This post was updated on 6/24/15
Kingdom Principle: Forgiveness redefines others understanding of your faith.
Favor is not about what you can “get” from God – it is rather being able to give everything away – even your own rights, security and well-being.
A wise friend told me – Many Christians have never walked by faith – they trust in their financial savings, credit cards and worldly possessions…. If you really want to learn to walk by faith – you will only do so when those are all gone. Jesus said this as well to a young ruler who wanted to attain eternal life. Jesus simply said, sell all you have and give it to the poor, then you will have eternal life. (Luke 18:18 – it is important to know that his man was wealthy and very obedient to follow law carefully. (“sin” according to the world was not his issue keeping him from eternal life.) Rather his faith was in his wealth – and for many this may on the outside be seen as if God was blessing him. (moral, believer, wealthy, powerful, yet sad and rejected) Here at the crossroads of Faith yielding Favor is the reality of Forgiveness. Favor from God is revealed through the heart of Forgiveness. How much can you give away?
Can you imagine David – teaching all of Israel to lament over Saul’s death? This man who used him, denied him, and tried to kill him repeatedly. Beyond this, David knows that Saul’s death means the beginning of his anointed rule as King – that which he has been waiting roughly 30 years to claim. Yet read Psalm 130, and you can understand the lens by which David is approach this. How is it that Jesus disregarding his own rights and personal space to be violated so that others might find life? (Jesus according to the law was made unclean by being touched by the woman or by touching the dead girl.) Paul declares to the church in Corinth, that favor in finances is nothing if it is not accompanied by conviction – to give it away when others are in need. This is a tangible expression of the forgiveness taught repeatedly by Jesus as well – to whom much is given, much is expected, and if you have been forgiven much and yet forgive little, pain and destruction awaits you….
So over the last three weeks we have laid the foundation of Faith in the Kingdom setting you apart in body, soul and spirit – which yields favor in this world, not from the world but beyond what the world can give. Now all this is on the verge of being misunderstood and taken away. If in fact you do not give it all away. It is taken from you. But the Favor of the Lord is not yours to give, so what shall you give? Give Forgiveness, Finances, Freedom.
Giving such things does not increase your favor – rather it is an indicator that you are in not need of more favor, rather you trust that you can give this all away and the Lord can replace it in a moment of time.
Give Forgiveness: If it is favor you have – you did not earn it, therefore don’t expect others to earn your forgiveness. Give it away freely. (There are many woundedness issues that arise here, but the concept remains true regardless…..) In forgiveness you surrender your right to get even, and allow God the place of authority over relationships. If forgiveness is hard for you– don’t start here – start is disciplining your own body and developing your own soul.
Give Finances: Being rich is not bad or a prohibiting factor or entering the Kingdom. However the greater your wealth, the greater faith in the King must be. This reality is taught through tithing…. Teach your children to given when they have little – then the principle will be in place when the Lord’s favor blesses them later. Beyond the personal principle of giving, we give because people are in need. The hard part here is not for us to determine the need, but to be Spirit Directed – allowing the Lord to prompt our hearts to give beyond our measure.
Give Freedom: My life is not my own, I was bought with a price. (1 Cor. 6:19-20) How do you measure your time – What is free time to you? If you have a gift of healing, but chose not to use it, who loses more – you or the broken? I will argue it is you…. For you gift will be taken, the Lord can call out another healer. In our culture (western/American/consumer driven) we value our choices and our freedom over most other things. In fact we view money as time, and we want our time often more than money. Acts 17:28 states, “In Him we live and move and have our being.” This summary is the declaration of one who allows God to rule over their purpose and time of life…. You can not declare Acts 17:28 part time…
Is there anyone you would rather avoid, due to your unwillingness/inability to forgive them? Where do you still hold pain or personal disappointment from your own mistakes – Where has forgiveness not intersected your faith? Do you ask others to forgive you on a regular basis?
Does giving of finances seem to be impossibility? If you had more do you would think you would give more? Where have finances replaced your foothold of faith in the Kingdom?
Do people come to you when they have a need? Do you feel guilty when you take time for yourself? (time to discipline your body, develop your soul or to let God direct your spirit) What would you do if you had more time?