I continually pray for God's favor to cover my life. I pretty much pray for this every single day, and sometimes I honestly feel just a little bit selfish to pray for it so often. Because it's easy to ask yourself, "Why should I be able to have the favor of God on my life and my relationships and my pursuits? Why do I deserve that?"
But really, isn't that just the point? We don't deserve it and aren't worthy of it, but He chooses to show us His wonderful favor anyway. Scriptures talk about God's favor in a number of ways and with a number of word pictures--favor covering us as a shield, proclaiming the year of the Lord's favor, and the ones the Lord favors: those who are humble and contrite in spirit and who tremble at His word. But there's another unusual description of the Lord's favor that I am fascinated by. It comes from a passage in Deuteronomy 33, where Moses is blessing the twelve tribes of Israel before his death, and Joseph in particular. Moses says: "May the Lord bless his land with the precious dew from heaven above and with the deep waters that lie below; with the best the sun brings forth and the finest the moon can yield; with the choicest gifts of the ancient mountains and the fruitfulness of the everlasting hills; with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness and the favor of him who dwelt in the burning bush."
This ancient and beautiful blessing asks God to bless with the favor of Him who dwelt in the burning bush--as the speaker here, Moses was obviously invoking the experience that started his whole ministry, when he met the great I AM in a burning bush in a lonely desert. To me, it is utterly profound that he would ask for Joseph to have this particular type of God's favor--the favor of the one who dwelt in the burning bush. Moses knew exactly what kind of favor this was. It's a favor that invited him, and invites us even today, to take off our shoes, stand upon holy ground, and come face to face with I AM. It's a favor that enabled Moses, and enables us, to speak when we don't know how to speak or what to say. It's a favor that enables us to reach people, to reach hearts, and to lead people away from their bondage and toward the life of freedom God has for them. It's a favor that gives us great boldness and reminds us that God will be with us always. It's one that allows us to confront when necessary, to show forth the power of God, and to shepherd people toward a new life with Him. It's that kind of favor. This is exactly the kind of favor I constantly pray for in my life.
Maya Angelou once said, "The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise." And I want to reach people's hearts. As a law student and soon-to-be litigator, as a blogger, as a friend, in every other place and arena and sphere of influence I find myself. You cannot be a good leader without seeking to reach hearts, and you cannot reach hearts deeply without the favor of God in your life. I want to reach people with the message of I AM. I want to stand on that holy ground and speak the words God gives me to speak. What a blessing it is to know that, as I pursue that, I can be covered with the favor of Him who dwelt in the burning bush.
And we do not have this favor because we deserve it. We have it because we've been bought with the blood of the Lamb and brought into right standing with God because of the sacrifice of Christ. We have it because God has made a way where there was no way. And we can never underestimate the power of His favor in our lives--giving us the grace we need to follow Him.