God’s Purposes Fulfilled Through His Favor
It is not enough just to know the truth, the truth has to set you free and being set free is an experience. We need to experience truth. The purpose of truth is to lead us into experience. Truth always comes first; but, it must lead us to experience. We need to not just know about favor, but experience favor in our life every day.
Luke 4 quotes Isaiah 61 that the Spirit of the Lord was upon Jesus to announce the Year of God’s Favor. He was referring to the Year of Jubilee. But, now the Year of Jubilee was no longer every 49 years. Jubilee is every day when we are in Christ. Jubilee began on the Day of Atonement, and the Bible tells us that Jesus is our Atonement. Every day is a day as part of the Year of God’s Favor.
God fulfills His purposes by means of His favor. God’s purposes will be fulfilled. His counsel stands forever (Isaiah 25:1; 46:10; Jeremiah 4:28; Daniel 4:35). The question is will we be a part of God’s purposes.
Esther 4:14 “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for [such] a time as this?”
God’s purpose will be fulfilled, but the question is will it be fulfilled through us or through someone else. Favor fulfills that purpose.
3 Principles of Favor from the Story of Esther
I. Favor Positions You.
It’s about divine connections. Favor means to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right people. Mordecai says to Esther, God has brought you here for such a time as this. God has positioned you for this time. There were tragedies in Esther’s family. She was orphaned. But, God uses tragedies to position us. Sometimes when we feel we are at the wrong place at the wrong time, the case might be the very opposite.
See Mordecai himself. He wasn’t rewarded for saving the King’s life at the time. But, when the time was right, God moved, and Mordecai was honored. God uses disappointments to position us. God rewards those who diligently seek Him. God is a rewarder of faith, of obedience, of submission. God’s rewards are like a harvest and every harvest has its time and season. Often times we get bitter and discouraged because we feel we’re not being rewarded. But, God’s rewards have their season (Galatians 6:9: “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”). The essence of all discouragement is to expect the harvest in a season that is not due the harvest.
God used the tragedy in the life of Esther to position her. God puts us in the position of favor so that we can be part of His purposes in our life. We must not become bitter but must be looking for God’s favor.
Examples of People Whom God Positioned
Joseph: God made him the savior of the world in his day. How did he get positioned for that? He was thrown into a pit and sold to be slave. Potiphar bought him, and later he was thrown into prison again. But, God was positioning him all through those times. He interpreted the butler’s and baker’s dreams but he was not rewarded them. But, favor has its timing. Just because your day didn’t come when you thought it was due doesn’t mean that it would not come. Joseph later on said to his brothers, “It was not you who sent me here, but it was God who made me a father to even Pharaoh’s house.” He was abused and mistreated, but through all that God was positioning him. And, God is positioning you for greatness. You need to do one thing. You need to keep your spirit clean of all bitterness.
Moses: Exodus 2:1-10 shows us how he was positioned by God’s favor. He was placed in a basket and left in the waters; but, he was raised in Pharaoh’s palace.
Remember the girl in Naaman’s story; it was a tragedy in her life to be captured so, but God had positioned her for a great thing.
There was a time when people wanted to kill Paul (Acts 23), but his nephew was in the right place, at the right time, with the right people. He overheard the conspiracy and informed Paul. It is through our disappointments, tragedies, and distresses that God positions us to fulfill His purposes. When we trust in the Lord, God will always bring us into a large place. (2 Samuel 22:20; Psalm 31:8, 15). God is positioning you for promotion.
II. Favor Promotes You
Of all the women in Persia, why was Esther chosen? She was chosen because she had the favor of God. Why does one person have a ministry that is far reaching? Is it because they are better than most people? No, it is because of God’s favor upon them. This is our only security. Because if I gain the position by my ability, there will always be someone who has more ability, who would be cleverer than; but, if you have a position because of God’s favor, you need not be worried about being removed from that position; because, if it is God who has put you there, it is God who will keep you there. The promotion of man will not stand. Our confidence is in the God who promotes us. God promoted Mordecai, and at the end of the story, Mordecai is great in the kingdom. He is given the King’s signet ring and makes the laws; but, Mordecai never bowed down to Haman; he never compromised his convictions. He knew that if he was to be promoted, he could only be promoted by the favor of God. Joseph also knew that disobeying Potiphar’s wife could bring trouble. But, he knew that God had positioned him there and it was God alone who could remove him. Daniel was a great man in the kingdom. He too was positioned by God’s favor and he never compromised. You will never be secure if you compromise. You will never be secure if you play political games, if you manipulate or tear someone down and usurp authority. There is only way to be secure; to know that promotion comes from the Lord. God is the Judge; He puts down one and exalts the other. Promotion is from the Lord. You never need to compromise if you know that.
Psalm 89:17: in Your favor our horn is exalted.
The horn of oil represents the anointing. It is the favor of God that will position you and also promote you.
Principles For finding Favor for Promotion
1. Honor God (Psalm 112:9)
2. Honesty. Be honest with others. (Proverbs 3:3,4; Proverbs 12:19; 11:1)
3. Do what you do as unto the Lord and not unto men (Colossians 3:23)
4. Be faithful to God (Proverbs 22:29)
5. Serve other people (Philippians 2:5-11)
III. Favor Protects You
Esther 4:16 “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which [is] against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”
Psalm 5:12. God’s favor surrounds the righteous like a shield.
Esther 5:2 So it was, when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, [that] she found favor in his sight, and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that [was] in his hand. Then Esther went near and touched the top of the scepter.
God’s favor protected Esther.
Will you allow God to favor your life?
One more important thing to consider in Esther’s story: the whole issue of prayer (Esther 4:16). There’s something about prayer that brings God’s favor. If you’re not a person of prayer, don’t expect God’s favor. Esther was a woman of prayer and fasting; it was this attitude of prayer and fasting that gave her that sensitivity to the purposes of God. When the king first gave her favor, when he extended the scepter, why didn’t she ask there itself to change the law? She gave a banquet. The king asked her, but she had something inside that didn’t allow her to tell it to him then. She gave another banquet. Prayer gives us sensitivity to the timing of God. And, favor has to with the right timing of God. What happened in between the two banquets? The king couldn’t sleep. So, he decided to read history (History always puts us to sleep!). And, he read about Mordecai. Was it a coincidence? No, it was God’s timing. Esther had fasted and prayed and she had sensitivity to the timing of God. The king realized that Mordecai wasn’t rewarded. By the mouth of Haman, Haman himself was commanded to honor Mordecai. Favor brings promotion. But, we need to be sensitive to God’s timing. We need to be people of prayer.