Faith & Favor

Faith and Favor

Hebrews 11:7 (NLT) It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.

It was a completely crazy idea. What in the world could God possibly want with a huge ship in the middle of the desert? Rain had not fallen yet. Yet God gave told his servant, Noah to build an ark. Not just a tiny fishing vessel, but one of such tremendous magnitude that it would take him 120 years to complete. Noah would literally plant trees to harvest to continue with construction. His neighbors undoubtedly thought this man a lunatic. Not only was the ark massive, but the calculations intricate that only a genius could recreate. Noah had to build it to God’s Specifications in order for it to float and carry every animal in creation. Crazy? Unprecedented? Impossible? But God…

Genesis 6:7-9 (NLT) And the Lord said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.” But Noah found favor with the Lord. This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.

It is not uncommon for children to be familiar with the story of Noah and the ark. It is one of the most known stories in the Christian culture. I believe that sometimes the relevance is overlooked by its simplicity. It is common practice to know the Word of God but not study it, meditate on it, or really think about it. Skimming the pages looking for ourselves, what God will give us, do for us, or has for us, seldom rolling up our sleeves, grabbing a proverbial shovel to dig deeper. Like water on a rock, never giving it time to penetrate our heart and mind with the relevance and revelation that God has for each one of us in each and every word.

The Word of God is alive. I have studied it for more than 20 years now and find new things and new ways each day. It doesn’t change but as I am transformed by its renewing – it becomes more and more relevant to me. In fact, the Word of God is a primary resource in successful Christian living and our part is small but important. God had decided to wipe out humanity and start all over again. He was going to destroy it all as He was sorry that He ever created it all. People. Animals. The entire lot. BUT Noah found favor with God.

It would seem that in a world gone all wrong yet again there might be some critical characteristics to be found in his story. Yes, I know he built the ark. Kudos for him and his stubborn tenacity. Yes, I know that he somehow stayed the course for 120 years. Quite impressive no doubt. I am aware that he somehow summoned two of every kind of animal to board the ark. Wow, right? But what we need to grab hold of more than anything else is that Noah found favor with the Lord in a day and time when the world was going to hell in a handbasket.

How? Noah had faith. His faith in the Lord produced simple daily obedience that would construct a vision that only God could facilitate. What if the favor of God that Noah had and we long for is only one decision away? What if it is our disobedience that is keeping us from faith that moves mountains? What if the Favor of God is hovering over us just waiting for one simple step of faith called obedience? It is more than possible but completely probable. Small steps of obedience lead to radical actions that seem illogical. Others may think you have lost it but friend you are only beginning to live. I have discovered that by praying for God’s Will to be done rather requesting God to do my will, my way with certain outcomes has produced remarkable possibilities. It looks impossible every single time because otherwise it would be me not Him calling the shots. I wonder what might happen if we learned to walk in full obedience to the Living God. His Favor would become the reward of faith defined by obedience. Obedience is the gateway to God’s Favor.

Psalm 84:11 (NLT) For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.

Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.

I know many folks who are wonderful and faithful servants of God. They will do anything for anyone. Generosity is a given in their life. They are good people. Not all good things are God Things. This is not a call to do more or give more according to your ability. This is a call to radical faith to do what God is telling you to do that seems crazy and out of the question. Simple obedience becomes radical obedience in that moment. Peter followed Jesus in simple obedience serving Him as any good disciple would. Peter had a revelation by God of who Jesus was that would change him forever. Peter made the decision to not just follow Jesus in the safety of the boat but asked the Lord to let him come to Him on the water one night. This one step would change the direction of Peter’s life forever. Occasional obedience must become everyday obedience. No matter how big or small the task God asks of you – it is our willingness to obey by faith and not a promised outcome that will change our life forever. God’s Favor can be summed up in this verse: “The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.

The Lord will apply pressure to our life in the areas not given fully to Him. It is His Mercy pointing out a need for His Grace that will turn into His Glory once give to the Lord. It is human nature to do the easy things first. It is much harder when discipline and self-control require a sacrifice. What if there is no return? What if I am wrong? Every doubt and insecurity the enemy can stir up and hand to you he will because once the Favor of God becomes a way of life there will be no turning back. The gates of hell cannot prevail against those who know the Lord on such a level. The reality of His Kingdom will tear down ever stronghold keeping you from His Best, His Blessing and His Promises for your life.

Isaiah 61:1-3 (NLT) The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.

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