I am so tickled as I begin this post. What started out as a simple story about how God took care of me during the recent concert season has blossomed into a four part mini-series, complete with commercial interruptions! Thank you for staying with me. Today, we are going to take a look at the remaining two ways to get God’s favor.
One of the best ways to gain God’s favor is to actually choose to love Him for who He is.
How do you begin to love God? Two wonderful Christian writers, Blackaby and King once wrote, “If you don’t obey God then it’s because you don’t trust Him. And if you don’t trust Him, it’s because you don’t love Him; and if you don’t love Him, it’s because you don’t know Him. But, the writers go on to declare, “If you take the time to get to know Him, you will love Him; and if you love Him, you will trust Him; and if you trust Him, you will obey Him and experience God.”
I read that statement and decided that I wanted to know, love, trust, and obey God. I was reminded that loving God is not really based on feeling. It’s a decision. Before I could love him, I had to get to know Him. Fortunately, I had heard so much about Him from my parents and other adults at my church that I wanted to have the kind of relationships that they had with Him. It’s sort of like when my son-in-law’s sister met and fell in love with a Texan named Harry. I heard through my daughter and son-in-law so much about Harry’s wonderful family that I could not wait to meet them. I told them so when they came to town this weekend for the bridal shower. I let them know that I was so excited to be invited to attend a dinner in their honor and that my daughter had told me what kind people they were. We sat around and talked as though we were old friends. A new relationship has begun to grow in my life as a result of my hearing about this loving family and wanting to make their acquaintance.
Just like I wanted to meet Harry’s parents, I wanted to know God for myself because of what my family told me about Him. I never really thought about loving Him. I think I was satisfied knowing that He loved me. Finally, a day came when my thinking and desires expanded and I wanted to know this God who loved me. His faithfulness to me peeked my interest and pulled on my heart strings.
I decided that if I truly wanted to know God well enough to love Him, I had to start somewhere. Daily, I have to set aside time for Him. I have to recognize Him and respect Him. I have to listen to Him if I want to know His character, His purpose, plans, and ways. That is, if I want to love Him. And I do want to know and love Him more and more intimately each day.
I think also that when it comes to loving God, it is important for me to often slow down and take stock of my life. Reflection produces gratitude and kindles my love. For instance, when I think about time after time God has come through for me, my heart fills with gratitude and I love Him more. Knowing that He loves me so much causes me to love Him. In fact, once I realized that God loves me, I actually began to look for Him to be at work in my life, creating a love-gratitude-love cycle.
I was thinking about it all. I’m at work in my kids’ lives all of the time; praying for them, trying to encourage them, choosing to be a tangible blessing to them. So why wouldn’t my Heavenly Father be at work in my life as well? Why wouldn’t Jesus Christ, my Savior, be at work interceding on my behalf? Why wouldn’t the Holy Spirit be on His job in my life, teaching, empowering, and comforting? Yes, God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit constantly show me I am loved. I am so grateful. And I love them in return. Great favor can be found in loving God.
Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened. Or what man is there of you, if his son asks him for a loaf of bread, will hand him a stone? … Matthew 7:7-12 [NIV] If you are seeking for the Holy Spirit to be an integral part of your life, ask. For the presence of the Holy Spirit in us is a wonderful gift that the Father gives to us when we are saved. The Holy Spirit brings such favor into our lives … comfort, strength, wisdom, instruction, guidance, love, peace, joy, self-control, faithfulness, gentleness, patience, and much more. All of this favor is for the asking.
1 John 5:14 [NIV] says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”Ask God. He is listening. If He does not give you what you want, exactly when you want it, do not worry. Keep asking. Perhaps He has something better in mind. Ask that His will be done in your life.
It is true that you already have God’s favor. He lets his sun shine and His rain fall on the just and the unjust. But special favor is stored up for those who lean on, hold tight to, and depend on Him. If you want more of His favor, remember four ways that are guaranteed to work:
- Trusting Him.
- Obeying Him.
- Loving Him.
- Asking Him.
Until next time. Remember God gives favor for the journey!
Question to consider: What have you heard about God that kindles your desire to know Him more?
Scriptures for the journey:
Psalm 90:17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us — Yes, establish the work of our hands.
Psalm 90:14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
© 2014 God’s Perspective Publishing
For God expressed His great love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life. 17 Here’s the point. God didn’t send His Son into the world to judge it; instead, He is here to rescue a world headed toward certain destruction. God sent Christ that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. [See John 3:16-17 Amplified & Voice versions]