Rooted in Favor

Description

Jesus came to release the unending favor of God in our lives. Favor is when God supernaturally works on our behalf. He gives us favor so we can be empowered to live like Jesus and release the kingdom everywhere we go. Favor is not the possessions we hold in our hands, it’s the perspective we hold in our hearts.

Clips

Hey, everybody and welcome to Valley Creek Church. I’m really glad that you’re here with us today. Whatever campus or location you may be at right now, can we just welcome each other together for a moment? Hey, we’re really glad that you’re here with us, and we’re in a series called, “Flourish in Life.” This is a really good series for our church. I would say to you that I feel like God is moving in a powerful and profound way. And here’s what I think He’s doing, I think He is washing our minds and healing our hearts. I think He is changing the way we think and He is restoring some things within us. You see, Romans 12:2 tells us to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. In other words, if you’ll change the way you think, it will change the way you live. And what we’re doing in the series is changing the way we think about who Jesus is and what He has done. We’re changing the way we think about what it means and looks like to actually flourish in life because God wants you to flourish in life. He wants you to live an overwhelming, abundant, full-flowing life and He tells us that the way to do that, is that it will get rooted in Jesus then we’ll flourish in life.

And so what we’re doing in the series is we’re looking at different soils, different layers if you will of building our life upon God. In the first week, we talked about the first thing is we build our lives upon the forgiveness of Jesus that in Jesus, you are completely forgiven and fully free. And then last week, we talked about righteousness. It’s a big word that simply means that your relationship with God is right. That in Jesus, you are right with God, but that’s not it. You see, the deeper you go, the healthier you become. The further your roots go down, the more you flourish in life. And so I want to continue and I want to do what we’ve been doing in this series. I just want to tell you a story. I want to tell you a story about one day when Jesus went to the Synagogue. In other words, when Jesus went to church. One day, Jesus went to church just like this. He went into his church, and there would have been a lot of people, it would have been very similar to this, only they sat on seats of stone, you have seats of cushion, you have nothing to complain about. Their services were much longer than ours. And he went there and it was full of people, hurting and broken people. People who are lost and lonely. People with anxiety, and depression, and worry, and fear. People with marriage issues and parenting problems. People with financial crises. People with debt, and brokenness, and pain. People with confusion and doubts. People with hopes and dreams. People with diseases and sickness. People with everything that you can think of. And they came to church and they had a church service much like we would have had. They would have had a little bit time of worship, they would’ve ministered to each other. Somebody would have got up and given a message. And then at some point, it was time to read the scriptures and it was — Jesus was invited to be the one to do that. So he stood up, he walked over, he took the scroll, he turned it to a place on Isaiah that talked about the coming Messiah.

And he spoke to the church and He said, the spirit of the Lord is upon me, for He has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom to the captives to release the oppressed, recovery of sight to the blind, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. Rolled up the scroll and sat down and hush, “Whooo” went across the church. And Jesus looked at them all and He said, “Today, this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” In other words, what Jesus was saying is he was saying not only did I come to forgive you, not only did I come to make you right with God. I have come that you might live in the unending favor of God. He says I didn’t come just to forgive you. I didn’t come just to make you right with God. I came so you could live in the unending favor of God. And what you have to understand when it says, I am here to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. What they would’ve understood that we don’t understand is it would have been a reference to the year of Jubilee. You see every 50 years was the year of Jubilee and it’s the year that everyone looked forward to because everything good happened. If you had debt, it was cancelled. If you had relational brokenness, it was restored. If you lost your land, it was given back to you. And everyone got to spend the entire year resting, enjoying what the land naturally produced and enjoying the goodness of God. And so what Jesus was saying is, “Hey, I have come that you might have the unending favor of God, not once every 50 years, but every day, every week, every month, every year. The favor of God is now here upon your life. And all they had to do is believe it and receive it, but it sounded way too good to be true. So they ran Jesus out of their church and they ran Jesus out of their life. And they went back home to their brokenness.

You see, I tell you that story because that’s our story. Every week, we gather together and we come in this place and guess what, people walk in hurting and broken, lost and lonely. People walk in with anxiety, depression, fear, worry. People have marriage issues and parenting problems. People have financial stress, they have job issues, sicknesses in their body. They have hopes, and dreams, and desires, and confusions, and doubts, and chaos, and worries, and wonders, and all kinds of things. And we worshiped and we minister to each other and somebody gives a little message, and in the midst of all of that, every time we gather, Jesus comes walking through this place and he whispers to you, “Not only did I come to forgive you, not only did I come to make you right with God, I have come that you might have the unending favor of God upon your life.” You see, what I’m trying to tell you is that in Jesus, you have the favor of God. Say, I have the favor of God. Let’s say it again like we believe it. Yeah, you do. Now listen, it’s easy to understand why they wouldn’t have believed it because they lived in the Old Testament. They lived under the law and under the law, you had to perform to get God’s favor. If you lived just right and got everything perfect, then you had God’s favor, but if you messed it up, you lost it all. And so they lived in this cycle of defeat. Here’s how it would go, they would mess up, God would turn away from them, they would lose his favor. In their desperation, they would cry back out to him. In His mercy, He would come back to them and then, they would mess it up again. God would turn away from them, they would lose Him and that’s how they lived. That’s an exhausting ay to live. I mean, just think about the Ten Commandments for a second. The whole point of the Ten Commandments is you. You’re the focus, you and your behavior. Just think of the Ten Commandments, everything is about you. You shall not have any other Gods. You shall not take the Lord’s name in vain. You shall commit adultery.

You shall not lie. You shall not steal. You, you, you. If you get it right, you got — get God’s favor. If you get it wrong, you lose it all. What God was saying is “Hey, if you fill in the blank, obey, then you will have my favor, but when you mess it up, you lose it all.” I submit to you that that is an exhausting way to live. I mean, I remember when I was in college, I played college lacrosse and if you figured anything out about me, you know, I’m kind of like, an all or nothing kind of person. Like, I’m either all in or I’m all out. I don’t really ride defense on anything. And so I’m playing college lacrosse, I’m all in, man. Like, I want to be in All American, I want to win a national championship. I’m training. I’m eating right. I’m doing everything I can do. I’m in it to win it. And I remember when I was in college, it would always be the night before any game, I would never go out and party. Now, you might think, well, he might didn’t go out in the party because he wanted to be, wake up the next morning full of energy and all of that stuff. No. I wish that was the reason. No. I didn’t go out and party because I thought if I went out and partied, God wouldn’t help me in my game the next day. I was convinced in my mind that if I went out and did whatever that night that the next day, God was going to get me back and then I would have a bad game. So the night before a game, I would stay home and keep everything like nice and square and clean. The other six days, didn’t really matter much because I’ve never gamed the next day, you know what I’m saying? I believed that my behavior determined God’s favor upon my life. That’s silly, isn’t it? Okay. But you know you believe that. If I fill in the blank, then God will fill in the blank. Like if I give a little bit of money then maybe God will heal me. If I come to church today, then maybe God will help me in a job interview this week or to do good on that test that I don’t want to study for in school. Tell me like, “Oh, man you just read my mail that’s why I’m here.” I know. If I serve someone then God will do this.

That’s what we think. If I fill in the blank, then God will fill in the blank. Okay. But what happens when you mess up? What happens when you don’t get it right? What happens when you can’t keep performing? Man, that is an exhausting way to live. So God in his goodness said there’s a better way. Under the New Testament or under a grace, it is now about Jesus’ performance, not yours. The focus is not on what you do, it’s on what Jesus has done. Now, God says, it’s not what you do that determines how he responds, it’s what Jesus has done that determines God’s favor in your life because Jesus obeyed you have the unending favor of God. I mean listen to this, Psalm 30 says, his anger last for a moment, but his favor last a — Wow. You know what that means? That means on the cross, God took all of his anger for our failures, and our brokenness, and our sickness, and he took it out on Jesus for a moment so you could live a lifetime of favor. Jesus was struck down so you could be lifted up. The favor was literally taken off of Jesus and given to you so now every day, every week, every month, every season, every year is the favor of God upon your life. I mean listen to this, Psalm 5:12 says, for surely, oh, Lord, you bless the righteous, you surround them with your favor as with a shield. Look at the order. You bless the righteous, those who are right with God and Jesus and you surround them with favor. You are literally surrounded by the favor of God. Like the air you breathe, it’s above you, below you, to the left of you, to the right of you, in front of you, behind you, in you, upon you. The favor of God is all over your life, all you got to do is receive it. I mean, Galatians Chapter 3, does God give you his spirit and work miracles among you? Does he give you favor, because you observe the law or because you believe what you heard?

It said, does it give you favor because you behaved or because you believed? Or how about this, Ephesians 1:6, to the praise of his glorious grace and favor, which He so freely bestows on us in the beloved, His son, Jesus Christ. Can I just encourage you? Stop spending your life trying to get what you already have. Stop seeking God’s approval and start receiving Jesus’ favor. Don’t waste your life trying to get what already belongs to you. I mean, just think about it. In Numbers Chapter 6, there’s a great prayer, it’s called the priestly prayer and they would pray this over each other so they could have the favor of God in their lives and it went something like this, you probably heard it before. The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord makes His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn His countenance to you and give you His peace. I will bless them when you put my name upon them, is what God says. Okay. They would pray that over each other so they could have the favor of God in their lives, but guess what? Jesus is the fulfillment of that prayer. The Lord bless you.

On the cross, Jesus was cursed so you could be blessed. Supernatural power came against Him, so supernatural power could now be for you. The Lord bless you and keep you. Jesus was rejected so the Father could keep you forever. The Lord make His face shine upon you. Literally means, may God smile upon you. Well, guess what, in Jesus, you are the Father’s beloved son or daughter and whom He is well pleased and be gracious to you. Grace means undeserved favor. Literally, Jesus got what we deserve so He could get what He deserved. The Lord turned His countenance to you. Jesus was on the cross, the Father looked away from Him so He could forever look to you and give you His peace, His shalom, comprehensive flourishing in favor in every single way of life. You will put my name on them and I will bless them. When weakling told to the name of Jesus, we live in the unending favor of God. Now —

Favor is a big word, we’re like, not really sure. We’re like, yeah, I got God’s favor, what, what does it mean? Here’s what it means, let me just simplify it for you. I would submit to you that favor is when God supernaturally works on your behalf. That’s favor. God is supernaturally working on your behalf. It’s when he released undeserved goodness into your life. Favor is supernatural power working for you or I would sum it up for you like this, favor is when God uses all that He is and all that He has to bless you. I mean, have you ever had somebody’s favor? A coach, a teacher, a boss, a friend? Have you ever had somebody’s favor? Come on man, that’s a sweet deal. They used all they are and all they have to create opportunities, and invitations, and protections, and promotion, and blessing, and resources, and connection into your lives.

Like I remember when I was a senior in high school, I had the favor of the home economics teacher. Oh, that was a good person to have the favor of. I don’t know why I had it, but I had it. She gave me an unending hall pass. So on any class that I wanted to go I would just be like, show my pass and I could go out. And she would always have food in her class at any time, we could just go in and I could bring my friends with me and we would cook stuff. She will let me keep my lacrosse stuff in there so I didn’t have to take it to the other side of the school. She would vouch for me. She would help me if I needed something. She was — I mean, I had her favor, it was amazing. And as awesome as it is, to have a favor of a coach, a boss, a teacher, you have the favor of the king of the kingdom.

And He uses who He is, and what He has to bless you. Now, I know some of you who are sitting here, you’re like starting to get squirmy in your seat because the word favor like stresses us out. We’re like, “Bro, don’t go there.” Okay, stop. Like, let’s just bring it back. There’re two extremes, there’s this people over here that say, God is always mad at you no matter what. And then there’re these people over here that says God wants everybody to be a multimillionaire and have their own plane. So we don’t know what to do, we just kind of panic. Okay. Bring it back to the middle. What is the heart of favor? God is not mad at you. Anger lasts a moment. It was done with the cross. And God doesn’t care if you have stuff, but He does care if stuff has you. He gave you favor, why? So you could flourish in life and ultimately be empowered to live like Jesus. Favor is not the possessions you have in your hand. Favor is the perspective you hold in your heart. The belief that God is always releasing his goodness in to my life even if I don’t see it. Think about it, He’s a good Father. All fathers want to release favor into their children’s life. It’s what Matthew 7 says, Jesus says if you — even though you’re evil, know how to give good gifts. To give favor to your children, how much more will the Father give favor to you?

The problem is, is we don’t receive God’s favor because we don’t really believe we’re right with God because we don’t really believe we’ve been fully forgiven because we’re not really sure that Jesus is who He says He is or did what He said He did, so it’s impossible to live with favor. I mean, think about this, the term like, “Hey, would do me a favor?” Maybe you asked somebody that today, like “Hey, would you do me a favor?” Who do you ask to do you a favor? People you think you’re in right relationship with that actually like you. I mean, you do ever ask anybody who is mad at you to do me a favor? If that’s you, we got to talk after service and help you out. That’s not a good idea. So if you always believe that God is mad at you, you will never receive His favor in your life. Remember, grace is forgiveness and favor. Grace is undeserved favor in your life. It’s not only the forgiveness of your sins. It’s the release of undeserved favor into your life.

In fact, in Genesis 6:8, one of the first times in the bible the word favor is used, it says, Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Some translations say Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. So when you find God’s grace, you’ll discover His favor and it will change your life. Are you with me on that? Second thing is this, not only is God with you, He’s for you. I think a lot of us in this room, it would be easy for us to admit that God is with us. We would say, that’s easy, sure. The Holy Spirit is in me. Jesus lives in my heart, God is with me and all this. But if we’re honest, we don’t really believe that God is for us. Here’s what I would submit to you. It is impossible for God to be with you and not be for you. It’s literally impossible for God to be with you, but not be for you. You say why? Because wherever He is, they’re all His power, His love and His strength also resides. So if He is with you, He is by nature then for you. In fact, the bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is called the spirit of grace.

Undeserved favor. The Holy Spirit’s name is literally the spirit of underserved favor, which means, if He is inside of you and upon you, everywhere you go, you are walking in the undeserved favor of God. He’s with you, so by nature he’s for you. Like just think about Jesus is on the earth, when Jesus showed up because He was with people, He was for them. Like John 1:14 says, He moved into the neighborhood with grace and truth. He showed up and brought us favor. Or how about Acts 10:38 says, God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and He went around doing good, healing those all who are under the power of the devil because God was with Him. Because God was with Him, He was with the people and everywhere He went, He was for them. Or think of the disciples, you realized the moment Jesus invites the disciples into His life, their life explodes with favor. They couldn’t even catch a fish by themselves. And then Jesus shows up, they’re together and what happens because He’s with them, He’s for them and they get net breaking, boat sinking fish with money in their mouth.

I’m just saying. I want to catch a fish with some money in his mouth. I want to shoot a deer with a dollar bill wrapped around his antler. Okay. Or how about when they are hungry? When they are hungry because He’s with them, He is for them. So not only do they get fed with the five loaves and the two fish, 5,000 people get fed and 12 basketfuls are left over because He’s for them. How about when they’re in the storm, not only is He is with them, so because He is with them, He is for them, so He protects them. He calms the storm and invites them to walk on water. Or how about when he sends them out to go do ministry because He’s with them, He is for them, He empowers them with the Holy Spirit and empowers them to raise the dead, heal the sick, cast out demons because He is with them. He is for them, and they experienced revelations, signs, wonders and the mystery of the kingdom of heaven, because if God is with you, He is for you.

This is why Luke 1 says, greetings you who are highly favor the Lord is with you. Hey, the Lord is with you. So you’re highly favored. Or how about Romans 8:31 and 32 that says, if God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own son will he not then in him graciously give us all thanks. He says, “Hey, God is not just with you, He’s actually for you.” And if He’s for you who can be against you and oh, by the way, he proved it because if He gave you Jesus, His best most prized possession relationship thing in all of the universe, will He not then in Him graciously through undeserved favor, give you everything else? The problem is, is we just don’t see it. We’re so focused on what’s wrong in our life that we can’t see what’s right about God.

Like there’s a great story, maybe you’ll remember this in Second King Chapter 6, there’s a story of the prophet Elijah. And him and the servant, they’re in this city and this evil king and the evil king’s entire army show up and they surround the city because he wants to kill Elijah because Elijah is always ruining his evil plans. And so the servant goes out and he sees, like as far as he can see, he saw this evil army like there to kill them and he comes back to Elijah, he’s panicked. He’s like, “Elijah, have you looked out the window today? Do you know what’s out there? Like as far as I can see, there’re enemies to get us.” And Elijah very calm, he says to his servant, he says, “Hey, there is more that are for us than that are against us.” He says, “Elijah, have you lost your mind? It’s just you and me.” And Elijah says, “Oh Lord, I pray that you would open his eyes.” The servant looked again and now, this time when he looked as far as he could see, there were horses and chariots of fire. Supernatural angels all around them in every direction and all of a sudden, he realized there is more for me than there is against me.

You see, the only difference between a follower of Jesus who lives in favor and one who doesn’t is your eyes. It’s what you’re looking at. There is always more that is for you than that is against you. I mean, hearing me right now, do you understand? Your life is dripping with the favor of God. Open your eyes. Your spouse, your kids, your parents, your friends, your job, your house, your possessions, your bank account, that client, that interview, that opportunity, that thing, all of that is the favor of God. And if literally as I’m saying that, you’re sitting there and you’re thinking, “Yeah, but that one in my life is no good.” You’re proving my point. You’re proving my point that we look at what’s wrong instead of what’s right. Like when you look around your life, do you see failure or favor? Because you’ll always find what you’re looking for.

James 1:17, every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father. Every good thing in your life is the favor of God upon you. And here is the problem, we get so focused on looking at other people’s favor, we can’t see our own. I’m telling you right now, you will never enjoy the favor on your life when you’re constantly complaining about the favor everyone else has. And hear me, you don’t want their favor. You say, “Yes, yes, I do.” No, you don’t because what might be good for them might be disastrous for you. He’s a good Father. He only gives what’s good. So if He’s not given it to you, there’s a reason for that in this time, in this place, in this season. When you start celebrating other people’s favor, you’ll start seeing the favor that’s all over your life. But here’s I think what happens with a lot of us, is what happens is we look at our own life and we see some broken circumstances and some disappointing things and all of a sudden we make this conclusion that I don’t have favor.

Like if I had the favor of God on my life, all of these things would not be happening. Okay, but listen to me, favor is not circumstantial. Like here’s a question, would you say that Apostle Paul had favor on his life? Come on, would you say he had favor on his life? Yeah. I mean, are you kidding me? The guy is signs and wonders and writes most of them. The timing is profound, the favor that’s on his life and yet, he shipwrecked, persecuted, beaten, stoned, half-killed, thrown in prison. Okay. How about this one? King David, would you say King David had the favor of God on his life? Yeah. But he is the King of Israel, he’s a man after God’s own, already kills Goliath like favor of God is all over his life and yet, he spent 10 years of his life running from a mad man, hiding in the desert, hiding in caves. How about Moses? Do you say Moses has a favor of God on his life?

Yeah. Are you kidding me? Moses. This is Moses, man. He takes down Egypt, he sets the people free and yet, he spends 40 years hiding as a shepherd. Forty years leading grumpy people in the wilderness. He’s got to confront pharaoh. So why, why, why do you assume that just because there’re some hard situations in your life that you don’t have the favor of God? That’s a conclusion you can’t draw. I mean, think of Joseph. Joseph had the favor of God. He had the favor of his father. Joseph is one of the 12 sons of Jacob. And he’s his father’s favored son. So from the moment Joseph is born, he has his robe of many colors. This robe, this coat that represented the father’s favor in his life. Well, his brothers hated him. So one day, they take Joseph, they ripped of his robe. They throw him in a pit. They sell him to slave traders. He gets taken to Egypt. He’s sold as a slave. He’s falsely accused. He’s thrown into prison. He’s forgotten in prison for years. And then, after more than 10 years, God raises him up, he becomes the number two man in all of Egypt and he declares what you intended for harm God intended for good. In other words, he says, everything that has happened to me, I have still had the favor of God upon my life.

That’s why Genesis 39:2 says, the Lord was with Joseph and he was successful. The Lord was with him so he was for Him. He was successful, he prospered, he had the favor of God upon his life. God was positioning him, purifying him, preparing him, but the favor of God was all over him. They can take his robe, but they couldn’t take his favor. So hear me, the moment you get born again and put your faith in Jesus, the Father gives you the robe of favor. You’re His favored son or daughter. And no matter where you go, no matter what you do, the Lord is with you, so you’re successful and prosperous and you have His favor and here’s what I’m trying to tell you. They can take your robe, but they can’t take your favor.

They can take your job, but they can’t take your favor. They can take your money, but they can’t take your favor. They can take your relationships, they can take your reputation, they can take your business, they can take anything in your life, but they cannot take your favor. Hey, somebody needs to hear that. You thought God has forgotten about you because of the things that have been happening in your life. God is saying I’m positioning you. I’m purifying you. I’m preparing you. Yeah, they took your robe, but they didn’t take your favor. That’s why Romans 8:38 says, in all things, God works for the good. In all things, like when our robe gets taken from us, his favor is still moving. This is why we walk by sight or by faith, not by sight. Even if I can’t see it, I choose to believe it. Even if I don’t see the favor, I still believe I am favored. Even though I am temporarily in the pit, I have the permanent favor of my father. It’s a different perspective. That’s why Psalm 23:5 says, you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over. You know what he says? He says, even though the world is literally against me, you’re still releasing your favor for me.

You’re working on my behalf even when I feel like everything is coming down. So hear me, favor is not about what is happening to you, it is about what God is doing for you. And it’s usually what you can’t see. It’s not about what you have, it’s about who you have and if God is for you, who can be against you? Are you with me on that? Okay. Last thing is then just this, His favor changes how you live. Let’s be honest, if you really believed that you had the unearned, unending favor of God on your life, you would live differently. We just don’t believe it, man. I mean, when was the last time you woke up in the morning and said, today is going to be a good day because I got the favor of God. Seriously? You’re like, “Wow, that’s not very biblical, I’m a simple person.” Like have you been listening the last couple of weeks?

Like, here’s the problem, we don’t think we have the favor of God because we don’t believe we’re right with God. We don’t believe we’re right with God because we still feel like we have to pay for our own sins and failures and we don’t believe that we can — that God is going to take care of our sins and failures because we don’t really believe that Jesus is who he says he is and did what he said he did. We don’t really believe that Jesus is enough. Yeah, that’s why. I mean, just think of Jesus for a second. Jesus walked on the earth and he knew he had the favor of his father. So it didn’t matter where he went. He walked into every situation and he expected God to move on his behalf. So he didn’t manipulate, he didn’t lie, he didn’t cheat, he didn’t perform, he didn’t do religious gestures, he didn’t do like all kinds of striving and crazy stuff. He just kind of like, “Man, my father is working on my behalf.”

If you want to crown me or crucify me, it really doesn’t matter. The Father is releasing goodness into my life. That’s why Jesus was always present, patient and peaceful. And because we don’t believe it that’s why we’re always absent, anxious and angry. You see, the truth is, is if you’re not rooted in favor, you’re rooted in self-performance. Because if you don’t believe God is working on your behalf, then you got to work for your own behalf. So instead of receiving the unending favor of God, we try to achieve the temporary favor of man. I mean, listen to this, Jeremiah 17 says, this is what the Lord says, cursed is the one who trusts in man who depends on his flesh for his strength whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wasteland. He will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parch places of the desert in a salt land where no one lives. Mm, mm, mm, Mm-hmm., I do not want that, do you?

What is he saying? Cursed is the one who trust in himself. He is saying, there’s supernatural power working against you when you think it’s about your effort, your performance, your success, your behavior. Yeah, you will not have any favor because you have stepped out of the grace of God and decided you want to do it on your own. And so God says, okay, you can do it on your own, but the best thing you can be is a dry shrub in the desert. Some of you need that picture in your mind. But blessed is the man favor supernatural power working for the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. You will be like a tree planted by the water that’s sends its roots by the stream. It does not bear or it does not fear when heat comes, its leaves are always green. It has no worries in the year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Come on. He’s saying, when you trust in Jesus for who you are, for your salvation, for your life, for your redemption, for your identity, for your protection, when you trust in Him with everything that you’ve got, your roots go so deep into the goodness of God, that no matter what is happening around you, you are flourishing in life because you’re drawing the goodness of God into your heart, into your mind and into your life.

It’s pride that shuts all this down. God opposes the proud, but He gives grace, undeserved favor to the humble. You want to do it yourself, God says, you can do it yourself. It’s just not very good that way, you’re a dry shrub. You want to do it my way, you’ll be fruitful even when the drought comes. Listen, you can grow in favor. You grow in favor not by earning it, but by learning to receive it and steward it. So this week when you go back, you go out to your life, you go back wherever you go, here’s what I want you to remember, just these couple of quick things. Remember that God is on your team. When He goes, God is on your team. He created you. He called you. He redeemed you. He wanted you. He chose you. He went against Jesus so He now cannot go against you if you’re in Jesus, so relax, man. Relax. God can do more in one moment of divine favor than you can do in a lifetime of performance. Okay.

He’s on your team. Second thing I want you to remember is that, favor is meant to flow. Favor is meant to flow. God doesn’t give you favor just for you. Genesis 12:2, I have blessed you to be a blessing. In other words, the favor of God comes into your life so you can show the world the goodness of God. He says, “I’m going to give you the undeserved goodness of me so you can show the world how good I really am.” So don’t be a lake, don’t take it all in and say, “Hoo, this is mine.” No. You’re going to dry up and be a shrub. Don’t do that. Let it flow like a river. God doesn’t give you his favor so you can build your kingdom. He gives you his favor so you can release his kingdom. He doesn’t care if you have stuff. He cares if stuff has you. And when stuff has you like a good father, He steps in to discipline you so you can be free. Some of us wonder why is it sometimes God says, that stuff had you, man?

I had to set you free. Receive it, move on with it. Let the favor flow. Third thing I want you to remember this week is, sometimes favor comes as a closed door. I would submit to you that some of the greatest moments of Divine favor in your life have been closed doors. You didn’t get that job, you didn’t get that promotion, you didn’t make that team. You got cut from that thing, that relationship fell apart, you think it was this horrible awful thing, God thought it was favor. Proverbs 16:25, there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it only leads to death. In other words, there are whole lot of things in life that we think we look at and we see goodness, when it really is disaster and waiting. So the next time a close door comes instead of going into panic mode and God’s mad at you mode and why this mode, and you shouldn’t have gone out and partied the night before the thing mode, all that kind of stuff, stop and say, “Maybe this is God’s favor positioning, protecting and purifying me.”

Favor is not about what you possess in your hands, it’s about the prospective you hold in your heart. It’s not circumstantial, it’s the belief that His goodness is flowing. And the last thing is just this, remember to speak favor over your life. Proverbs 18:21, the tongue has the power of life and death. So hear me, stop saying it’s going to be bad. Stop waking up and saying I hate my job. No wonder you hate it. Stop saying, I hate school. Stop saying, this meeting is going to be bad. The situation is going to go wrong. This conflict is going to be awful. Stop. Listen to me, favor is anticipated blessing, fear is anticipated disaster. It’s all it is. Favor is I’m anticipating the goodness of God. I don’t know how it’s going to work. I don’t know what is going to look like, it’s not always circumstantial, but I know he’s working for me even when I don’t see it. Fear is anticipating that this whole thing is going to come crumbling down on my head. And if I don’t perform just right, it’s going to just be bad.

Let’s stop expecting and declaring disaster and start expecting and declaring goodness, okay? So this is why these five roots matter. While we’re engaging the scriptures talking with God building Godly relationships, meeting the needs, we see investing our time, I don’t have time to get in to all of this. The reason we’re doing this all year long is because you just want to draw the goodness of God into your life so you can flourish. So maybe, just maybe, it’s time to put some roots down in favor. To rest on, receive from in the undeserved goodness of God that He wants to release into your life. God is not mad at you and Jesus and He doesn’t declare that everyone will be a millionaire with their own plane. He wants to give you favor, so you can be empowered to live like Jesus and release his kingdom wherever you go.

You see every week when we come here, like our initial story. We walk in, hurting and broken, lost and lonely, with anxiety, depression, fear, worry, doubt, struggles, brokenness, marriage pain, sickness in our body, confusion, hopes, dreams, all of it. And we worship and we minister to each other and somebody gives a message and in the midst of all of that, Jesus is walking up and down the aisle, in and out of every chair, and he is saying, “I’m here not only to forgive you, not only to make you right with God. I’m here to give you the unending favor, the goodness of God in your life.” You get the choice of whether or not you want to run Him out of your church and out of your life. Or whether you want to believe it and receive it even though it feels too good to be true. God is working on your behalf. He wants to release goodness into your life the way a good father loves his children.

And He is using who He is and what He has to bless you. Favor is the choice God has already made. Receiving it is the choice we now get to make. So you close your eyes with me. Here’s the question, and what is the Holy Spirit saying to you? He didn’t think about that, He is the spirit of grace, spirit of grace, not just the forgiveness of sins, but the release of undeserved favor. If you are here and you hear all this and it’s like, man, you were just saying, I walked in hurting and broken, lost and lonely with anxiety, and all of that stuff. Okay. Then today is your day. Today is the day to cling to the name of Jesus. To say, Lord, I believe that Jesus died on the cross so I could be set free. I don’t want to trust in my own strength, I don’t want to be like a dried up bush in the desert. I want to flourish in life. So Jesus, would you forgive me and fill me and make me new? And then maybe you’re hearing, and you keep thinking about all the things that are wrong in your life, your eyes are just focused on everything that’s against you. Today, I think the Lord wants to say, there is more for you than there are against you. So this week, may you go, may you declare that God’s favor is upon me because of Jesus. Favor, God is working on my behalf in this job, in my marriage, with my kids, in my family, in my life, at school, everywhere I go, He’s releasing goodness in my life. So Holy Spirit, would you give us eyes to see this week, your undeserved goodness in every area of life. Thank you, Jesus that you are so good that you didn’t want us to live a life of performing. You wanted us to live a life of receiving your goodness. We received it today, Jesus. In your name, we pray. Amen.

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