A few years ago my husband James and I worked for a foster care agency as houseparents where we fostered eight to 10 children at a time. These kids were tough and could easily overtake the home creating a chaotic living environment rendering the houseparents helpless.
I prayed daily for my kids and over my home. I proclaimed that Christ would fill our home with peace, comfort, and calmness. Staff and state personal would come into our home and comment on how calm and peaceful our house was.
It wasn’t because of James and me, it was because of Christ. We gave Him the main seat in the house and He was there every day.
During this time there was another couple we were close friends with and who were in the same position as us, but for many years longer. They saw how we had peace in our home and favor amongst the managers and founders. Without us knowing, this really bothered them and they sought out ways to hurt us. They wanted us to be seen as less and wanted us fired.
Eventually, bitterness and anger arose and they made claims and accusations against us while still acting like our friends. The Holy Spirit started raising concerns in my heart over this couple. I knew something was present within them that was against us. Eventually, we found out about these accusations and claims. We weren’t told where they came from but immediately I knew who it was.
A few weeks later we received confirmation that this couple indeed was the one spreading lies to our co-workers and going into the office to try to get us fired. I cannot tell you how much that hurt and left us feeling attacked. I believe in God’s protection and He protected us and none of these false claims hurt us in any way.
Have you ever felt attacked by someone and had no clue where it came from and why? You wonder if there was something wrong with you because you’ve felt this way on a few occasions. You don’t know why you seem to find yourself in positions where you’re following Jesus, working hard, and yet someone’s always there to knock you down.
Laura Dudek explains in her book “Written,” “Many people don’t know how to respond in a life-giving way to those who carry favor on their life, so they react through their own bitterness, pain, anger, and jealousy.”
Just like the couple who unsuccessfully tried to hurt us, they saw the favor of God in our home and responded through anger and jealousy. They feared they couldn’t have that favor and didn’t want others to have it too.
When you give your life to Jesus you have access to God’s favor. His blessings, protection, and presence in your life is all available when we passionately pursue Him. His favor may come in the form of a job offer, meaningful relationships, financial blessings, protection from toxic situations, the outcome of your work succeeding, etc.
Here are FOUR simple truths about the favor of God in your life:
1. Having the favor of God is believing in Jesus and living a life pursuing Him and in a relationship with Him.
When we favor someone, we usually want to spend time with them, connect with them, and have joy in our hearts towards them. We tend to favor people who also favor us. In the same way, God shows his favor to those who spend time with him, connect with him, and believe in who He is.
Isaiah 66:2 says, “These are the ones who I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.”
II Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong on behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” Being “perfect toward Him” means we seek The Lord’s favor above anyone else.
2. Favor is available to ALL who serve Jesus.
Some may feel others have “more” favor than them. This is a lie that either we tell ourselves or we let the devil tell us. Some may walk in favor more than others but that’s only because they’re truly seeking Christ daily in their lives. We all can walk in His favor – we only need to choose to.
God’s favor isn’t depending on how “good” someone is because none of us are “good” without the death and resurrection of Jesus. God’s favor is given through His grace and through His grace we can live a life favored.
3. Your favor can and most likely will be attacked.
When you chase after Christ and passionately pursue Him, there will always be people who are jealous and envious. They let their own insecurities cloud their vision, they believe they’re not “good enough,” and they let their past dictate their future. This prevents themselves from feeling God’s love and accepting His redemption. They will then look at others who are redeemed in Christ and through their bitterness and jealousy they attack.
2 Timothy 3:12 says, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
Persecution isn’t only done by the hands of people outside the church. One of the greatest weapons of division within the church is persecution amongst believers.
4. How you respond to the favor of others shows your true character.
When you see the favor of God on someone’s life, the feelings that stir inside of you are a reflection of your heart. You may not even realize you’re witnessing the favor of God. You see them succeeding or living a joyful life- how do you respond to that? Do you delight with them, or internally fight against them? Recognize how you respond to the joys of those around you and reflect on what that says about you.
When you’re dealing with an attack, step back and ask God why. Ask Him where it’s coming from. If it’s an attack on the favor God has placed on you, there will be a sense of understanding a peace. Then, pray for the person who is attacking you. Pray for them to see the favor God has for them and for them to confidently walk in it.
This piece was originally published on Heather’s blog.
Heather Margiotta is a Christian Wife and Mother who has a love for relationships, adoption, spiritual growth, and helping others through grief. Heather’s life motto is “To love the life you live, by seeing the good between the chaos.” You can find her blog here and her Facebook here.