I love all five of my sons equally. I let them know that they are all my favorites, and appreciate their uniqueness and differences. I can’t imagine singling one of them out as favored among the rest. They are all way too special.
This was not a problem for Jacob, who outwardly favored Joseph over his brothers. In fact the Bible says in Genesis 37 that “…Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors. 4 But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.” Jacob treated Joseph different. He gave him special gifts and he doted on him all because Joseph was the “baby” of the family. Most of us are pretty familiar with the life of Joseph and how God took him from the pit to the palace, but in dealing with favor there are a few other things I want to emphasis in this blog post.
1. Favor always starts with Sonship.
Let’s imagine for a moment that there is a famine in the US. Food is scarce and people are hungry. Let me guarantee you something. If I find food, all of my sons will be fed before I look to help someone else. I have a responsibility to those who bear my name. I will take care of them before I seek to care for others because God has put this in me. If there is famine, and I have just enough food to feed 5 hungry boys, it will be the Smith boys that eat that day. In this scenario my sons receive favor based upon their identity. They are Smiths. They are my sons to care for. I am going to make sure they are provided for and well fed (although this would be a good time to trust God for a loaves and fish miracle to help everyone else).
There is a spiritual comparison here, because I believe as sons and daughters of God we have access to that same kind of favor. I also believe that we can interfere with the favor process if we don’t live, walk, and respond to God as sons. We are not orphans. We are not fatherless, but many Christians live like they are. Let’s look at Joseph’s brothers. All of them had access to their father’s wealth. They were destined to receive a powerful destiny and be a part of the very founding of the nation of Israel. The majority of the prophetic blessing they received from their father was very good and I would dare say that in the eyes of history they were highly favored, but it was not enough for them. They all wanted what Joseph had.
When someone walks in true sonship today it leads to favor. Those who know their calling today, who have dreams and are confident in them will be children of favor. Those who struggle with the issue of sonship and question their calling, I believe, can stagnate the flow of favor over their lives. Like Jacob’s brothers, they will always be jealous and never satisfied with the wealth they already have.
Go through the process required with God to establish your sonship before you ever worry about being a “prophet”. A prophet who has not found his or her sonship with God will become competitive, self promoting, and possibly even devious in order to be seen or noticed by the church and its leadership. To truly walk in favor one must truly be a son, and from that point on God will cause you to realize your assignment and you will then be able to walk in it with great boldness.
2. Favor Helps to Establish your Calling
Gen 37:5 Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more. 6 So he said to them, “Please hear this dream which I have dreamed: 7 There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.”8 And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.9 Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.”10 So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?” 11 And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
I think it is generally accepted that Joseph should not have told his brothers about the dream. I believe his Mother and Father could have handled it, but not the brothers. Good Fathers don’t compete with their sons just as godly Mothers don’t compete with daughters. They look forward with great excitement the opportunity to bestow all they have on to their children. Brothers, however, are always in competition with brothers. This is something I have seen from my boys at even a very young age. They all want to outshine the other, and will compete with their siblings every chance they have.
So for Joseph to come out and tell his brothers this dream was definitely premature, but Joseph was being prepared for something. He was at the starting line of fulfilling a very important calling, ultimately to save his family and all of the known world, and there would be a process involved. God had to test, form, and make the man before he could walk in what God had called him to do. Never mistake the testing of God for a lack of favor in your life. What you are going through right now may feel like a pit or a prison, but it is the exact thing you need to go through to get to your destiny.
Never mistake the testing of God for a lack of favor in your life. What you are going through right now may feel like a pit or a prison but it is the exact thing you need to go through to get to your destiny.
It amazes me how favor followed Joseph everywhere he went. From slavery to the prison, he always rose to a place of prominence. I believe some Christian ministries give up too quick. They believe favor means that there is always enough money, that they will have notoriety, and that the Pastor will give them the pulpit. If the right circumstances don’t come together they throw their hands up and determine that the favor of God is present wherever they are at.
3. Favor creates “Rivers in the Desert”
Isaiah 43:19 speaks of a phenomena called “Rivers in the Desert”. It is creating something unlikely in unfavorable circumstances. It is what Joseph did wherever he went. The force of favor flowed so strongly in his life that those in command and important position could not help but take notice.
Don’t get up and leave your church because you are not seeing the streams right away. Don’t run from place to place looking for favor. If you have worked out issues of sonship, the favor of God will rest on your life, wherever He has you at the moment. God has, at times, strategically set me in places where the prophetic gift was not readily accepted. When these times come, and I know God has a reason for placing me where He has, I only need to be faithful with the grace on my life and trust Him for the favor. I have seen God create rivers in the desert during these times. He has used me to build prophetic ministry in difficult places. This has little to do with my gift or grace, it has everything to do with the favor of God.