Blessed and Highly Favored
Are you blessed and highly favored? Let’s take a look at the definition of this phrase according to sound doctrine and compare it to the co-opted and misconstrued definition in today’s sermon.
I am blessed and highly favored. Are you blessed and highly favored? Now, that’s a very interesting question that many people actually struggle with answering. When I say many people, I want you to understand that I mean both believers and non-believers. Somebody may frown at the idea that a believer would struggle with being able to answer this question.
Truthfully, there are many who have professed to believe in the Lord, but are unsure of whether or not they are blessed and highly favored. You may ask, how does this happen? How can a believer be unsure about whether he or she is blessed and highly favored.
I believe the primary answer to this question would be that the word “blessed” is a word that has been co-opted and misused. Not only has the word “blessed” been co-opted but the words “highly favored” have also been co-opted and misused. Therefore, the phrase itself, “blessed and highly favored” is a phrase that has been co-opted and misused for a very long time now.
The Co-opted misuse of being blessed and highly favored
This co-opting and misuse of the phrase have led to the benefit of some, while at the same time, led others to having to fight demons. Are you familiar with the commercial of the fisherman who holds a dollar bill on a fishing line and the young woman be trying to catch the dollar? We chuckle at that commercial, but those who have co-opted and misused this phrase, are doing just that to others!
The idea here is that they will say they are blessed and highly favored and try to control the meaning. By this control, they try to force others to follow their way to being blessed and highly favored. They can even dictate who can be or who is blessed and highly favored. Trust me, not everybody who is out there saying they are blessed and highly favored are blessed and highly favored.
The misconstrued idea of being blessed
You see, there are many people who like to hold the idea of being blessed over the heads of others. But what exactly does being “blessed” mean to such a group of people that would do this? Well, you’ve heard me speak about this before! The misconstrued idea of what it means to be blessed is defined by “what you possess” in this world. However, this thought runs into conflict what scripture says.
In the beatitudes (Matt. 5:1-8; Luke 6:20-26), Jesus tells us that those who are blessed includes: the poor in spirit, those that mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.
None of those groups of people fit the mold of the construed idea of who it is that is blessed in our world. We just finished celebrating the birth of Christ, and we entered a new year with few people saying they would like to become pure in heart in 2020. Very few people entered into 2020 saying they wanted to satisfy their hunger and thirst for righteousness. Many of us, however, were asking the Lord for that financial blessing, right?
The misconstrued idea of being highly favored
The same is true when it comes to being highly favored. The same ones who hold the idea of being blessed over the heads of others, will also hold the idea of being highly favored over the heads of others. Some believe they have a certain privilege because of the color of their skin. Others, on the other hand, believe they are highly favored because of where and who they were born too.
Because of who you are, there should be no struggle because you have good favor, seems to be the idea that some folks have. For others, because they have “earned theirs” in the world, feel they have found great favor. I suppose this is fine if you’re saying your blessed and highly favored according to mankind’s standards.
However, man’s standards have combined both “blessed” and “highly favored” into meaning essentially the same thing. Trust me, they do not mean the same thing! These concepts, the misconstrued ideas, however, seems to contradict the sound doctrine of scripture.
Example by Mary
Just in the past month, we studied about Gabriel visiting Mary, the mother of Jesus. Gabriel said to Mary (Luke 1:28), “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you.” What was it that was so special about Mary that made her blessed and highly favored? Was it her wealth? No, it certainly could not have been that! Mary and her soon-to-be husband both lived in Nazareth of Galilee! We would say, that was the “poor side of town”. So what was it about her that made her so blessed and highly favored?
We say that we are blessed and highly favored, right? What is it that would make anybody blessed and highly favored in the Lord’s eyes? I tell you there is no knowledge that is secret when it comes to understanding who it is that is blessed and find favor in the Lord’s eye. We simply need to break through what others have constructed of the phrase.
The definitions of blessed and favor
What does scripture say about being blessed and highly favored? In the beatitudes, when Jesus is saying “Blessed are you”, we should understand that blessed means happy. To say that you are blessed is to say that you are spiritually happy. We typically say that we are blessed to express our happiness and show the Lord our gratitude. How can we come to that conclusion?
Let’s take a look at the word “bless” for a moment. When we look at our key verse, we need to pay very close attention to what David says. He says that God will bless the righteous. He is speaking with a tense of something that will happen in the future (or even in the present moment) for the righteous. To bless someone, we should note, means to give them something (a gift). We are capable of blessing others, right? And we should bless others, right?
Who does God blesses
I saw someone say recently, that God is not an unconditional God, but that He is a God of conditions. The idea being that you have to meet certain qualifications for the Lord to love and bless you. I am going to touch on this thought a bit more when I get to finding favor, but God loves all of His creation. A scripture that I often quotes says that the Lord gives to (or blesses) of this world to both the just and unjust (Matt. 5:45).
However, there is a difference between the Lord giving of the world and the Lord giving of Himself. When God gives of Himself to those who believe, we would consider these blessings to be gifts from above. These gifts from God are spiritual gifts – blessings – that should make our spirit rejoice. (I say should there only because of how some react to the gifts that the Lord give.) It takes a lot of growth for some to realize the Lord’s blessings and to realize that they are truly blessed.
The true meaning of finding favor
God is certainly an unconditional God in that He loves all of His creation and freely gives of His creation to everybody. However, there are some who are able to find favor in the Lord’s eyes. To find favor, means that someone delights (or takes pleasure) in you.
There are some who we favor and we are absolutely delighted to be within their presence or to talk with them. Those who we favor, we are willing to give of ourselves too, right? We go an extra mile for the ones we favor. Well, this is no different when it comes to the Lord. God will freely give of this world, but there are certainly conditions that must be met in order for the Lord to give of Himself.
The Lord tells us that He will look on and delight with favor the one who is poor and of a contrite spirit and who trembles at His word (Is. 66:2). God favor those who are not proud and stubborn, but those who are humble! God does not favor those who would not tremble at His words, but favor those who will be obedient to His word!
What was it that made Mary so special? What was it that made her so blessed and highly favored in the Lord’s eyes? Mary was poor and contrite in her spirit – she was humble. Not only that but Mary was obedient to the Lord’s word! Do you fit these same conditions?
To be blessed and highly favored
God favors those who choose to favor Him! What I mean by this is that the one who chooses to favor the Lord, has also chosen to seek the Lord. This person has not only sought the Lord, but this person takes great delight in being in the Lord’s presence. We have a special connection (bond) with those who we favor, right? The one who favors the Lord has a special connection (relationship) with the Lord.
This person genuinely has met the conditions that were spoken of in Isaiah. They were very much likely humble in their hearts when they came to the Lord. I say this because the proud and boastful people do not genuinely turn to the the Lord (sorry, they just don’t do that). Not only that, but this person has also been obedient to the Lord’s word.
Loved by God
What this person has done is given of themselves to the Lord! When Jesus asked for people to follow Him, they were asked to let go and give of themselves. The one that is capable of freely giving of themselves show that they truly love the Lord. God freely gives of Himself to those who favor Him.
To be favored by God means you are loved by Him. This love is a different and unique love. Why? Because those who the Lord favors enter into a personal relationship with Him. Somebody will say, “Preacher, you just said God loves everybody unconditionally.”
We can love everybody and even have a relationship with everybody yet, at the very same time, have a special sort of love and relationship with those we favor. To say that you are blessed and highly favored shows that you recognize the special relationship that you have with the Lord. This proclamation should be one of recognition, not something that one would hold over the head of another.
We are blessed because of what the Lord has done for us! We recognize what the Lord has done for us and we should testify of what He has done! At the very same time, we also recognize the Lord’s love for us! David said, in our key verse, that with His favor, God will surround us like a shield! Truly, I am blessed and highly favored by the Lord’s definition and that’s what matters to me!
Don’t let nobody control the definition
Someone would see me, see what I go through and see where I am in life and scoff at the mere idea of me being blessed and highly favored. Let me tell you something very important: Don’t let nobody control you with the idea of what it means to be blessed and highly favored. Their definition of what that means does not matter when it comes to God.
You see, that’s the game that people play down here: a game of control. Don’t let nobody tell you that you have to do what they have done in order to be blessed and highly favored, especially if it does not fall in line with sound doctrine. Don’t let nobody pull the, “I’ve made so therefore I am blessed and highly favored” card on you as well. Whatever “made it” is to somebody can be completely different to another person.
We do not seek to find favor in no man’s eyes! (When I say man, I mean all people – man, woman, boy, or girl). No, we seek to find favor in God’s eyes! I don’t need nobody glorifying me but God!