The Favor of God and the Place of Authority
One can’t study about favor without eventually getting into a study about authority; because, the same favor that allows one to be under authority will also place one in authority. So, let’s study this subject of favor and authority through a consideration of the life of a great prophet in the Old Testament, Daniel.
Daniel knew how to be in authority because he knew how to be under authority. The favor of God was what placed him in a place of authority and he was promoted by four different pagan kings. But, before God put Daniel in a place of authority, He put him in situations where he had to learn his lessons by being under authority.
3 Principles of Attracting Divine Favor
We’ll look at three principles from the life of Daniel that attracted the favor of God in his life.
1. Daniel discovered and maintained his godly identity
In Daniel 1, we see that the pagan king tried to erase Daniel’s identity by imposing on him a false identity. Daniel’s name (which meant “God is Judge”) was changed to Belteshazzar (which meant “Bel protects”). So were the names of his friends also changed. But, Daniel and his friends did not allow the world to define their identity. They discovered their true identity and maintained it despite the strong influences of the world.
What is your identity in Christ? Remember the demons in the story of the sons of Sceva, knew the name of Jesus. But, they also knew the name of Paul. Hell knew who Jesus was and hell also knew who Paul was. When you know who you are in Jesus, demons will fear.
2. Daniel developed an excellent spirit
Daniel 6:3 talks about Daniel having an excellent spirit. The word for excellent in the Aramaic used there means “way beyond the normal”. The Bible calls us to guard our spirit (Proverbs 4:23). Daniel knew the meaning of both submission and obedience. Both of them are different from each other. Submission is a quality of the spirit. Obedience is an action. God places us under authority so that He may find out if we recognize authority and respect authority. God won’t place someone who doesn’t recognize and respect authority in a position of authority. Anyone who loses the excellency of his/her spirit begins to lose God’s favor. But, developing an excellent spirit attracts favor.
3. Daniel depended on Revelation
His whole life was a life of prayer and dependency on God’s revelation. He didn’t rely on circumstances. He didn’t allow things around him to shape him. He waited upon the Lord, had an open ear to God, and God showed him His plans for the future. The Bible calls us to pray that the eyes of our understanding will be open, so that we may discern and know the acceptable will of God.
Daniel was greatly favored because he knew who he was and maintained his identity, he developed an excellent spirit, and he depended upon God’s revelation in all he did. He recognized the importance of authority, without compromising his identity; and, God exalted him.