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Favor: The Path to Prosperity

by Tom Brown

You can have people favor you. The dictionary defines favor as to show preferential treatment, to give advantage to another, and to give special favors.

Do you think your life would be better if people gave you preferential treatment? Of course it would.

There was a time in my Christian walk that I expected people to not like me because I was Christian. I had a persecution complex. It is true that the Bible says that we shall be persecuted, but at the same time, we need to balance persecution with favor.

It is Christ-like to have favor working in your life.

And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. (Luke 2:52)

Jesus grew in favor, not only with God, but also with men. People favored Jesus. Yes, they crucified Him, but at the same time, crowds thronged to hear Him preach. People liked Jesus.

We all want to be like Jesus. To be like Him means that we should also grow in favor with people. Believe for favor. Don’t believe that people will dislike you.

Benefits of Favor

Favor has its benefits. Ruth caught a rich, godly man for a husband named Boaz. The Bible says:

At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She exclaimed, "Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?"… "May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord," she said. "You have given me comfort and have spoken kindly to your servant—though I do not have the standing of one of your servant girls." (Ruth 2:10 and 13)

Let’s face it: in order to get married you must have someone favor you. If you’re single you can get this favor working in your life to find a spouse. Ruth was not exactly the best catch but she had great faith in God and had a right spirit.

Bob Buess tells the story of a woman who wrote to tell him how bad everything was in her life. She was attractive but she could not get a date with any of the boys. She had a negative spirit.

Bob wrote back, "I don’t blame them for not liking you. I’m afraid I could not like you myself." He wrote that to shock her. He got her attention. Then he told her to change her attitude about others and herself. He sent her scriptures about favor and told her to confess them about herself everyday. It worked. She wrote back to tell him that she was engaged.

He met her later, and she introduced him to her fiancé—not the same one that she was engaged to but another one. She eventually married the second guy.

Whether you are a young teenager who feels lonely or a businessman who lacks customers, favor can work for you. But you have to put it to work. You have to believe for it.

Joseph had Favor

The best story in the Bible about favor working in someone’s life is Joseph. Everything started off bad with Joseph. Although he was the favorite son of his father, his brothers hated him. They sold him as a slave. Eventually he wound up at Potiphar’s mansion.

God gave Joseph favor with him, and so Potiphar placed him in charge of the entire estate. Later, Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of rape, and so Joseph was thrown in prison.

Still, Joseph did not let the circumstances get him down. He stayed optimistic. The warden put Joseph in control of the prison. There he interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s baker and cupbearer. To the cupbearer, Joseph told him that his dream meant that he would be restored as Pharaoh’s wine taster. Joseph added, "When all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison." (Gen 40:14)

The cupbearer forgot Joseph. So for another two years Joseph stayed in prison. Eventually the cupbearer remembered Joseph, and through a set of circumstances Joseph became second in charge of Egypt.

You might ask, "Why did Joseph have so much favor with people?" Listen carefully: The reason Joseph had favor with people was because of his magnanimous spirit.

We don’t often hear the word magnanimous but it means a big heart, generous in forgiving an insult or injury, free from petty resentfulness or vindictiveness.

You see favor does not flow from heaven to others so that they look upon you with kindness. No, favor flows from your spirit to others. If your spirit is wrong and polluted then favor can’t flow from you to others. Favor is not based on luck, but on a big heart.

Mary was Highly Favored

The Bible mentions that Mary was highly favored.

The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." (Luke 1:28)

But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God."(Luke 1:30)

Why was Mary highly favored? Notice later in that same chapter:

And Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, (Luke 1:46-48)

Mary’s spirit was full of praise, not complaints or bitterness. She said, "My spirit rejoices." Favor works through a person who has a rejoicing spirit.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen. (Gal 6:18)

A similar word for favor is grace. Grace is with your spirit. If your spirit is negative, favor can’t flow from you to others.

Joseph had a good spirit about him. This is why God gave him favor with so many people. He had reasons to become bitter, but he ignored them and chose to forgive people. He even forgave his brothers.

If you don’t have many friends, I can tell you why: you don’t have a good spirit. You have become negative. You think bad about others, and possibly, think bad about yourself. You need to change your attitude and believe the best in people and yourself. When you start to do that you will begin to have favor with others.

Shields Up!

My personal favorite scripture on favor is this:

For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield. (Ps 5:12)

My wife and I confess this scripture often, especially when we are going to speak in front of people. We know that unless people favor us, they will reject the message we preach. This scripture has worked.

God will surround them with favor as with a shield. You need a shield for protection. Favor will protect you from the gossip and criticism of others. When they try to malign you, favor can protect you from the ill effects of their malicious words. This shield of favor will not just protect you from the front but also the rear. It is a shield that surrounds you. Even when you don’t know what people are saying about you, this divine favor will insulate you from damage.

When I think of this scripture, I can’t help but remember Star Trek. Whenever the Enterprise was being attacked, the Captain would order, "Shields Up!" The shields would protect them from missiles.

You need to order, "Shields Up! Shield of Favor up!" God’s word is put to work as you confess favor with people.

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