David Harris – This week I’d like you to meet David and Susan Harris. David works for a financial services company in Calgary, has experience in personal coaching, and is writing his own marketplace ministry book. I think you’ll enjoy his interview. If you’re in the Calgary area in January David is putting together a marketplace ministry conference. We’ll keep you posted on the details.
Finding Favor – Last week we addressed three ways in which Noah found the favor of God. If you missed it it’s worth reading. Here’s the bottom line; God really favors people who “walk with Him” and share His vision (aka plan or will). God has chosen to work through faithful men and women like Noah that aren’t afraid to swim upstream against popular trends and implement God’s plan. In Noah’s day “the plan” was going badly except for Noah and his family.
The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. Gen 6:5-6 NIV
Most of us have been raised with a vague sense that God has everything under control and that everything happens for a reason. It’s neither true nor scriptural. God’s plan was for men to live righteous lives in a love relationship with Him. Noah was just about his last hold out and the God of the universe was grief-stricken and His heart was filled with pain. Can you see why he appreciates and favors “Noah’s” so much? God did intervene with flood and he resurrected a remnant (Noah’s family) to start over. Could he have overridden the free will of that generation? I believe he could – he just never does. We are allowed to choose whether to spend our lives implementing God’s plan. It’s God’s plan or will that none should perish. He didn’t design some people to resist Him. They made a decision. And, he didn’t design others for his exclusive favor; they made a decision too.
George – I’m helping a friend write a book about his life and beliefs. I got involved because George is the quintessential King. He started with nothing and survived a thousand setbacks and obstacles to land right in the middle of God’s favor. He’s developed a holographic body scan that will be used to make a major difference in medicine… especially in 3rd world countries where a portable device will be used to feed a readout in a doctor’s office on the other side of the world. He pioneered the largest business park in our city that left him never needing to worry about money again. God gives him divine appointments with influential people (all his friends) in government, education, business, and the community as a matter of routine. He’s been loyal to follow his heart’s desires and at the age of 70, his boyish exuberance and energy are a testimony of his love for life and God. Every area of his life and reputation bear the stamp of God’s favor and everyone that knows him would support that statement.
What’s the key ingredient of George’s spiritual life? I believe he tapped into the purposes of God at an early age and spent His life gaining the eye of the Lord. When God looks at George I think he says, “Wow, here’s one that cares about the same things I do!” He cares about people and he has made it a priority to bless his employees, the city, and everyone that crosses his path. He’s just like me, he likes to create things.
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. 2 Chron 16:9 KJV
The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry; Ps 34:15 NIV (quoted in 2 Pet 3:12)
Vision (near term or long term) – Most Christians have a concept of guidance that we learn from our meetings. In my own churches we stressed the importance of hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit and we would often use prophecy or words of knowledge to illustrate God’s ability to specifically bless and lead people on a real time basis. Since I was a pastor at the time, building my church that was my whole vision. Growing the church and getting a word for next Sunday was most of what I worried about. I inadvertently left my congregation with a short term vision for “meeting” guidance. Here’s how I see it now:
“Many are called but few are chosen” (Mt 20:16, 22:14). We’re all called to share an important role in building the Kingdom through our work outside the church. God doesn’t make the decision for us. We’re supposed to embrace an aspect of the vision that fits and apply God’s wisdom to show some progress throughout our lives. Geese wake up every morning and start with a clean slate. Many of us are the same way. We get up in the morning without a clue and think we’re spiritual for waiting on God to lead us into that day’s activities. A few years of living without any vision will actually damage your spiritual life. Yet, if we’re honest, that’s the model for guidance in most of contemporary Christianity – expect God to show you want to do in the next 10 minutes… absent any concept of where we’re going in the next 10 years.
Relationship – God is looking for a reciprocal relationship with us. He will quicken us on occasion with special guidance or miraculous intervention. But he is also waiting for us to take responsibility for a piece of His bigger plan. He’s looking to put his favor on Kings not just robotic servants. Think about John 5:20 in the context of a 10-50 year assignment instead of a 10-15 minute prophetic word.
…whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does… John 5:19-20 NIV
Are You Chosen for Favor? – Would you like to be a “chosen” recipient of God’s favor? Write the vision for your life’s calling and then run with it. Get the big picture and invest your life in it. Find the synergism between your heart’s desire and God’s heart’s desire. When you make the decision to build the Kingdom within the boundaries of your own heart’s desires then God will invest His life and favor in you.
Life is an adventure. People are a blessing. God is amazing. We’re winning.