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The Key to Increasing Favor

As long as you are trying to earn your salvation by controlling God through goodness, you will never be sure you have been good enough for him. You simply aren’t sure God loves and delights in you.  —The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller

I’ve heard it said that God’s love is unconditional, but we have a hand in how much of His favor we receive. Obviously there can be confusion here (especially when we weigh our own parental experiences).

Some equate love and favor as God’s blessings of a “good life.” That means you have provision, safety, well behaved kids, etc. Your good, clean living ensures God maintains all this. The sign of His favor is the continuing of your perceived blessings.

The issue comes, as the quote says, when you do face some unexpected hardship or tragedy. You either get angry with God for not keeping His end of the bargain (He didn’t make) or you think you just need to try harder to be better. If you can do more good things, exhibit more good behavior, God will be forced to do what you want Him to do.

No one would say it like that, but the proof is in our lives.

And moving from a position like that to truly believing and accepting God loves you and delights in you is not easy.

I grew up attending church services every weekend and went to a Christian school from 1st grade to graduation. I got a degree from a Christian college. I heard about God’s love all the time and thought I understood; but it wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I truly experienced that love and finally accepted it as truth.

Those moments changed my life forever. There’s such a difference between living with an awareness of His love and living in His love.

Let’s say you’re a mega-wealthy media tycoon. You have people who constantly want to get close to you. One such employee goes out of his way to show you how experienced, talented, and capable he is. He reminds you that everything he does is for you and the company. When he praises you for your achievements, it feels forced and inauthentic.

Another person is just a server at a coffee bar where you like to go. She knows you as a regular and strikes up a real conversation every opportunity she gets. Noticing your wisdom, she regularly asks your advice and sincerely appreciates you. She told you with tears in her eyes about her aunt who passed away leaving her husband with incredible medical debt. Your hearts broke together.

So who has the favor? Who’s getting written into the will?

You and I aren’t employees or acquaintances. We are sons and daughters who are dearly loved. His favor abounds to you when you truly see you aren’t living toward love but from it. And favor isn’t a “good life” with zero troubles; it’s a life lived in His presence and care.

I hope you experience more of this love today and make yourself a favor magnet… He loves and delights in you.

How about you? Do you ever struggle with this? What has made the difference for you?


  1. Yes, such a great difference in living aware of God’s love and living in His love. I was the former for many years, too, Jason. So grateful God removed the blinders I’d put on my own eyes.

    • We were made for experience, not simply filling our heads with knowledge! Makes all the difference. Thanks Martha.

  2. I think that most of the time God is just observing us from a distant, leaning up against a wall and watching how we react to what goes on. We can give lip service all the time, but a willing ear and a caring heart? That’s not always so easy to come by.

    • Each of us has that opportunity and responsibility to listen and care for those around us. May we be ready! Thanks Ed.

  3. Well put. I think the most of us fall into the trap of legalism. The flesh is so easily fooled and provoked to think in terms of our own minds.

    • For sure. It’s how the world is structured and run, but it’s not God’s way and we have the Holy Spirit to lead us into the truth. So glad! Thanks so much, Floyd.

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