Purpose in your heart to pursue wisdom and the things of God.
Sometimes it seems as if God promotes the most unlikely people. Take me, for example. I had a tragic childhood, but today I co-pastor a growing church with my husband, Randy, in Tampa, Florida. What caused God to call me into leadership, especially since there are countless qualified Christians in the world?
The answer is divine favor.
What about you? Why did you get the promotion instead of your co-worker? Is there such a thing as “luck of the draw”? Hardly! You too experienced His favor.
Favor is undeserved access or blessing from God, but it’s a principle that’s rarely taught in churches today. It’s simply too difficult for us to comprehend why God would give us something we do not merit. But if we are to do God’s bidding, we need His help.
Favor is like traveling downstream; it’s the current that moves you from your present situation to the destiny God has for you. It puts you in the right place at the right time to meet the right people. It takes you from ordinary to extraordinary!
Many people believe we are blessed as a result of the actions or good deeds we perform. Not true. We can’t do enough to obtain God’s favor. Scripture is clear on this point: “For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another” (Ps. 75: 6-7, KJV).
So how does God choose whom He will favor? The answer is in Proverbs 8:35: “For whoever finds me [Wisdom] finds life and draws forth and obtains favor from the Lord” (The Amplified Bible). In other words, godly wisdom puts an individual on the pathway to divine favor. The world defines wisdom as common sense or good judgment, but there are atheists who possess those traits.
We must seek wisdom, goodness and knowledge from God by exhibiting reverence to be eligible for His favor. But how do we fear Him without being scared of Him? Fearing God requires a lifestyle change.
We must continually die to our personal desires and allow Him to transform us into the men and women He has created us to be. Self-denial and obedience align us with His will and ready us for His favor.
Think about the Old Testament character Esther. Most people consider her a courageous woman of wisdom and honor because she saved the Jews from annihilation. She was definitely extraordinary. She submitted to the authority of the king but used her influence as queen.
But Esther didn’t start that way. In fact, she was an abandoned orphan girl. Her parents were killed after being led away into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar. Her environs as a child were marked by slavery and oppression. But God favored Esther.
He placed people in her life who helped to prepare her for destiny. First, there was Mordecai, a cousin who raised Esther and mentored her as a candidate for queen. Second, she found favor with Hegai, a eunuch who was overseer of the women during their 12 months of beauty treatments. He gave each woman one opportunity to go before the king. Third, King Xerxes was smitten with Esther and chose her to replace the former queen.
Because Esther had favor with the king, she was able to influence him to sign a decree that instructed the Jews to fight for their lives.
“But, Paula,” you might say, “I have gone through so much” or “I have been a sinner all my life” or “How can God use me?” My response: Tough times don’t last, but tough people do! While you’re waiting for God, He’s waiting on you to surrender. Don’t miss your divine moment because of your past. See yourself as God sees you: moistened clay ready to be molded by Him and used for His plan.
Purpose in your heart to pursue wisdom and the things of God. Continually renew your mind and spirit in order to place yourself in position to receive God’s favor!
Paula White is a sought-after preacher who travels extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad. The author of He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (Charisma House), White co-pastors Without Walls International Church in Tampa, Florida, with her husband, Randy. For ministry information, visit www.paulawhite.org.