Why does God favor His children? When does He favor them? One of His fine qualities is His ability to apply His mind to remember them. He always has a positive mind toward them. We who are His children can be sure of it. No matter the circumstances He will aid us. Sometimes it is He who gives us ways to take that causes fear, anxiety and hardships. Yet, at the right time He remembers us and saves and provides us. Although we have known it was His hand that led us throughout, it is necessary we believe He thinks of us appropriately. Because He has begun to lead us, He takes it upon Him to favor us. Genesis 8:1 says, “But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided.”
The reason God remembered Noah and the ark is the Word He gave him. He gave it to him, since He found him alone as righteous on the face of the earth. Now, we understand why and when God favors His children. Righteousness is utterly essential for a Christian, if he or she is to find God’s favor. Righteousness is by being made righteous by faith. Once we are made righteous we enter God’s fold. The key to His favor is continuing in righteousness by faith. Both righteousness and faith are interdependent. One does not blossom without the other. By guarding our righteousness we can surely increase our faith by many a fold. Similarly, by applying our faith to all areas of life we can guard our righteousness. The surest way to grow in faith, which opens the door for God’s undying favor, is guarding our righteousness. There are factors that influence God’s favor upon us; we will see them one by one.
1. Focusing on God’s Word for an effective life. We ought to consider His mind, i.e. what His thoughts are concerning us, each time we feel like making an attempt to progress in life. The effective way for it is by conversing with Him. If this is not done, the outcome is failure for our endeavors. It is understood from the following. “You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, or all the produce of the seed which you have sown and the increase of the vineyard will become defiled” (Deut. 22:9). We ought not to mix our ways with God’s. Noah began with His Word and ways, and entered the ark by the same. The world and the thoughts of our mind instigated by the flesh will often try to play a significant role in our life. But, they never intend good; they corrupt righteousness.
2. Setting ourselves apart for the Lord every day. We must examine ourselves and be sanctified through Christ. It is our business to be holy. The beginning of it is in spending time with Him in seclusion. Then, we can dedicate ourselves to set aside our interests; tell Him we are open to His guidance in order to thrive in righteousness. This allows Him to cleanse us of any impurity. As we make setting ourselves apart for Him a prerogative, He applies His mind to remember us in all our endeavors. And, our mind too will not steer away from the thought of consecrating for Him. For it has been His will to all His children. “Then he said to them, ‘Listen to me, O Levites. Consecrate yourselves now, and consecrate the house of the LORD, the God of your fathers, and carry the uncleanness out from the holy place’” (2 Chron. 29:5). We are the Lord’s holy place.
3. Practicing His commandments. The strength for it comes from habitually reading the Word. Keeping His commandments is the basic duty of every believer. It is the basic criteria for receiving His favor. For in it is realized the hope of living in righteousness. We can practice His commandments by having a clear intent for it. And God makes room for it in us. “I shall run the way of Your commandments, For You will enlarge my heart” (Ps. 119:32). We understand great things and therefore, receive abundant joy through His works. There will be breakthroughs, helps, blessings and many other provisions that fall in place at the right times. God puts us at ease in life. If we are determined to obtain His undying favor, running the way of His commandments puts us on track for it.
4. Making no room for the thoughts that provoke us to rebel against God. “But he rebelled against him by sending his envoys to Egypt that they might give him horses and many troops. Will he succeed? Will he who does such things escape? Can he indeed break the covenant and escape?” (Ezek. 17:15). When God says no to certain things, we must listen. Again, we ought not to make our own ways when He did not instruct us. These things not only apply for His service, but for everything in the life of a believer. There is no way of breaking His Word and then be able to escape. There are no shortcuts to fulfilling His will; no alternative ways to glory and joy. Noah never even entertained the thoughts concerning them.
5. Walking in the truth. Jesus never said nor did anything that is against God’s Word. The Jews spoke the Law, but did not do it as God wished. If we wish to continue in righteousness, knowing the truth is not enough. We must also walk in it. In other words, we must stand up for it. A sure way that signifies we are in righteousness is the accusations of unbelievers and the enemies of righteousness. Then, we know we are with Christ and in Christ. “They did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward” (Matt. 26:60). They may prevail over the moment that shows us as the wrong, but victory will be ours. Just as God raised Christ from the dead, so too will He favor us before our enemies at the right time. If we are made righteous, we will have enemies. But the outcome is the glory of God through the test of our righteousness.
6. Ensuring that we focus on our calling of God. “Jesus said to him, ‘If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!’” (John 21:22). No matter what happens with us or who appears before us, we ought not to lose focus. The feelings of our flesh should not overtake us. Whatever God has given us in Christ, we must make it our priority. Being anxious about matters not in our power will only weaken us for righteousness. Noah kept his focus on what God appointed him and hence, was able to complete the ark, save his family as well as condemn the world. We must be keen on saving the work and everything and everyone God has given us.