(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 2)
For clarification purposes, it is important to note that God’s children are not all the human beings he created but those that have been redeemed and that are a part of the second covenant, referred to in the New Testament of the Bible. Such persons believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that he died but rose again on the third day, have repented of their sins, confessed with their mouth that Jesus is Lord and asked him to come into their lives and save them. Such children are called Christians.
Having defined the term ‘Christian’, it is important to remember that no Christian is better than another or loved by God more than another. He loves all of his children equally, although some experience more of his FAVOUR than others, due to the extent of their faith, trust in him, obedience, humility and because they have a heart that genuinely bleeds and cries out to God with repentance, whenever they do wrong and grieve him or others with their actions.
Abraham is an example of FAITH, TRUST and OBEDIENCE. Moses and Jabez are examples of HUMILITY. David is an example of one that valued God’s presence above all else and so he continually examined himself, accepted when he was wrong and REPENTED before God, no matter how many times he messed up.
As a result, God’s favour flowed richly over these men and others mentioned in the Bible, more so than Christians in general. It was not that God loved them more but they had traits that he loved A LOT and these traits attract an outpouring of his favourable treatment.
It matters not therefore how long or how recent one has come into God’s Kingdom through wholehearted acceptance of and belief in Jesus Christ his Son. We have ALL sinned, messed up and come short of the glory of God. Even when we are saved, we continue to mess up at times but he forgives us when we repent and covers us with his grace.
There is no place in the Kingdom of God for competition or for anyone to make a boast in his or her achievements. Like Paul, we must make a boast in our Lord because of ourselves, we are nothing and can do nothing.
No Christian ever reaches the point of perfection. If there are those who have said, operated like or suggested the same, then they are lying. As holy as some may appear, at the end of the day, they are still human beings, still sin (although hopefully less) and are still in need of God’s daily cleansing, forgiveness and renewal (1 John 1:8-9 KJV).
If you are in Jesus Christ and are walking in his Spirit, then the Bible says that you are NOT condemned. The righteousness that you wear and that all true Christians wear is not what we have clothed ourselves with. Our best works, done in our own effort, will always be as filthy rags in God’s sight. He has therefore clothed us in the righteousness of his perfect Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, which makes all Christians accepted in the beloved.
I say all that I have said to say, that all Christians are therefore on the same level, in that ALL are imperfect and all have obtained God’s righteousness and salvation through His grace alone. The difference with Christians and the world however is that once we genuinely surrender to the Lordship of Jesus, he begins to do a spiritual work in us which continues throughout our journey here on earth. The result is that as time progresses, all genuine Christians see old behaviours, habits, attitudes, desires, responses and other negative attitudes and behaviours, dropping off and something new and better beginning to take form.
If a Christian looks back at his or her life and cannot see God’s hand pruning him (sometimes gently, sometimes painfully), then that person need to question whether he truly believes on Jesus Christ and is a part of his family.
God is a Surgeon and he DEFINITELY performs surgery on the hearts of ALL his children, through his Word, as they pray and by the experiences he allows in their lives.
No Christian is more important than another or more holy than another and none has the right to deny any person access to Jesus. Whosoever will, the arms of Jesus are wide open to receive and will always be wide open until that time when he returns to judge this world.
No Christian is more loved than another Christian either. They are both equally loved and have the ability to attract the same level of favour, although this will manifest itself in a Christian’s life, not necessarily how the person or other people desire to see it but however God deems fit.
Marked differences in the lives of two Christians therefore, where one seems to be highly favoured and the other not, does not mean that God loves one more than the other.
If one is indeed attracting more favour than the other, then the question should not be whether God loves one more than the other or favours one more than the other but rather, to what extent is the one that claims to not be seeing God’s favour in his or her life, engaging in behaviour and actions and attitudes, that line up with God’s Word, so as to attract God’s favour?
In particular, how strong is that person’s FAITH in the Lord? Does he or she completely trust him or harbour reservations? Is he or she living a life of OBEDIENCE or does he or she generally do things that are at variance with God’s clear Word? Is he or she HUMBLE or full of pride? Does he or she have a REPENTANT LIFE like David, out of a heart that is sensitive to God’s will and way and therefore quick to realize when he or she has sinned and come to God in humble repentance and brokenness over it or does he or she just carry on as if what he or she has done is not a big deal or because it is he or she, that God will understand?
We would do well to remember, that, unlike people, God is no respecter of persons and therefore is not impressed with any of us and cannot be manipulated by any of us. His Word reminds us in Colossians 3:25, “But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”
If a person who professes to be a Christian, does not see God’s hand of favour on his or her life at all, then the issue is not with God. The issue is with him or her.
Having the ability or eligibility to attract high levels of favour from God as a Christian and actually attracting it are two different things.
For example is that person who is not seeing God’s favour upon his or her life, forgiving of others when they wrong him or her or does he or she hold on to bitterness and non-forgiveness? Is he or she giving to others or selfishly heaping up all that he or she can amass for self? Does he or she truly exercise faith in his or her life decisions or does he or she just say that he or she has faith with his or her lips?
Is he or she obeying God or stubbornly doing his or her own thing? Is he or she humble and completely dependent on God or puffed up, prideful, vain and thinking too highly of himself or herself? Does he or she withhold his or her mouth from speaking unkindly of others or does he or she maliciously gossip about others and enjoy their downfall? Does he or she have a repentant life or does he or she just pray and read the Bible, without allowing the latter to convict him or her of sins that he or she needs to confess to God?
On the other end of the spectrum, if a Christian sees God’s favour on his or her life but yet is of the view that the level of favour that he or she is experiencing is not as much as another Christian, then firstly, he or she needs to stop the comparison. No two Christians are the same nor are their journeys the same. Secondly, he or she should focus on watering his or her own garden, so to speak, meaning that he or she should focus on reading God’s Word and obeying it, not to outdo another Christian or to get what that Christian has gotten. For, while certain behaviours attract God’s favour, God will not reward covetousness or wrong motives for doing right behaviours.
On a final note, we often look to see God’s favour manifested by us getting good things and especially the list of things that we want and have been praying about. However, God is not a genie and his favour is much wider than that. God has never promised to manifest his favour by giving all of his children the same list of earthly things. It is important to remember that this life is not about us. If God has purposed for example, that a daughter of his is not ever going to be married, her never getting married is not as a result of her not having his favour on her life but as a result of God’s purpose for her life. If he has purposed that a married couple will wait 15 years before they finally have a child, it does not necessarily mean that within that 15 years, they did not have the favour of God.
This is quite clear in the story of Elizabeth and Zacharias. The Word of God tells us:
- “And they were BOTH RIGHTEOUS BEFORE GOD, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord BLAMELESS. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.”
God was therefore pleased with their lives but yet, he did not grant them a child, at least until they were very old in age and had long given up on ever seeing such a miracle. He did something similar with Abraham and Sarah, him calling Abraham his friend (Isaiah 41:8).
God therefore wants us to grow in spiritual maturity and not measure his love for us and the favour that he bestows so liberally upon us, by acquisitions or our own selfish little list of requests. The mere fact that we are breathing today and generally in good health with eyes that can see is testament to some measure of the favour of God upon our lives, a favour which none of us really deserve.
(Written on 14th January, 2017, adjusted thereafter)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be interesting, informative, beneficial or edifying, you may also be interested in reading the following:
- Note 57 – ‘Comparison And Competition’
- Note 176 – ‘Favouritism Comes From Man But Favour Comes From God’
Additionally, under the ‘BIBLE-BELIEVING Daughters’ Page:
- Note 97 – ‘Seven (7) Mindsets That Will Keep You Stuck In The Land Of Sterility’
- Note 152 – ‘Symptoms Of A Person Outside The Favour Of God’