Saint 1: “How are you.”
Saint 2: “Blessed and Highly Favored.”
We’re all familiar with the scenario.
This answer is so frequently used that it borders on cliché. There for a while I started to think something might be wrong with me if I didn’t respond, “blessed and highly favored.” But then I started wondering. Do people really understand what they’re saying about themselves when they declare they are blessed and highly favored? It’s gotta be more than just a feeling, right? So I did a little detective work. To take me deeper than the cliché and find out what it really means. This thing called Blessed and Highly Favored.
My research turned up Michelle McKinney Hammond’s book, How to Be Blessed and Highly Favored. What I learned is that arbitrarily declaring that we’re blessed and highly favored might not be the best idea. Hear me out, now. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t say it at all, but we need to know exactly what it is we’re declaring not only about ourselves, but about our walk with God.
When we say we are Blessed and Highly Favored, we are saying we:
Are Obedient to Him. Uh oh. We know we heard that still, small voice telling us to go right, but we went left. We know with every ounce of the Holy Ghost in us that we’re about to do the wrong thing, but we do it anyway. We know that the mess we’re currently praying God will straighten out could’ve been avoided if we’d just followed His instructions. It seems to me that the blessings and high favor were on the right. Had we’d just obeyed… Thank God His mercies are new every morning.
Have Faith in Him. Maybe it was a faith issue that had us leaning to our own understanding instead of obeying like we were supposed to. Let’s be real. Who’d really expect us to blindly obey someone in whom we have no faith? But our faith in God needs to be such that we’re unafraid to take the action necessary to accept what God has prepared for us. Faith allows us to be totally dependent upon Him, which is exactly what we need to be for Him to bless and favor us highly.
Know Him. We can’t really know Him until we’re firmly rooted in the Word. That’s how we learn His likes and dislikes. It’s how we learn to filter out our own desires and stick with His. It’s where we learn how much he loves us. That’s a blessing and a heap of high favor right there. But get this. It snowballs because propels us to serve Him out love and honor, rather than duty. We learn to love the Giver more than the gift. In turn, He blesses us all the more. It’s a wonderfully precious circle.
Wait on Him. God is a master at timing. Have you ever noticed that? So why are we always in such a hurry to rush ahead of Him into places where we have no business? Is it really any wonder why we end up in a mess? But if we get in God’s flow, how can we think we’d be anything other than highly favored and blessed?
Put Kingdom Purposes First. God loves it when we’re so in love with Him that the only thing we want to do is what He has for us to do. From the beginning, He’s blessed us all with unique gifts and talents that we are to use to bless the people around us. We need to become His hands working to fulfill the needs of others here on earth. To be effective and fruitful in this directive, God gives us everything we need “according to His riches in glory” to do the job He’s set aside for us to do. Everything we need. That sounds like blessings and high favor to me.
Whew. I don’t know about you, but I will have to declare that I’m blessed and highly favored with a lot more reverence from here on in.