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Living in the F.O.G.

favor

We know that Noah found the favor of God.  Noah worshiped faithfully as did Abel in Gen. 4.  He walked with God intimately just like his great-grandfather, Enoch, did in Gen. 5.  Then Noah worked purposefully for God in Gen. 6.  Living in the F.O.G. is living in the favor of God.  What does it mean to have the favor of God?

Favor can be defined as demonstrated delight.  The favor of God equals tangible evidence that you have the approval of God.  Perhaps more than any other individual in history, Noah’s life was obedience personified.  Noah is the poster child for obeying God without debate or hesitation.  Gen. 6:22 says, “And Noah did this.  He did everything that God had commanded him.”

What does this tangible evidence look like?  We need wisdom as ancient as the foundations of the world.  That is the word of God that is settled in heaven forever.  We also need insights as fresh as each new morning.  That is the Holy Spirit guiding us, directing us, and leading us.  God looks down with favor on those who look up to Him with an eye of faith and then obey Him!

Isa. 66:2 is a good litmus test for tangible evidence of living in the favor of God.  “My hand made all these things, and so they all came into being.  This is the Lord’s declaration.  I will look favorable on this kind of person: one who is humble, submissive in spirit, and trembles at My word.”  God’s favor rests on those who worship Him, walk with Him, and work for Him.

Here are three ways to live in the F.O.G. (Favor of God):

First, do not rely on what others tell you about God.  Get to know Him firsthand.  Noah walked with God.  He had had a close, personal, and intimate relationship with Him.  This requires an investment of your time for which there is no substitute.  The best and only way to learn who God really is requires intentionally seeking Him daily in His word.

All of us have accepted ideas and notions about God because of what someone has told us about Him that simply are not true.  We must find out for ourselves through searching the scriptures because Jesus said they are what testify of Him.  That is where you find out who He is, what He likes, and what He dislikes.  For example; He likes humility and He dislikes pride and arrogance.

Second, don’t let somebody else tell you who you are.  All too often we base our identity on how others have described us and who we know.  We think our value depends on our athletic abilities, our popularity, our academic advancement, or our possessions.  Living in the favor of God means that we let Him tell us who we are.  Our true value is based on our position in Christ.

Our value is assigned to us, it is not earned.  Regi Campbell says it like this, “At the moment we accept God’s offer to become His adopted son, our value is maxed out.  We go from the outhouse to the penthouse.  From sinner to saint.  From ‘guilt’ for our sins to ‘innocence’ through Christ’s payment on our behalf.”

Third, take the “one-word” exercise challenge.  In a recent blog, Regi Campbell challenges mentors to have those they are mentoring to divide a sheet of paper in half.  On one side you are to write down terms that may have been said to you while you were growing up.  You may have forgotten them but they can cause you to doubt who you are in Christ.  You might write down words like; selfish, stupid, worthless, incompetent, fat, lazy, wasteful, useless, and others.

On the other side of the sheet begin to write down what your Heavenly Father says about those who are in Christ; smart, worthy, competent, capable, valuable, son, friend, heir, and favored.  His words are loving, accepting, and encouraging.  God’s description of us can be totally different than who people say we are and even who we believe in our hearts we are!

The question is who are you going to believe?  Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord which is the unmerited favor of God.  When God looks at His child He has a sparkle in His eye and a smile on His face.  You are favored!  John 1:12, “But to all who did receive Him, He gave the right to be the children of God, to those who believe in His name.”