Three spiritual principles that can position you in a way to experience God’s favor this year.
This reflection that comes out of a two-part sermon series we’re having at our Churches.
Click below to listen to the full audio sermon.
You come across the phrase “the year of the Lord’s favor” in Luke 4. And, that’s the Scripture that guides our reflection today.
So, keep reading!
Let me also point out that when it comes to “the Lord’s favor,” we each may have our own understanding of it. Don’t we?
What you should know though is that “the year of the Lord’s favor” has to do with God’s plan. It’s God’s plan that gives us the best of what we ever wanted or dreamed of!
Watch video below
But, how would you claim to have God’s favor when things aren’t going your way?
Yeah, that’s exactly the same question you may be having right now.
In the next lines I’ll share three principles that could change your way of seeing things. They will also allow you to experience God’s favor no matter what you go through in life.
Give the Seat of Moses back to the Messiah
Let me elaborate on this for a little bit.
Some people believe that in the synagogues, and in Jesus’ time, there was a seat of Moses as part of the structure. No one was to seat on it, but only the one to judge others.
The tradition came out of the time when Moses was an older man. He could not stand much of the time anymore. So, he used to sit down on the highest seat in the tabernacle.
It was also during Jesus’ days that the Pharisees used to sit on Moses’ seat in the temple. Read Matthew 23, as an example.
Jesus claims Moses’ back to Himself, as the Judge to come. In Matthew 23: 8-12, Jesus says the following:
“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Moses’ seat seemed to have given the Pharisees authority over the other people in Israel. They viewed themselves as Rabbis, Teachers, Instructors.
Now, Jesus is changing all that. He’s saying that there is only one Rabbi, Teacher, Father and Instructor. The Messiah, according to Jesus, is the One to sit on Moses’ seat.
Only one thing Jesus wants from you: Moses’ seat.
Giving it back means you let Jesus Christ be:
- Your Lord and Master. He will defend, protect and care for you.
- Your Teacher. He will give you clarity in life.
- Your Instructor. He will make sure you stay on track and get to the right destinations in life.
Know that You are the Temple of God’s Spirit
You’re the temple of God’s Spirit!
In case you did not know, you don’t belong to yourself. Your body belongs to God and God paid such a high price for you. Read 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20.
Because you belong to God, then honor God through your bodies.
Ok, what does that mean?
Caring for your body is the only thing God wants you to do. That’s how you should honor God through your body, which does not belong to you.
When talking about the human body, you’re not looking at the “soma,” or the physical body. We’re speaking about even what we don’t see from naked eyes.
The “soma” implies everything else that makes our human flesh (body) be living.
That implies the following:
- Human mind. This is the part of you that defines your belief system, personalities, behavior, etc.
- Human soul. This is the part of you that defines your emotions, feelings, etc.
- Human spirit. This is the part of you that allows you to believe in and connect to God.
So, you are to honor God through your body, mind, soul and spirit. The reason is that your body can’t be alive if there are no mind, soul and spirit in it.
In case you didn’t know, your mind is the other side of the brain human technology can’t see. Scientific research claims that we understand our mind through personalities, behavior and choices.
Thus, to honor God through your body means three things:
- You should honor God through your personalities, behavior and choices you make in life.
- You should also honor God through your emotions and feelings.
- You should finally honor God through the choice of believing in God through Jesus Christ.
Invite the Spirit of the Lord in your daily life
According to Luke 4, Jesus is reading a Scripture from the book of Isaiah (chapter 61) in the synagogue.
In Jesus’ days, families had responsibilities in helping lead worship at the synagogue. Sometimes, families had to memorize Scriptures they would be reading in worship.
That gives you an idea of where Scripture memorization isn’t a new practice.
Remember Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but grew up in Nazareth. Now, he comes back to his home town to help lead worship at the synagogue. It was his family’s turn to do it. And, Jesus being the oldest, He had to be there.
Jesus walked to the front of the synagogue to read and talk a little bit about the day’s reading. Luke 4 tells us that Jesus did not choose the Scripture for the day. An attendant gave it to Him.
It’s either Jesus was not aware of the Scripture as the reader for the day. Or, that was what His family used to read on that specific day. We don’t know any of that.
But, what’s important is the beginning of this Scripture. Read Luke 4:
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor” (ESV).
Why would Jesus need the Spirit of the Lord, knowing that He is God?
There are two reasons here.
First, God works in the context of community.
There is the idea of “Trinity” based on this verse: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit.
You can’t be your best in isolation. You can’t be a Christian living on your own. You are a Christian because of the Church. A true and faithful disciple of Jesus Christ is someone who’s active in a Christian community.
Your spiritual health is at risk when you don’t go to Church. It’s also at risk when you don’t belong to any small group of professing Christians. So, I encourage you to find a group. Talk to me or your Pastor to connect to the rest of the body.
Second, The Spirit of the Lord is the only agent in God’s creation.
In the beginning, the Spirit of the Lord was already there. Read Genesis 1: 1-2,
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (ESV).
Next, creation took place. Of course, Jesus, the Word of God, according to John 1, was also there. Jesus is the Word of God, who is and was and is to come — the Almighty (Revelation 1: 8, ESV).
Later, Jesus went to the wilderness after His baptism and filled with the Holy Spirit.
When you read the book of Acts 1, Jesus commands the disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit to come down on them. Read Acts 1: 8.
He tells them that when that happens, they’ll become “witnesses.”
A witness is someone who talks about what they’ve seen, touched, felt and and heard at a personal level. It’s a very personal experience one has with what they are to talk about.
The Spirit of the Lord makes you God’s witness. In other words, through connecting with God, you’re able to experience God at a personal level.
The Church came to be out of the power of the Holy Spirit. And, that represents an intimate and personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
This experience is personal. Lots of Christian movements came to be out of that. These include a movement like Methodism in the 18th century, and so many others.
So, the Spirit of the Lord, in you, does the following:
- The Spirit of the Lord makes you a new creation.
- The Spirit of the Lord empowers you to witness.
- The Spirit of the Lord makes you the Church and a member of professing Christian family.
Bringing it together
You experience God’s favor in life, first by giving God everything that is God’s: body, soul, mind and spirit. Then, acknolwedge that you’re the temple of God’s Spirit, and you don’t belong to yourself. And, last, make it a daily practice to invite the Spirit of the Lord in your life.