single day. I ask for it; I seek it; I claim; I relish it.
I used to think that asking for God's favor was sort of like bringing your teacher an apple every day, sitting in the front of the class, raising your hand to answer every question, and offering to clean the erasers at the end of the day -- somewhat forward, assuming, and obnoxious. I didn't think that I deserved God's favor and I surely had no right to expect it. I assumed that I was just one in a gazillion to God, deserving of no special treatment, certainly not worthy of catching His eye as a favorite.
But I changed my mind about that about a couple of years ago when my Sunday School class was studying the book of Ruth. In Ruth chapter 2 I learned that Ruth
As I read this portion of scripture, God impressed upon my heart that it is okay, even wise and good, to seek His favor as well. Not that I'm to seek His favor just so I can enjoy an extra dose of wealth or good health or ease, but that I desperately need His favor in order to thrive at all. Just like Ruth hoped to find favor in Boaz because she and her mother-in-law were completely dependent on the grace of others, I long for favor from my God because I can't live without it.
- hoped to find favor in Boaz's field (2:2)
- was humbled to have found favor in Boaz's sight (2:10)
- and acknowledged to Boaz that he had treated her with favor (2:13), resulting in comfort and kindness.
And so, ever since that day, I've made it a point to beg for God's favor, not only for myself, but for my family, my ministry, my church, and my country. And, like Ruth with Boaz, I've acknowledged to God that I am humbled when He does indeed show me His favor. I thank Him for His grace toward me. And I celebrate that favor!
The good news is that, unlike one particular teacher I had in high school who showed my brother a great deal of favor but seemed to disdain me, my God can afford to show favor to me, you, and anyone else who truly seeks His face, esteems His name, and walks in His ways. There may be a gazillion of us crying out to God for His favor, but He can turn His loving eyes upon us all, call us by our names, touch us where we crave His touch the most, hold us close, and bless us like crazy.
"For it is Thou who dost bless the righteous man, O Lord,
Thou dost surround him with favor as with a shield."
"O Lord, by Thy favor Thou hast made
my mountain to stand strong."
"And let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us;
and do confirm for us the work of our hands;
yes, confirm the work of our hands."
"I entreated Thy favor with all my heart;
be gracious to me according to Thy promise."
"Open shame belongs to us, O Lord,
to our kings, our princes, and our fathers,
because we have sinned against Thee...
yet we have not sought the favor of
the Lord our God by
turning from our iniquity
and giving attention to Thy truth.
Seeking God's favor is not the same thing as asking for riches or begging to be spared discomfort. It's not the same as asking for anything else at all, now that I think about it.
Seeking God's favor is more like a child seeking his parent's attention. "Look, Mommy! Look at me!" That child craves a simple glance, an acknowledgment of his existence. But he doesn't just want his mommy to pay attention; he knows his mom's attention is vital to his existence, his happiness, his success, his growth, and his well-being. That craving is what causes that toddler to follow his mommy around the house as she moves from one room to another. He longs for her presence, her attention, the safety she affords, her voice and her love.
I don't seek God's favor because it's a nice addition to an already full life. I seek it because His grace upon my life is more precious than the air I breathe. And He gives me that, too.
I'm thankful today that I am His favorite. And by that I simply mean that I receive His gracious favor day after day. It's not an exclusive favoritism, or is it? For you do have to glean in the confines of His field to receive it - through obedience, a humble heart, a willing spirit, a devotion to His Word, and a certain, holy desperation. But there's room in that field for all.
I'm His favorite. But you can be, too.
Labels: God's grace, obedience, Walk Through the Bible