We live in the times of favour and when the favour of God is upon you, many things that you’ve struggled with for a long time will be accomplished. We are no longer slaves, but Lord’s freemen.
After Jesus ascended to the heavens, there was a huge Jewish revolt where the Jewish people tried to fight their oppressors – the Roman regime. Israel was God’s chosen people, but they were always suppressed by the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Greeks, Romans. And so, when Jesus came, they thought He’s going to be the Messiah who was going to dethrone the Romans and establish His throne. But, in fact, Jesus took the way of peace. In the Jewish revolt, there were two sets of people – the Zealots, who were zealous for the faith and they were ever ready to take up arms even to the point of killing people; and then there were the Pacifists who chose to resolve issues by talking. There was something that the Zealots did which caught my attention. So as to bring a lot of people under their support, they went to the confinements where they kept an account of the slaves, the debtors and set it on fire. In one night, the entire debtors and slaves were set free. It was a replica of the Year of Jubilee and the Zealots received a lot of people on their team. Jesus wants us on His team and He’s going to set our limitations, accusations, debts and slave history on fire so that we’ll be set free and on His side.
2 Corinthians 6:2 – For he says, “In the time of my favour I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now IS the time of God’s favour, now IS the day of salvation.Paul is quoting Isaiah here and adds on to say, ‘Now is the time of God’s favour – the New Testament period.’
Acts 17:26 – From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God has placed you in your family, God has placed you in your church, God has placed you in your country to receive and enjoy the favour of God for such a time as this.
Esther who was an orphan, a Jewish maiden in a foreign country, but eventually went on to become the Queen of that great Empire. Esther was placed in that high position because she had the favour of God for such a time as that. That favour was bestowed upon her for a purpose – for the protection of the Jews from sure annihilation. You have been given different roles and placed in influential circles in this world so as to shine and reflect your favour where God has placed you. In this season, God has a specific favour.
Favour is when God proudly presents His child – God does not sent His Holy Spirit unless you are divinely favoured. Go to the baptismal site of Jesus, in the rivers of Jordan when Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist and He came out of the waters, we see the Trinity being presented. God the Father said in a loud voice – ‘This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased’; and the Holy Spirit descended like a dove. If God has a favour on a person, a church or a country, He will send His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our Advocate and Strategist. The rich people in this world like to flaunt their riches by buying expensive cars, clothing and accessories; but the God of heavenly riches – the most richest person in this universe wants to showcase His son and His daughter so that He can get all His glory. God is proud of you! You are highly favoured by God.
Favour opens the Heavens – 1 Kings 18:1, 2 Elijah had gone to King Ahab three years before and told him, “Without me speaking there will not be rain in this land.” Ahab and his wife Jezebel became furious and they went about putting to death all the prophets of God. A huge famine was the aftermath of the drought of three and a half years. In verse 16, Elijah is now before the courtroom of Ahab and speaks with King Ahab to assemble all his prophets – 450 prophets of Baal, 400 prophets of Asherah – and to take them up to Mount Carmel. On Mount Carmel, after they all assembled, Elijah sets a challenge to bring up two bulls from which the prophets could choose one to be cut into pieces and placed on the wood for sacrifice, calling upon their god to set fire to it. Elijah too, would do the same with the other bull and call upon the name of the Lord to set it on fire. The god who answers by fire – he is God. Morning till evening, the prophets kept on crying to their gods, slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom and shouted aloud to Baal; but there was no response. Elijah taunted them saying their god may be busy, sleeping or travelling – shout louder!
Now it was Elijah’s turn, and so he built an altar with 12 stones and dug a trench around it. He then asked the people to fill four large jars with water and pour it over the offering and the wood. He had them do it three times until the water ran down the altar and filled the trench. He used all the water in a time of severe famine to be poured on the altar. Elijah made it impossible for a natural fire to be kindled; he was expecting a fire from heaven. At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, LORD, answer me, so these people will know that You, LORD, are God, and that You are turning their hearts back again.” The fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. Elijah, a single prophet, highly regarded by God prayed and the Lord sent His fire for King Ahab, all the prophets and the people of Israel to see that Jehovah is the one true God.
There are scores of institutions and so many religion and people groups in this world who cry out to their gods, but when you call upon the Spirit of God; since you are highly regarded by God, God answers your prayers – not with a natural fire, but by fire from heaven so that those who rejected you or tried to kill you will see that you’re not an ordinary person, but a man/woman highly favoured by God. This favour can change your life, this favour brings you authority, confidence and courage, this favour makes you bring glory to God. Through you, the whole world will see that Jehovah is the one true God!
Back to the scene at Mount Carmel, Elijah did not stop with the sacrifice, he climbed to the top of the mountain and bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees. Elijah asked his servant to go and look toward the sea. The servant reported there was nothing there. Elijah told the servant to go again and look toward the sea seven times. The seventh time the servant reported, ‘A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.’ Elijah asked the servant to go to Ahab and tell him that he’d be drenched in water before Ahab reaches his palace in Jezreel that day. The power of the Lord came upon Elijah and he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel. Anointing brings you acceleration. Ahab was drenched in rain before he reached Jezreel, while he was riding his horse. When one man, highly regarded by heaven spoke under the authority of heaven, the heavens were opened. When you need the heavens to be open, the hand of God will tear open the heavens for you.
Favour makes the enemy powerless – For years, you might have faced attacks from the enemy but at the time of God’s favour the enemy that tormented you over the years will become powerless. The Israelites were in front of the Red Sea and asked Moses if he didn’t find any burial place in Egypt that he brought them to the Red Sea because when they looked behind, they saw the Egyptians advancing. They thought they were at a dead end. Exodus 14:13 – Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.” The things that brought trouble to you, you will never see them again; because the Lord Himself wants to bring an end to such things in your life.
Colossians 2:15 –Jesus made the devil a public spectacle by stripping off his weapons on the Cross. The devil has strategies, but he no longer has any weapons. Even though the devil has strategies to trap you, during the times of favour all the schemes of hell will become futile. In the times of favour, the protection on you is bigger. When the devil shoots an arrow against you, it will come back to the devil. It will never affect you.
Peter who was tormented by the devil disowned Jesus just before His crucifixion. But the same Peter who fell into temptation when tormented by the devil, later became one of the greatest pastors in the New Testament era. Matthew 16:18 – And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. Jesus spoke these words while he stood on a huge mountain at Caesarea, Philippi, which was devoted to pagan worship. That mountain was called ‘the gates of Hades’ by the people there – it was a place where the devil had a stronghold. Standing on that very place, Jesus told Peter that you might be tormented by the devil now, but the devil cannot overcome the church that I am going to build upon you, the rock. The Lord will confuse the plan of your enemies and the enemy that comes to attack you will flee in seven ways. You are a favoured child of God!
The favour of God is not a time in which God wants you to relax, but it is a time for you to rise up and witness Jesus, preaching the Word of God and singing new songs to the Lord. The Lord will establish the work of your hands – the works of those who do something. (Psalm 90:17) You will be skilled in what you do. The favour of God is a time in which God and man works together in a partnership.
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About the Author
The first born of Br. Damien and Sis. Kshama, Nehemiah is a young dynamic preacher. Having started preaching from a very young age, Nehemiah now ministers from the Word and leads worship in meetings and conferences. He likes to minister especially to the youth and the teens thereby inspiring the young generation to follow Christ.
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