Set apart for Favour

Knowledge of God God is always good. His nature doesn’t change based on our circumstances. And it is in knowing Christ that grace and peace are multiplied to us. As our knowledge of who He is increasing, we begin to experience more of His grace. The whole Christian walk is knowing God, which will keep […]

November 14, 2022

Knowledge of God

God is always good. His nature doesn’t change based on our circumstances. And it is in knowing Christ that grace and peace are multiplied to us. As our knowledge of who He is increasing, we begin to experience more of His grace. The whole Christian walk is knowing God, which will keep going because there will always be more to know Him. Aeons might not be enough for us to know God. The knowledge of God changes our reality as the perspective of how we see ourselves changes. Knowing ourselves is one of the fruits of knowing God. The knowledge of God is the best reference point for us to understand who we are. When we hear, “Get closer to God.” It means to get closer to God in knowledge and awareness. In that closeness, we are translating our every experience into His reality. Thus, it is vital to know God.

When we introspect and reflect on our lives, we only find darkness within ourselves without seeing God in the picture. We may find hurt, offence, unresolved trauma, etc., making us even more depressed or disappointed. It is in Christ that we see the light of the gospel. Therefore, even when we introspect, we cannot do it without Jesus. Likewise, meditation must be when we are meditating on the goodness of God. Faith can instantly transform our reality, while therapy will take many years.

Ephesians 2: 4 (ESV) – But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,

No matter what our situations are, the two words- ‘but God’- can change the course of our entire life. Even if our stories have sickness, lack, oppression, loneliness, or depression, it will take a complete 180-degree turn when God, a being rich in mercy and motivated by love, is our Father. Paul emphasises God’s love and stresses that His love toward us is great.

When we look at the life of the disciple John, when he wrote the Gospel, He was a disciple whom Jesus loved. It is not that Jesus didn’t love others; however, John personalised Jesus’ love for himself. For instance, when the sun shines, the rays are everywhere. However, if we can use a magnifying glass and focus the rays at a point, we can see the power of its magnitude. If we can focus on the love of God in our lives over our weaknesses, brokenness and fragility, we will learn His love is enough.

Ephesians 2: 5 (ESV) – even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved 

We see our past in chapters 1 and 2 of Ephesians. Before, we were dead in trespasses ruled by the power of death. Each of us is a miracle because the power of resurrection is working in us. If it is unfair to expect a physically dead person to sing a hymn, it is also unfair and impossible to expect a spiritually dead person to do anything spiritual. We could not do anything spiritual.

John 15: 16 (ESV)– You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

When we come to church, do devotionals, pray, etc., we assume we are choosing God. But we were spiritually dead, which means we were unable to function. The assumption that we choose God is the root of many struggles we face as Christians, as it leads to burnout. We can live an effortless Christian life only if we learn that He chose us and has given us everything that is required to live a life of godliness. Our prayers and worship result from the empowerment of God’s grace.

Ephesians 2: 6 (ESV) – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus

Imagine being dead inside a coffin and buried in a six feet deep grave. Further, imagine even if God made us alive, we are still trapped in the grave. We might also get scared because of the darkness inside the coffin. We must somehow get out of that earth in which we are buried. God did not make us alive and leave us in the grave to figure out how to get out of the grave. It was not just enough for us to be made alive. Even when Jesus came alive, the entire demonic realm and hell held Him back, as they didn’t want Him to be raised. The same is true for us. Instead, the good news is that God made us alive and pulled us out of the grave and seated us with Him. We are pulled to the ground from the grave and seated in heavenly places with God.

Ephesians 1: 20-21 (ESV)– that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.

Christ raised us and gave us a seat of honour and favour. From the description of where we are seated, we must learn that the nature of our life is superior. We are not living on the earth and looking up to heaven. We are seated in heaven and operating on the earth from heaven. We are given the seat of power and authority with Jesus. The Prime Minister of India does not necessarily have to sit on his chair to govern the country. Likewise, our position in Christ is not a physical seat but a position in the spiritual realm which cannot be snatched from us. Since our positional authority is far above anything we see on earth. Our Christian walk begins on the throne. We’re not somehow climbing our way to the throne. Therefore, every mountain or Goliath we face today is beneath us. We cannot get closer to God than He already is. He’s inside of us and with us. And the whole process of salvation is the favour of God.

New Covenant: Set Apart for God 

Hebrews 1: 1 (ESV) – Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets.

In the old covenant, God revealed Himself through the prophets. But now He has chosen to reveal himself through his son. The highest revelation of God that we can get is through His Son. And when we get to know God, we know we are. Because in knowing Christ, our identity is reflected. If we cannot let Jesus walk into our office and be rude or into our homes and be snappy, then we must also not do that. We no longer are in the bloodline of Adam. Our identity is in Christ.

2 Corinthians 5: 16 (ESV) – From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.

One of our practical struggles is that we relate with each other in the flesh; that is, we see the person, their strengths and weaknesses, their personality type, their background, etc. We regarded Christ in the flesh. Even today, in many aspects, we know Christ in the flesh when we only highlight the three and half years of Jesus’ ministry over the 2022 years of His reigning in the heavenly places. Indeed, the ministry Jesus did on earth was significant; however, his death, burial and resurrection have brought so much more. Jesus died in the likeness of Adam. He died like that so that we could be raised in the identity of Christ. Therefore, we do not have to relate to Adam but to Christ. Even when we struggle with sin, we are saints and not sinners. Because we are reconciled to God in Christ, we are the righteousness of God.

Ephesians 2: 7 (ESV) – so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

The reason we are seated with God in the heavenly places is so that He can show us more of His favour and kindness. When Paul prays, God replies, saying, “My grace is sufficient for you.” It is like we have only to ride a few kilometres to our workplace, but we have a full petrol tank. Thus, when we are partaking in the grace of God, we have more than enough grace. In other words, we cannot ever be in lack as God’s favour upon your life is more than enough. Our life is the canvass of God, where he reveals His nature, character, favour, goodness and faithfulness. We are created for good works God created beforehand (Ephesians 2: 10). We are the certificates of God’s goodness, and faithfulness is independent of our struggles and issues in life. God has set us apart.

Deuteronomy 28: 1 (ESV) – And if you faithfully obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.

In the old covenant, the Israelites were always set high above all the other nations, despite the neighbouring countries being rich in technology and power. Further, we see the following blessing: God’s blessings will not only be sprinkled on us but will overtake us. The new covenant is much weightier and extravagant than the old one, as we partake in it through Christ. Since in Jesus, we are far above all dominion, might, principality, power and name, it means we are not only higher than nations but higher than everything in the cosmos.

Deuteronomy 28: 9-10 (ESV) – the LORD will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in his ways. And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they shall be afraid of you.

Holy does not mean perfection. Perfection is a fruit of holiness. Holiness here means we are set apart for God. The favour of the Lord that is upon our life is for us to be set apart so that God’s name is glorified through us. Like an Apple product carries the name and credibility of Apple, we carry the name of God. We must never forget that God is more invested in us than we are. We are created for good works, which God is doing through us. We are not going to be a people of favour in the future. We are the people of favour because we are seated in favour. God has set us apart so that His name will be glorified through us.

Language of Unity

The easiest way to identify a people group is through their language. Language distinctly tells us where we belong; it helps us connect easily with our group.

Genesis 11: 1 (ESV)– Now the whole earth had one language and the same words.

The people on Earth united because they spoke the same tongue. By building the tower of Babel, they wanted a name for themselves.

Genesis 11: 6-8 (ESV) – And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.”

Even God recognises that when people come together in unity. Language is how we communicate. We think in words, which are in any language we know. When talking to the next person, we transfer our thoughts to them. Most of us know multiple languages. If we observe closely, certain thought patterns we have is only possible in that particular language. For instance, when an American and an Indian marry, they must develop a shared way of communication. Therefore, when God confused the language of the people, their thought patterns also changed. In the New Testament, we see the change in the arrival of the sign that Jesus wanted His disciples to wait for. Jesus asked the disciples to remain in Jerusalem until they received the gift of the Holy Spirit. And as they were fasting, they received the gift.

Acts 2: 1-4 (ESV)– When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

When the day of Pentecost arrived, there was an audible sign of the mighty rushing wind and a visible sign of divided tongues, which seemed to be of fire. When Jesus died, He made us alive and seated us with Himself at the right hand of God. The arrival of the Holy Spirit as tongues of fire fulfils the prophecy of John the Baptist about Jesus, “He who comes after me is greater than me. He will baptise you with fire and the Holy Spirit.” As they were filled with the Holy Spirit, they began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. So what God did in the tower of Babel, which divided humanity into different people groups, God redeemed all of that by giving us one language and bringing us together in Holy Spirit. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what demography, ethnicity, gender or race the fellow Christian brother is from; the Language of God Unites us.

Ephesians 2: 8 (ESV)- For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God

Favour and Faith

Grace is the source, and faith is the channel of our salvation. Grace is released in our life in the form of words. Our spiritual blessings are in the form of words (Ephesians 1: 3). Blessings come from the Greek word Eulogy, which means good words. We translate these good words we receive in our spiritual realm into our physical spaces through faith. Thus, we call faith the channel. We speak God’s language in faith, which transforms our reality. If we look deeper, we will learn that thoughts, emotions and feelings are all made up of words. Likewise, every reality we see is created by the word of God. We have been given good words. God’s favour upon your life comes in the form of good words.

Our bible reading, church visits, fasting, and giving are not how the spiritual realm understands us. We are identified in the spiritual realm by the language we speak. When we receive the message, it changes our language into the language of faith. The people of God speak the language of Faith. Faith is a response to knowing that God has already released everything we need for life and godliness. Faith is a response to knowing that God is good and faithful.

We have to speak faith in any area of our lives where we want to see favour multiply or lack disappear. Speaking faith begins by hearing God through the scriptures, followed by seeing it in our mind. Even before praying for it to rain as the Lord had promised, Elijah says to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of a heavy rain.” (1 Kings 18) Similarly, when we hear the word, we have to start seeing the fulfilment of the Word through the faculty of our imagination. In other words, we have to see the Word to life in our minds.

Our default action is to speak what we see, unlike God, who speaks what He wants to see. When God saw darkness and void during creation, He spoke and brought light which He wanted to see. May we be empowered by the Holy Spirit to stop our reflex action of speaking what we see and speak faith. We can only speak faith to the extent we know God. And we are equipped to know more of God through the scriptures. Every scripture in the Bible has a reality of God, waiting for itself to be unlocked. It is the glory of God to conceal things and the glory of kings to search out that reality. Let us diligently search the mysteries from the scriptures and speak faith.

John 17: 17 (ESV)– Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

If we are pursuing the purposes of God in our lives, we need the reality of the scriptures to unlock the depth of revelation and the wisdom of provisions for us. Be aggressive, diligent and bold in claiming through the language of faith what the Lord has stored for us in the spiritual realm in all areas of our lives.

About the author

Samuel Thomas

Samuel is a second-generation pastor with a rich heritage in the Holy Spirit. He has been the pastor of Lighthouse Church since 2017 with a two-word mission statement: transforming lives. Samuel's priority in life has been to know Christ and to grow deeper in His love.

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