Monday, March 05, 2012

Favor and Faithfulness Go Hand in Hand
Guest Post: Sandy van der Meulen

This is a guest post by my dear friend and fellow blogger, Sandy van der Meulen. Sandy and I first met because we both serve as women's ministries reps for the Assemblies of God in PenFlorida. Sandy is a representative for South Florida, representing 21 churches on the east coast of south Florida. She says, "I personally don't see denominations nor denominational lines as much as I see cities and empowering the women in those cities to do fierce things for God." This is just one reason I love and appreciate Sandy so much. She's so kingdom minded, and an amazing soul winner.  Be sure to follow Sandy's blog here, and she'd love it if you follow her on Facebook too. :) Today she's sharing with us about favor and faithfulness.



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Oh how the church loves favor and who wouldn’t? It’s simply amazing.  It’s definitely something to celebrate. We say things like “I’m blessed and highly favored.” (I personally like that one.) Or, "I’m the head and not the tail,”  which in essence means I have the favor or the influence of God on me and in my circumstances. Meditate on that one long enough and you’ll get your praise on in no time!

What I find is sometimes when we say “I’m the head and not the tail” our actions say “I want the privileges (the favor or the influence) of the head however, only give me the responsibilities of the tail.”  

We like the privileges of title and position -- we like the favor or the influence of God, but do we like the responsibilities that come with them?

That favor or influence we get from God has responsibilities with it.  Grace, or favor is the ability to do what God has called us to do. If we aren’t going to do what God has called us to do and where He has called us to do it then the grace or favor was given in vain.
 
Favor comes in the form of gifting, anointing, bigger titles or positions, and larger ministries.  We hear expressions like, "expanding our territories"... that’s favor. Business owners think of it as a larger marketplace. Politicians think of it is as more points in the polls or larger demographics.

These giftings, anointings, positions, and titles are just tools or favor to get the job done.  If the we aren’t on the job then why have the tools?  If we aren’t going to be faithful to the favor we have now, why get more favor?

I find that many leaders want more and expect more favor from God but shirk their responsibilities where they are now. It’s like a business owner wanting to open a hundred franchises before ever working or managing just one store with success.  In the ministry I meet women who want to preach all over the world the things of God but refuse to start at the weekly women’s Bible study. I have leaders wanting a greater anointing and that’s great, however what are they doing with the anointing they have now?
 
The more faithful you are to the favor (influence) God has given you, the more faithful God is to giving you more favor.  They go hand in hand. When we take the responsibilities God has given us seriously right where we are now God will give us more. 

Faithfulness is valuable to God. If it wasn’t so why would He spend so much time testing, putting it under the fire and proving it?  Where we are right now is testing ground for our faith. The stronger that faith gets the more favor, the more giftings, the more influence we will have.

So how can we be faithful to the favor we have now? This is not an exhaustive list but it will get you going in the right direction. 

Don’t despise small beginnings

You will learn a whole lot more in these small classrooms than in the big ones.  It’s a whole lot easier and less embarrassing to fail in front of small audiences than large ones.  It’s the best place to get comfortable in your own skin.  Think about it, would you rather discover who you are and who you are not in front of two people or in front of two thousand?

Let God open the doors

He knows better than anyone when it’s time to give you more favor.  He might be building a stronger platform because the weight of your message is so heavy.  That platform could be your heart and character.

Stay within your ministry, your area of influence, but go all out in it

Find out your real giftings and how to use them.  Push the envelope within you sphere of influence, use all the resources you have within the ministry. Learn how to make good use of your time, energy and money now. As you begin to steward new ideas, resources and your time well, God will give you more new ideas, more resources and more time for new territories.

Stay humble

 Pride will get you to think that you know more than you do, do more than you can do and be more than you are.  Humility is being utterly dependent on God and completely submitted to His will. 

Preparation is service

 When men and women enlist in the military they are sent to boot camp.  Boot camp prepares them for service.  Just because they are in boot camp doesn’t mean they aren’t a soldiers. Just because you haven’t seen the fullness of your destiny doesn’t mean your not in it.  Just because you haven’t seen big and mighty exploits doesn’t mean you never will.  Take the ministry you are in now and give it your all and watch how God will turn  your little effort into big WINS!

1 comment:

Marie said...

Amazing post! I must share and boy did it minister and bless me.

Thank you!!