A man once said, “Humility is the gateway into the grace and favor of God.” While I know that humility attracts the presence of God, I feel like it is just one of the ways that we should position ourselves to experience the favor and blessings of God.
In the end of the book of Deuteronomy, Moses is speaks a blessing over all the tribes of his people. When he gets to the descendants of Joseph he makes a list of ways that God will bring increase to them. After several specific areas of blessing, Moses says this…
Deuteronomy 33:16 (NIV)
16 with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness and the favor of him who dwelt in the burning bush. Let all these rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the prince among his brothers.
As Moses is speaks this blessing, I believe he had a mental flashback of an event that happened forty years earlier. Moses had fled Egypt and was tending sheep for his father in law, when he noticed a bush that was on fire and he approached it (Exodus 3). This encounter with God who manifested himself within the flames was a moment that would change Moses’ life forever.
Moses felt many things in those terrifying moments in the presence of God, including a sense of divine favor. Moses felt chosen, honored and blessed. The Hebrew and Greek words for “favor” often translate to acceptance and grace from God. This word, transliterated “ratson,” represents a concrete reaction of the superior to an inferior. Isaiah uses this word when he speaks of the day, year or the time of divine favor – in other words, the time when the rewards and blessings would be heaped upon God’s people. Proverbs 14:35 refers to what a king can or will do for someone he likes.
Favor in this sense is the position or standing one enjoys before a superior who is favorably disposed to him/her. As people who follow Jesus, Ephesians tells us that we are seated with Christ in heavenly realms. As Christians we have received the favor of God and we are in a favored position, often with God pouring out tangible blessings on us.
Another place this word for favor appears is in Proverbs 11:27.
“The person seeking good will find favor, but anyone who searches for evil—it will find him!”
While we sit in a favored position with the King of Kings, this verse seems to indicate that there are blessings from his hand that we can receive when we go after the good things that please Him. The word for favor here is again, “ratson.”
There are three different words for seeking in this verse – at the beginning it is literally: “he who diligently seeks” or “makes his chief aim.” This is not an accidental obedience, but this represents our intentional pursuit of what God values.
As I reflect on this today, I am recommitting myself to run hard after the things of God that are good. I want to feel that same feeling that Moses did at the burning bush. As a loved son bowing before my King, I want to feel His pleasure. Today I will go after the good, and I will start with thinking about the right things.
Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.
O Lord, renew my mind.
Help me to focus my eyes on You, on your purposes and not my plans.
I choose today, to go after the good things that are on your heart.
In the process, change my heart and my mind that I might stand before you in a favored place.