The first time I ever saw someone tweet #favorfollowsme, I was taken back by the audacity of this claim. How conceited does this person have to be to proclaim something so prideful such as this?
But after giving some thought to this idea and looking at my own life, my initial outrage was diffused. I could not help but affirm and commend the person who tweeted this for the entire world to see.
It turns out – favor follows me as well. But please understand me correctly. This is not a boastful post. This is not a post where I want to position myself as some sort of holy hero who hovers above others. This is neither the spirit of this post nor the intent of this post. Trust me when I say this to you: I have had my fair share of failures and setbacks. If you want to see some examples of that, please be my guest and click here and here to read all about it.
I have had a healthy and heaping portion of humble pie during my tenure here on earth. I have had car engines blow up on me, ceilings leak on me and people who at first displayed loyalty ultimately ended up betraying me. So I am not a novice when it comes to things happening to me that are less than pleasant in nature. But like I say elsewhere, failure is a part of your life but it should not define your life.
Now back to the post at hand. Why does favor follow me? I can’t explain it. I can’t rationalize it. I can’t even give you a list of six or sixteen items that would point to the reasons for why favor follows me. The grandeur of God’s grace seems to perpetually overwhelm me. The pleasant reality of God’s grace seems to continuously follow me. The unmerited favor of God steadily continues to surprise me. This happens at times when it is least expected and at moments when it is desperately needed. I experience the reality of Ps. 23:6 on a daily basis. Here is what the Psalmist proclaims:
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Here is what I tweeted not too long ago:
The above tweet is what continues to happen in my life and in the life of my wife as we are on this journey of faith together. This phenomenon, although unpredictable — is not unbelievable. It is believable because it is biblical. Paul writes to the Romans and says the following:
We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Rom. 8:28).
Now I know what you are going to say. This is a cliché verse. This is a coffee-cup type of verse. This is a verse that is often misused. So what? Does that make it not true? Of course not! It is true. I can’t explain this favor that follows me but I can believe the God who is the Creator of it and the God who is the Originator of it.
I hope that by sharing this with you — it will embolden your walk of faith. I hope that you will fall in love with Jesus more than ever before. Because after I experienced these items, I love Jesus more than ever before. I am more fired up to serve him and to submit to his lordship more than ever before. Not because of these things but because He is the one who guides, facilitates and directs my life. You might call these mere coincidences. I call them evident manifestations of his favor that follows me and from which I cannot hide. Here are seven manifestations of God’s unpredictable grace in my life.
1. Hour of Power. This past September, South Orange County, the area where I currently live, experienced a massive power outage. Approximately 1.5 million residents from Southern Orange County to Northern Baja were without power. To travel our regular twenty-minute commute, it took my wife and I over three hours to get home. We had no idea whether we had power or not. When we reached our house and anxiously flipped on the light switch, I excitedly began quoting Genesis 1:3. We instantly thanked God for his grace. Our area was not at all affected by the power outage. There was no need to bust out the scented candles.
2. Brand New Branch. The company I was currently working with was building a brand new branch. They were also looking for people to staff this location. I have never “opened” a new branch. I mean that I never actually worked in a building in which the employees were the absolute first tenants. I was chosen to go “open” this branch. It was an amazing experience. Working in a brand new, state of the art, flawless environment made going to work very pleasant. The fact that our location shared a wall with Starbucks did not hinder the daily feeling of excitement as well.
3. Lunch is essential. One Saturday morning I woke up and thought to myself – there is someone who I must have lunch with today. I do not know how this reasoning invaded my mind. But it did. I told my wife and she was just as excited about it as I was. I called and set up the lunch date. We had lunch with our friend that day. Little did I know that during our meal time, God used the situation to encourage and inspire the person we had lunch with. It was a divine appointment for sure.
4. Leaky Ceiling. When I discovered the leak in the ceiling of my garage, I called my home owner’s association to inform them of this calamity. They quickly sent out a plumber to check on the issue. After meeting this guy, it turns out that he was a Christian who loved the Lord. We had a phenomenal time while having a gospel-centered conversation. He also handled the issue and was skilled in his craft.
5. Spontaneous Prayer. One of my clients came in to see me unexpectedly. It turns out that he was having a drive test that very same day and he asked if I could pray for him. This client was recovering from a disability and wanted to start driving again. It was crazy how God used this situation for His power to be made manifest. We had a good prayer time and both of us were very encouraged that day.
6. The Passing of a Patriarch. My dad was terminally ill. He lived in Seattle and I live in SoCal. His health was deteriorating. One weekend, my mom called me and said that it would be best if I would come and visit them. I got on the plane immediately and went to see my dad. He prayed with me and prayed over me. We had an unforgettable time filled with fellowship and prayer. I left back home on Sunday. Two days later, early Tuesday morning, my dad went home to be with the Lord. I am so thankful for God’s grace that allowed me to visit my dad before he went to be with his Dad.
7. Elation from Election. My theology professor from seminary decided to do something different for the final exam. Since he teaches at an extension seminary in Russia, he wanted to try out the russian exam method. It is very simple. Instead of completing a written exam, you have to do an oral exam. You have to come to the front of the class, pick up a “ticket” upon which there is a question based on class material. You then have to on the spot answer the question to the professor. There were only five people out of thirty that could choose this option. We all had to submit our names into a hat. My name was drawn. I was absolutely thrilled. My two questions that I had to answer were the following: 1. What is the role of the church in the world and 2. What is the role of women in the church. The final exam went very well.
The bible says that nothing is impossible with God (Lk. 1:37). Jesus says that with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. These verses are the banner under which the above seven manifestations were able to come to pass in my life. All glory goes to God and all grace most definitively comes from God.
To be continued…
Question: Please share the manifestation of God’s grace in your life. What has happened to you recently where you have evidently seen the hand of God upon your life?