DOES YOUR FAVOR SEEM DELAYED?

Prayer

Favor very often comes as the result of a rich prayer life.  The Bible declares in James 5:16 that the “effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”.

I recently received an e-mail from Apostle Craig Toach of Apostolic Movement International.  In it he shared a wonderful analogy that expresses some of the hindrances to receiving the full benefits of favor.  It impacted me to such a degree that I felt it necessary to share it with you.

If there is one thing that always confused me and even frustrated me, it is this: I prayed to the Lord for something, the Lord answered and said “Yes,” but nothing ever came of it.

Do I hear an amen?! I

mean, was I in deception or did the Lord change His mind half way through? Well, let me ask you this – do you have a duck call or do you have a dog whistle?

You see, based on your answer, you will know where you are missing this very important lesson. Okay now that you are completely confused let me shed the light to bring it all together!

You see, when the Lord gave you that answer to your prayer, what did you do with it? Well, if you are like me – I received it, even spoke it forth and then thanked the Lord for it. However, I missed one very important thing… I forgot to keep speaking it forth until it came to pass.

And not just any words, but the right words that are like a dog whistle to the Angels, to do the Lord’s will in the earth. Without the right whistle, they cannot hear the call and will not do anything until they hear it.

You see in all of this, the angels are trying to get the job done, but if we do not hold up our end, why are we mad when it does not happen?

Well, it does not have to stay that way because Colette, in her latest message, cleared some very misunderstood concepts and shed some very clear light that will revolutionize your prayer life. In her latest message “Persistent Prayer – Angels At Work”, Colette has switched on the light of understanding and ignited the fire of passion for taking back what is yours.

Persistent prayer is the key, but correct persistent prayer is what is going to bring the victory! Find out now and see your blessings come to pass in ways they should always have been done! No more wondering, but rather let’s do our part so the Angels can do theirs.

Get the full teaching at the AMI Bookshop: http://www.ami-bookshop.com/index.php?Product=983

FAVOR FOLLOWED ME

Favor Aint FairI my last “Favor Factors” article entitled “The Favor That Follows”, I took a look at the journey of Joseph from the pit to the palace from the viewpoint of favor.  Everything he experienced was directly impacted by the favor that followed him.  I too can attest that when you surrender your will to the will of God, favor will follow you also.

When I said “I do” to the will of God concerning my journey to South Africa, I had no idea to what extent favor would follow me.  When looking through the eyes of flesh, one might accuse me of being stone-cold crazy: a woman literally giving up her entire life, a life of first-world country comfort and convenience, to venture solo into a third-world, foreign territory where there is no biological familial support, no promise of provision, no idea of how long she would stay, no guarantee of success, no idea where she’d return to when the journey was over.  But from the eyes of the spirit, this was a destiny move.

Being driven by a destiny calling, favor prepared me for the many unforeseen obstacles I would face.  There were many minor “culture shocks”.  Something as simple as grocery shopping was a reminder that I was a sojourner in a foreign land.  While the grocery stores were laid out just like those here in the US,  I had no idea that I’d have to relearn how to shop just so that I could cook the only way know how. 

Crackers aren’t crackers in South Africa.  They’re biscuits.  Tomato sauce as we know it over there is actually ketchup.  I’ve never found our equivalent of tomato sauce there.  Ground beef is mincemeat. Cornmeal?  They’ve never heard of it. I can’t even tell you how long it took me to even be able to pronounce the word serviette.  But when I would ask where the napkins were, I’d be pointed to the where the diapers are.

Then there were other linguistic differences.  South African English is NOT the same as American English.  I’ve come to learn that if someone says “I’m coming just now”, or “now now”, just know they may arrive anywhere between now and next Tuesday. Lol.

Being geographically dysfunctional, and not knowing how to use public transport was another hinderance for me.  As a result, for the first 5-6 months, I couldn’t embrace the same independence as my South African counterparts.  It would be almost a year before I would brave this new world of public taxis.

I would say by far the most difficult lessons were the cultural ones.  I found myself often offending people just by how I would knock on doors, for example.  It took years for me to figure out the “proper” way to knock ever so gently with my middle knuckle facing upwards.  The ear trained for it can hear that knock a mile away.  I could barely hear it standing on the opposite side of the door.

This is similar to my first accommodation in South Africa.
This is similar to my first accommodation in South Africa.

Upon my arriva, I found myself, a person with a type A personality combined with a reclusive spirit, having to adjust to living in a two-roomed house with 6 people.  From there I wound up living in virtual isolation on a tract of farm land, which I actually enjoyed.  But the sound of mosquitos whirring in my ears like helicopters all night long was the norm.  Staying in a place where there is no such thing as screens, all windows must be closed at night regardless of the heat or you’d wake up the next morning looking one big mosquito bump.

This wasn’t so bad until the attack that is attracted to favor reared its ugly head and I began to cry out to God for deliverance.  That deliverance came in the form of another relocation.

YET FAVOR FOLLOWED ME

Student Accommodations
Student Accommodations

While I was seeking the Lord for direction, I lodged for a few days at a place that provided accommodations for people who desired to seclude themselves for fasting and prayer.  The complex was divided into two units.  One for prayer and the other for university student accommodations. 

Shortly thereafter my visit there, I was invited to move there by the manager.  “The Holy Ghost instructed me to ask you to come stay with us” he said.  This gentle giant knew that I had no money to offer.  He was simply being obedient to God’s leading.  My current circumstances were a clue that favor was following me from the remote farmland to a very nice housing environment in town where my role as “mother of nations” prophetically spoken over me years prior would be born.

It was here that several young ladies began to adopt me as their parent.  It was also here where for the first time I finally gained contact with the outside world through internet connectivity.  For two weeks this became my paradise.  I had the best bedroom in the house.  The staff and students showed me the love of a true family.  Then POOF!  The lights went out.

For the next two months, I found myself living with the total absence of electricity in the dead of winter.  Yes, it gets very cold in South Africa especially since there is no such thing as central heating.  My nice little electric blanket was no longer of any use to me at all.  I had two very thick plush blankets that I received as a gift, but those suckers were so heavy that laying under them felt like something was smashing me.

The “gentle giant” made all the provisions he possibly could for those of us who had no other options.  And although I have strong loner tendencies, in that environment it was nice to have my “baby girl”,

Married & with child, but Fiona is still my baby girl even today.
Married & with child, but Fiona is still my baby girl even today.
Sammy, Fio's hubby before they were "one".
Sammy, Fio’s hubby before they were “one”.

Fiona in the room next door and a couple others to keep the home lively…that is until the school break.  Everyone in the house was “going home” to their respective creature comforts, except me.  I must say, this was one of those times that I really didn’t handle the transitions God brought before me very well.  I found myself at the height of frustration.

For days prior to everyone’s departure my spirits seemed to sink lower and lower.  I would find myself almost in tears until the night before everyone left.  In the privacy of my room I just exploded.  Through eyes swollen and red from a river of tears, I cried out to God, “This is so unfair!  Everyone else gets the opportunity to go somewhere to enjoy light, heat, and other creature comforts and I have to stay stuck here in this cold dark house”.  It just isn’t fair!” I yelled to God.

“Favor ain’t fair either, but I don’t hear you complaining about THAT when I give it to you” He retorted.

It’s amazing how quickly my attitude changed.  “Never mind,” I humbly surrendered as I reflected on just how abundantly blessed I was.  Tears?  Long gone!  Frustration?  A thing of the distant past.  In just that instant, the realization of God’s favor upon my life converted my frustration to joy. So bon voyage, my happy house mates!

Before everyone left that weekend, I had approximately R0.00 in my wallet.  With a conversion rate of 8 to 1, that’s the equivalent of $0.00 for anyone who may struggle with math.

I became instant manager to the people who were there fasting.  One of the ladies there asked that I minister to the others in her stead as she was too week to minister to them herself.  Well, what else did I have to do?  So I gladly ministered.  

God gave me a word almost immediately after she asked, so I delivered that word. Before the group left, one by one, people began giving me that “holy hand shake”, i.e., pressing money into the palm of my hand.  They would say things like “we’ve been taught that when someone sows into us spiritually, we must sow back naturally”.  It is true that it’s more blessed to give than to receive, but I was feeling mightily blessed at that moment!

I was also invited to Sharpeville to participate in an evangelistic march on that Saturday, and to attend service at the host church on Sunday.  Afterwards I received another “holy handshake”.  By the end of the weekend, the holiness I had shaken into my hands amounted to R1, 675.  That’s $209.38.  Financial favor was on standby, and I almost missed it. But after surrendering to the Lord’s gentle chastisement, favor embraced me instead.

South African CurrencyThis is only a drop of the downpour of favor that followed me.  Throughout the duration of my stay in South Africa, I encountered favor beyond measure.  That’s because favor followed me there.  And guess what?  Favor followed me back to the United States as well!

Thank God for the favor that follows!

 

THE FAVOR THAT FOLLOWS

From pit to palaceIn my last two Favor Factor articles, I discussed Faith Based Favor which is favor that has been activated by grace in some instances and in others it is additional faith as a result of requested grace  that has been granted. 

Today my endeavor is to reveal one of the consequences of walking in faith based favor which is attracting the kind of favor that follows.  When you embrace faith based favor, in the process of time you will notice that favor will begin to follow you wherever you go. 

Like a stalker, favor will begin to watch your every move to determine how to infiltrate your life with more of the goodness of God.  Favor that follows will disrupt your plans to usher you into purpose.  It will shake away the foundations of any obstacles to open the doors of destiny. 

Favor stalked Joseph throughout the most difficult 13 years of his life .[1]  Just check out his testimony.   His is one of a myriad of biblical examples of the favor that follows. While many people know the story of Joseph, I would like you to see it from the eyes of favor.

Favor followed Joseph from his father’s bosom through the pit to the Potiphar’s house, then through the prison to the palace.  It’s not always easy to embrace the favor that follows you, but it’s always worth it. 

God anointed Joseph when he was a child to be a deliverer of God’s chosen people.  With that anointing came uncommon favor.  Of eleven children, Jacob favored Joseph who was the first born of Rachel, Jacob’s true love, as the “son of his old age”[2] .

Jacob showed Joseph how much he favored him by giving him a multi-colored coat.  This coat made him the envy of his brothers who already hated him because they saw that he was favored, which set the stage for attack.  Jesus supported this notion in Mark 10:29-30 when he declared that anyone who follows Him (the source of favor) will gain 100fold blessings WITH persecution. 

Anytime favor follows you, rest assured attacks will follow as well.  But favor pit2always exalts itself above attacks.  In Joseph’s case, the attackers were his own siblings who considered killing him. But since favor was attached to his destiny, favor said NO!  Instead he was thrown into a pit and subsequently sold as a slave to a group of Ishmaelites travelling to Egypt.

THE FLOW OF FOLLOWED FAVOR

Enslaved in a land foreign to him, Joseph found himself serving Potiphar, a man responsible for managing Pharaoh’s executioners.[3]  Potiphar was a prosperous man who upon seeing God’s anointing on Joseph, favored him as well by giving him charge over everything he owned.  The same favor that was with Joseph before he was thrown into the pit followed him to Potiphar’s house. Because of that favor, Potiphar received special favor from God.  When God favors you, the abundance of that favor flows over to those who show you favor for favor.

Just when things seemed to be looking up for Joseph, he found himself being confronted with an indecent proposal, by of all people Potiphar’s own wife.  Being the upright man that he was, he wouldn’t succumb to her seduction so she snatched off his clothes, and he practically streaked out of the room (Sharon’s Paraphrased Version, of course).  Thus, prison became his portion.

pumpkin-cageBut even in prison he found favor with the warden who gave him charge of the entire prison.  Joseph exercised the same authority as the warden.[4] Have you ever heard of a prisoner literally and legally running the prison?  In today’s world, this would be the result of a corrupt warden.  In this case however, it is the result of favor beyond measure!   Favor ensured that he wasn’t bound by his bonds.  When favor follows you, you will experience the best in even the worst conditions.

Ultimately his gift made room for him and brought him before Pharaoh himself.[5] Favor followed him right into the palace and granted him a position equivalent to Egypt’s prime minister.St. Vitus Cathedral at Christmas

That same favor that inaugurated him as a chief of state then flowed over to his family who subsequently came to Egypt to flee famine. 

Favor then traded unforgiveness for purpose.  Instead of enacting judgment upon the very brothers who meant him harm, favor caused him to embrace them armed with the understanding that even though they meant it for evil, God allowed it for the purpose of saving the lives of the soon-to-be nation of Israel.[6]  Favor then granted his family the best of the land in Egypt.[7]

To sum it up, favor stalked a young country boy for more than 13 years of transition, then positioned him in the highest office next to the king in a land that wasn’t even his own.  Favor followed him everywhere he went and flowed over to everyone he had dealings with.

In my next Favor Factor article entitled “Favor Followed Me”, I will share my encounter with my own personal “favor stalker”.

Love & Blessings.

 

References:

[1] Genesis Chapters 37-47

[2] Genesis 37:3

[3] E-sword. Computer software. Vers. 10.4.0. N.p., 2000. Web. Potipher, Smith’s Bible Dictionary

[4] Genesis 39:21-22

[5] Proverbs 18:16

[6] Genesis 50:20

[7] Genesis 47:6

FAITH BASED FAVOR, PART 2: WHAT FAITH DOES

Courtesy of Billy Frank Alexander
Courtesy of Billy Frank Alexander

In Faith Based Favor, Part 1, I explored the necessity of seeking God for the grace necessary to strengthen our faith. Today I’d like to discuss faith based favor in reverse, i.e., how faith activates a greater measure of grace.

Romans 12:6 reveals that we are allotted certain spiritual gifts according to the “grace” (or favor) God grants us. However, the degree to which we operate in those gifts is determined by the level of faith we walk in. When faith is applied, grace kicks in causing the results of our faith to be manifested. This principle is not exclusive to spiritual gifts, but rather to be viewed as a gift in itself that manifests in every area of our lives when applied.

Hebrews Chapter 11 provides us with several examples of the power of faith and what faith can do in our lives if we only tap into God’s grace and apply it.

  1. Faith transcends death. Abel’s blood continued to speak after his death because of his faith.[1]
  2. Faith exempts from death. Enoch’s faith was so strong that he never had to taste death. His portion was to go from life to life. Those who walk in Enoch-like faith during the rapture will also enjoy this feature of faith based favor.[2]
  3. Faith protects from destruction. Noah’s faith kept his family alive through the storm that destroyed the entire earth. This same faith caused Abraham to stand in the gap for Lot sparing him and his family from the total destruction that consumed their cities.[3]
  4. Faith births nations. Barren Sarah, through combined faith with Abraham gave birth to Israel, God’s chosen nation.[4]
  5. Faith passes tests. God tested Abraham’s faith by giving him instructions to do what appeared contradictory to His promises. Abraham’s obedience caused God to stop him before the instructions were fully carried out.[5]
  6. Faith foreshadows the prophetic. Abraham’s faith in God resurrecting his only begotten son of promise foreshadowed God’s actual resurrection of His only begotten son.[6]
  7. Faith invokes prophecy. By faith, Jacob was able to speak of Israel’s departure from Egypt.[7]
  8. Faith preserves life. Moses’ Mother walked in a level of faith that caused her to hide her son at the expense of her own life. Neither died and she was favored with the opportunity to raise (wean) her own child.[8]
  9. Faith eradicates fear. Moses’ Mother knew that God’s commandment was of greater value than that of Pharaoh, so she acted in faith, not allowing herself to be driven by fear.[9]
  10. Faith rejects  perceived cultural benefits at all costs. Moses rejected the privileged elite life of the Egyptians in favor of “affliction” and sufferings of the people of the God He had faith in.[10]
  11. Faith exchanges temporal comfort for eternal wealth. Moses considered the riches of his coming Messiah to be worth rejecting current Egyptian wealth. He was not afraid become the subject of ridicule and persecution in exchange for the greater hope of eternal abundant life in Christ Jesus.[11]
  12. Faith produces obedience. Faith caused Moses to obey God’s laws before they were ever even written.[12]
  13. Faith fights battles and produces victories. Pharaoh’s army drowned by the same sea that the Israelites escaped through.[13]
  14. Faith grants passage. The Israelites were given passage through a sea that had to give way for them (the cloud and fire of His glory being their “all access pass”).[14] Likewise, faith gives us the capability to pass through the valley of the shadow of death without fearing any evil. This is because we know that He who is with us has given us an “all access pass” so that we will not perish. Instead we will gain entrance into our next level of destiny where we will find God’s prepared table for us.
  15. Faith converts destroyers into protectors. The waters that destroyed the Egyptians became the very protection that rescued the Israelites from their enemies.[15]
  16. Faith tears down destiny barricades. The walls of Jericho, originally designed to protect the inhabitants therein were also the barricades designed to keep the Israelites from entering their Promised Land. Through faith, the barricades that should have hindered their destiny crumbled.[16]
  17. Faith conquers cities for God’s people. Jericho was the first of several cities that was laid siege and overtaken by God’s chosen one.[17]
  18. Faith creates sacrifices that births kings. Rahab sacrificed her potential welfare and that of her family to save the spies. Had she been caught harboring these fugitives, certain death would have been her portion. Faith’s reward was her marriage to Salman who gave birth to Boaz, the great grandfather of King David, in the ancestral line of King Jesus.[18]
  19. Faith endures torment and pain. The mental anguish of losing a child can be unbearable. This must have been the type of pain the widow woman in 1 Kings 17:17-22  suffered. But faith resurrected her dead child. Paul’s stoning did not quench his faith in Acts 14:19-20.[19]
  20. Faith does much, much more. Faith subdues kingdoms, brings forth righteousness, ushers in the receipt of promises, stops lions’ mouths, quenches fire, creates ways of escape, strengthens the weak, wins wars, causes enemies to flee, endures mocking, flogging, beatings and imprisonment, stoning, brutal deaths, torment, and destitution.[20]

These are just a few example of what faith has done in the lives of those often affectionately called the “heroes of faith”.  What has your faith done for you lately?

 

 

 References:

[1] Hebrews 11:4

[2] Hebrews 11:5

[3] Hebrews 11:7

[4] Hebrews 11:11-12

[5] Hebrews 11:17

[6] Hebrews 11:17-19

[7] Hebrews 11:22

[8] Hebrews 11:23

[9] Hebrews 11:23, Hebrews 11:27

[10] Hebrews 11:24-26

[11] Hebrews 11:25-26, John 10:10

[12] Hebrews 11:28

[13] Hebrews 11:29

[14] Hebrews 11:29, Isaiah 43:2, Psalm 23:4-5

[15] Exodus 14:22

[16] Hebrews 11:30

[17] Hebrews 11:30

[18] Hebrews 11:31, Matthew 1:5

[19] Hebrews 11:35

[20] Hebrews 11:37

FAITH BASED FAVOR: PART 1

Music Notes2One of the ways God chooses to speak to me is through music.  He will often drop a song in my spirit, and funny enough, many times it will be an old secular song from my childhood years.  He’s even used the theme song from a TV show before to communicate to me.  These songs become the attention getters that causes me to tune into His frequency.  Once tuned in, the message He is conveying to me begins to flow just as it does when you turn the dial to your favorite radio station. Continue reading “FAITH BASED FAVOR: PART 1”

FAVOR FOR FAVOR

 

321867_5465Last time, in my introductory Favor Factor article entitled “Factoring In Favor”, I revealed the first key to obtaining favor which is  obedience to the will of God. I also defined The Favor Factor as a set of principles that gives you the ability to tap into the grace of God. While it is true that grace cannot be earned, it is also true that favor very often is obtained as a consequence of actions stemming from a pure heart.

ALL ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES

A recent news program profiled Robert Durst, a man suspected of murdering 3 people which began with the disappearance of his wife 33 years ago. He was arrested after HBO aired a series entitled “The Jinx”. At the end of this documentary, he was heard saying to himself that he had in fact committed murder.[i] He will now stand trial for those crimes. This is just one of many present day examples of how actions have consequences. Continue reading “FAVOR FOR FAVOR”

FACTORING IN FAVOR

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Have you ever wondered why someone in your midst seems to get all the “lucky” breaks? Do you know people who seem to have life handed to them on a silver platter? If you take a close look at the lives of these people, you may soon discover one common thread: they are exhibit one or more characteristics that ignite the favor factor.

The favor factor is a set of principles that tend to draw blessings to the recipient like medal to a magnet. In a nutshell it involves tapping into the grace of God. Grace has been defined as “unmerited favor”[i], but I believe that this definition robs us of the multiple facets of favor.

 

WHAT MAKES A PERSON FAVORED?

Does being God’s first choice make you favored? I remember hearing a pastor years ago on Christian television share a testimony that blew my mind. To this day I don’t remember who this man was or what program I was watching. But what I do remember and identify so well with was what he had to share. For the sake of this article, I’ll just call him Dave. This is my paraphrased version of his testimony: Continue reading “FACTORING IN FAVOR”