Tuesday, May 3, 2011

#176 - Accompanied by Favor

Good morning! It feels like a Monday. We got back from a conference around 3:30 a.m. yesterday.... so, it ended up being a day of catching up on some Zzzzzz's. :) Praise the Lord! It's great to associate with winners in life, people who are interested in more than just being average, but really aspiring to something great and doing something about it. Isn't it great to be around people who stretch you to want to be better?!

Well... let's get going today.
Proverbs 3:3 (AMP) - Let not mercy and kindness [shutting out all hatred and selfishness] and truth [shutting out all deliberate hypocrisy or falsehood] forsake you; bind them about your neck, write them upon the tablet of your heart.
Proverbs 3:4 (NKJV) - And so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.  
Proverbs 31:26 (NKJV) - She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness
The power of kindness. I confess Proverbs 3:4 over my life all the time. Tyler and I often shout it out to each other when one of us is leaving for a meeting, or just to go out to the grocery store. We'll say, "You have FAVOR in the sight of God & man!" We confess for, and believe for favor as we just live our lives. Favor in appointments, favor in the grocery store, favor with people that we meet.... heck.... even favor at Subway! Friday we ate at Subway and I asked the gentleman checking me out if it was "free-cookie" day. I just believed for favor. Guess what? I got 2 free cookies! It wasn't "free cookie" day for anyone else, but it was for me, because I expect favor.

One thing as I was reading Proverbs 3:4 that I noticed was this... it was not the beginning of the "thought," something came before it. There was a "prerequisite" to receiving what it mentioned, "favor & high esteem in the sight of God and man." I had never really noticed it before today. It noted in Proverbs 3:3, "Let not mercy, kindness & truth forsake you." Basically, don't leave home without them. Let them be a guide to your life. Those will lead to the "favor & high esteem" that we desire. I noticed also that our Proverbs 31 friend has the law of kindness on her tongue. She is operating in this "kindness," and from her many great accomplishments,  since she is abiding by this principle, I'm sure she received favor with God & man on her many exploits. Favor when she was buying land. Favor when she was selling her garments to the merchants. Favor as she assigned work to her maids. Favor as she sewed & created things. Favor as she woke up early & spent time in the Word. Because of operating in the "law of kindness" she experienced favor and so can we!

I remember a time last week... hopefully you weren't the person I was following. There was a mini-van in the median waiting to merge into the lane I was driving on.... Me, being the KIND, UNSELFISH person that I am... slowed WAY down, practically slamming on my breaks to let this vehicle merge. It was most definitely one of those times when I felt like I was going out of my way to be nice. What did I expect in return? Simple, just a friendly wave to acknowledge my kindness. You know the wave. The wave that says, "Hey! Thanks for letting me in! That was nice!" When I didn't get the wave I expected, the "nice gesture" since I slammed on my breaks to let this man in, what did I do? The "kind, unselfish" me, in all the sarcasm I could muster, went ahead and waved vigorously to this man. He may not have seen me, but, out-loud I also shouted in sarcasm, "YOU'RE WELCOME! NO PROBLEM! MY PLEASURE for letting you in!" I was basically ticked off at his lack of the "Thanks Wave." OK... not that I'm all proud of it or anything, and I'm sure you've never done that. But as I read Proverbs 3:3, this scenario went through my mind and replayed. I would anticipate the "mercy & kindness & truth" that Proverbs 3:3 is talking about is not associated with "what do I get in return?" Or "what's in it for me?" Sure, I was only looking for a "Thank You wave" as a gesture... but, if I were truly operating in pure, unselfish, kindness, even that wave would have been unnecessary for me. But instead, like when I was a child, I defiantly acted out like a kid! Probably looking & sounding totally stupid if you could have seen or heard me with my sarcasm. All over a wave?! How ridiculous!

The amplified version of Proverbs 3:3, talks about "shutting out selfishness." Living a selfLESS life instead of a selfISH life. Focusing on "I, me, mine." We are encouraged to shut out, to forsake, to put away the selfishness. To not consider the "what's in it for me" or "what will I gain if I do this unselfish act?" The prerequisite to gaining the favor in the sight of God & man that Proverbs 3:4 talks about is AFTER selfishness has been put aside. AFTER the selfish motives have been put away.

The cool thing with God... just because you may screw up once, doesn't mean you are written off all together. Sure, until this morning, I didn't even remember my obnoxious act from last week. But, Sunday night I received great favor in the sight of God & man. Basically received the opportunity to talk to a very influential person on the phone for an hour. Receive guidance & counsel, receive direction. It was nothing beyond an act of God to have this amazing opportunity. It was one of those moments in life that you write down. A moment that you mark up as a "life-changer".... a "game changer." Favor so great that it's unexpected. But what does the Word tell us? Ephesians 3:20 basically says this: "Now to Him Who, by the power that is at work within us, is able to carry out His purpose and do superabundantly, far over and far above all that we DARE ask or thinkinfinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams." OUR God can & will do MORE than we could even expect for. Even in our "positive expectation of favor," He can even exceed that! That is what he did for Tyler & I on Sunday night. Praise the Lord!

So friend, how about we team up on this together? How about we work towards acting out in kindness. Letting our kindness outweigh our sometimes selfish or childish acts? That even if we are just conscience of it, we can focus on the good, the positive, the kindness. Sure... those mini-van's of life experiences may pop in every once and awhile... but, maybe next time you will think about it before retaliating. I think I probably will. It was like that 5 year old just came out in me! 

Well, have a blessed day! And believe today that YOU will have favor in the sight of God and man! Whatever you are doing, wherever you are going, believe that the FAVOR of God will accompany you! 

1 comment:

Stephanie Rice said...

Good Stuff! I'm totally feeling you on this. I was reading Jonah 4 this morning and checking myself on selfishness.Im so jacked and humble that God confirms His word in our lives daily.This morning He's using you!:) I love you and pray that God will continue to show His mighty hand in your life. It is so encouraging to see you go after all God has for you! I hope to see you to night! Oh Im catching up on sleep too :))

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