My journal is my “safe space”. It’s not a diary where I feel the need to recount everything that’s happened throughout each day. For me, my journal is that sacred space where I process, pour out my heart, and pray. It’s a combination of all of those things and a place I revisit often, flipping back through the pages and recalling all I’ve learned along the journey.
Today was one of those days I decided to look back and remember—to be encouraged and challenged once again by things the Lord has spoken. And every once in a while, I may just open up those pages here—not because I feel like you need to hear what I have to say, but simply because I believe the Lord can use the things He’s teaching us to encourage and speak to others. So friends, today, may you scoot yourself a little closer to the Father, tilt your head a bit more to hear His gentle whisper, and may you hear from Him the things He longs for you to know.
Favor Follows Presence. (September 3, 2020)
If the favor of the Lord is His grace over our lives, His guidance, His voice, His peace, and His blessing, then I think each of those things comes through proximity to Him. The closer we come, the more we see and experience those things. His overwhelming presence in our lives becomes the overwhelming outpouring from our lives!
In Acts 4:13, people take notice of the courage of Peter & John and begin to remark that “these men had been with Jesus.” This, to me, is walking in favor. When we walk in it, people can see that we have been with Jesus—even if they don’t fully know or understand His character. It’s the kind of walking with Him that, as the Scripture says, “will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail” (Isaiah 58:11). And all because of our proximity to the Father.
Hebrews 1:3 says it like this, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.”
I truly believe that we—who have been given the opportunity to know Christ—are called to be a representation of His being, His goodness, His love, His truth, His grace, His forgiveness, His hope for the nations, His care, His compassion, and His heart to the world. And while Jesus, the Son of God, was the exact representation of the Father and the radiance of His glory, we are called to encounter Him as well. Like Moses coming down from Mount Sinai after meeting with God, the Father wants to change our face and our lives to be so impacted by Him that we radiate the light from our encounter with His presence to the world!
Favor follows presence.
Something happens when we scoot ourselves up so close to the Father that we simply can’t miss what He’s speaking and what He’s doing. And out of that proximity, it’s amazing what can unfold! Because of the perspective and understanding we gain, we’re able to see people and situations in a whole new light. We’re able to enter rooms and discern what else is lingering there and how the Father wants to use us within that space.
Proximity to the Father sometimes feels like a super power. I’m amazed by the doors He opens to us when we’re walking so close to Him that we hear every whisper and catch every Holy Spirit nudge. And there’s still a responsibility on our part to step into what He speaks with courage, but there is also such a grace over our wobbly steps.
Some days I feel like a toddler learning to walk, sometimes wobbly and messy but still moving forward—other times a full sprint, huge smile, and a squeal of delight, with little care given to whatever obstacles may be in front of me. Learning to walk in proximity with the Father feels much like that. And like a parent watching their child learn how to take those steps, I imagine the Father’s face must beam with delight as He watches us walk with Him.
The closer we get to Him, the more we become like Him, and the more we carry the very things that make up who He is. The closer we walk with the Father, the more His favor follows us into the spaces He leads us.
Favor follows presence. May we learn to be people who walk so closely with the Father that His favor becomes our super power as we enter into every space, every relationship, and everything He leads us to!