“By your favor, O Lord,
you made my mountain stand strong.”
By God’s favor we stand. There is nothing more that God loves to do than flood us with His favor. It not because of our good works or all the things that we have done, but what Jesus has done. Before Christ came, I can see the Father looking at mankind just waiting to display the fullness of His goodness. In His heart He conceived the plan to send His Son in order that He might open the way for us to enter into the very best place of experiencing His kindness.
When He sent His Son Jesus, it was with the motive of extending His family. In this, He also reveals His true identity, what He is really like. We see the fullness of the Father in His Son Jesus. We see His love, compassion, care, grace and truth. Because He gave His only Son, that greatest sacrifice that could be made, He reveals the overwhelming extent of His love. When God demonstrated His love, He gained more family – you and me.
I John 4:7
“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Having sons myself, I can see more clearly how the Father feels. If even I myself would do the very best for my kids, God would do far greater than that. God is not some hard, performance-driven master. God is love. That means that His entire motive for doing what He does is motivated by His love for us. He gives us unmerited favor, favor we could not earn. Although He does not give us everything we want, He does give us everything we need and far above all we can ask or think. As He sees our pursuit of Him, He surrounds us with His favor. As we set our love upon Him, He sets us in high places with Him.
God loves to be with His family. It is so important that the people of God embrace a life of devotion, spending time with God. Without this, His people are robbed of knowing God in way that is living and real. One of the most different and notable attributes of Jesus that the Pharisees and religious leaders could not understand was how He called God His Father.
“Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father.”
Technically they could not receive it because it made Jesus equal with God. They also could not understand it because all they knew was the letter of the law and their own legalisms they had created. Holding to the letter of the Book was their perception of what was important to God. It is the natural drift of mankind to fall into control and power play games, exalting legalities. Since Jesus interfered with their lives, revealing what God really looked like, they had to find an excuse to kill Him.
When we replace a life of intimacy with God with a list of our good deeds, a contrary spirit emerges when the real thing shows up on the scene. When Jesus shows up in our lives, He tells us “come and follow me”. When we choose to follow Him, we choose a life of favor with God. God clothes His family with His favor. His favor is for a lifetime and His love endures forever.