Are you ready to open the gates of God’s favor?
By Doug Lehman
Psalm 5:12 – For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield.
Several years ago, while preparing to travel to south central Asia, I distinctly remember one of our prayer warriors asking for God’s favor during the trip. Much favor is needed when traveling internationally: plane seats, immigration lines, travel connections, clean water, energy… so many things have to be in place.
We landed at an airport after just one part of our journey. More travel was still ahead. Jet lag, heat, and hunger were all getting the best of me. As we exited the airport, I saw a Subway restaurant right in front of me. All of a sudden, I needed a Subway sandwich. I needed it now! I ordered the sub and went to pay for it, but for some reason, they were unable to process foreign credit cards. In that moment my dream of a Subway sandwich for lunch began to fade. I hate to admit it, but I was feeling really low. I will never forget what happened next: a local gentleman, a complete stranger, stepped up and paid my bill. It may seem insignificant, but at that moment I literally felt God’s favor resting on me.
This was a bit of a foretaste as we saw God’s favor on the churches in this region throughout our visit. As they meet needs in communities and share about Jesus’ love, many are accepting Christ. The church growth is a clear sign of God’s favor, especially considering the hostile environment around them.
Never underestimate the impact of God’s favor! God’s favor is simply God’s grace. It is not the same as approval, but is a demonstration of the delight that God has for His children. Favor cannot be earned, but it can be released. We can experience God’s favor!
When is the last time you sensed God’s favor? Nehemiah experienced God’s favor when he went before King Artaxerxes. Joseph experienced God’s favor each time he found himself in a hopeless situation (Genesis 39-41). Luke writes, “Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all people” (Luke 2:52, emphasis added).
A favorite outdoor spot near us, a water reservoir, contains the drinking water for our city. A stream continually fills the reservoir at one end. At the other end, a dam holds back the water. Thankfully, gates release water through the dam that quenches the thirst of over twenty-five thousand people. Imagine a reservoir full of favor from God. We cannot control the unlimited amount of favor flowing into the reservoir, but the dam’s gates control the release.
Here are several “gates” we can open to release God’s favor on our lives individually and collectively.
Prayer – God releases favor in response to our conversation with Him, in prayer, especially when asking on behalf of another.
Humility – God releases favor when we empty ourselves.
Honor – God releases favor when we prefer one another.
Love – God releases favor when we choose to love someone we find unlovable.
Perseverance – God releases favor on those who don’t give up!
Are you ready to open the gates of God’s favor? Take a few minutes today and open a gate or two for God’s favor to flow over your family, your city, your nation.
About Doug Lehman
Doug and his wife, Jen, planted Overflow Community Church in 2006 where Doug continues to serve as lead elder. He is also the apostolic team leader for DOVE International’s growing network of churches in South Central Asia. Doug enjoys coaching basketball, spending time with his family, starting new ventures, and creating opportunities for others to fulfill their potential in Christ.