We have entered into a season of favor

Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24, 26

This entire chapter of Ezekiel is called "God's care of his flock", and it begins by saying "and the word of the Lord came to me..."  Verse 26 begins the fifth part of the chapter entitled "the Lord's covenant of peace".

What is happening throughout the chapter to come to the point where God tells his people through the prophet?  "Showers come in your season" showers of blessing IN YOUR SEASON."

Please bear with me while I try to look at this chapter so that I can take you to understand what is God's favor amongst other things.

Luminous promises radiate from this passage in Ezekiel.  Only here in this otherwise alarming book is God a nurturing Shepherd who rescues and heals his people.  Ezekiel's understanding of God is rooted in a terrifying vision of the enthroned Holy One (Ezekiel 1) and expressed through graphic images of sexualized violence as divine punishment for Israel's sins.  If God refrained from destroying Israel, it is only because of his Favor.

The prophet insists that believers are helpless before an indomitable and wrathful God who is utterly intolerant of sin.  For God to guard the sanctity of His holy name, Jerusalem must be purged of its idolatry and moral corruption.  Only then can it be reconstructed as God's enduring dwelling place.

And are we not the same?  Are we not the people that God is trying to save from the anguish of witnessing wholesale death and cultural decimation?  Along with the extraordinary stress of involuntary discoloration (hell)?  Are we not this new Israel that did not learn her lesson?  Are we not the people that God is trying to get out of the symptomatic catatonia or post traumatic stress disorder running from here to there as we try to make believe that God is in control when in our hearts we are not so sure?

Christ is the Good Shepherd who lay down his life for the sheep (John 10-11-18).  Therefore, we, who follow him, must reconfigure our understanding of power so that we devote all of our passion and energy to the heartfelt love of God. Then and only then will our heart enjoy God's favor, then and only then will we  engaged in building  the relationship that will make us one with our Creator, hence able to benefit from His favor.   Oh Lord, are the sheep of your flock a bit too relaxed, chewing contentedly on their rich pasturage every Sunday morning without much concern for their behavior during the week?

We want God's favor, however, the gate is narrow (Matthew 7:13-14) and the Gospel will require our very lives to be so very closed to His that all that He has comes down our way.

Here we have in Ezekiel 34 a perfect example of what I am trying to teach.  The prophet launches into a searing indictment of Israel's leaders; they have ruled harshly, enriching themselves at the expense of the people and failing to safeguard the interests of those who depend on them.  So God will step in as the new Shepherd of this traumatized flock, and a wonderful catena of promises spills forth; God will seek the lost and bring them to him, God will feed them with rich pasture, and make them lie down in safety, but only those who belong to Him will enjoy this array of love from the one who is Lord and King.  Not those who are complacent, not those who are overconfident in the images of God's loving care.  God will tend these sheep, all right!

My friend those who belong to God are those who do the will of God.  (Matthew 12:50, Mark 3:35), and it is never God's will that believers injure one another jockey for advantage, or exploit resources that should be for all.

This entire apostolic and prophetic conference that celebrates the anniversary of the Centurion Evangelistic Worship Center is based on the Theme of "Season of change with God's Favor".  The interesting part is that we are not prophesying just a season of change, we are prophesying that it is with God's favor that the season of change will come.

Favor is based on relationship.  That is right, when your heart is in His, his favor is with you.  Therefore guard your heart for it determines the things of your Lord.  Favor is what Esther found with the king.  A simple peasant, who ends up being a queen.  He, who finds faith, finds a good thing and has favor with the Lord.  Favor is not automatic you have to find it.  Salvation was for the Jew, and yet.... And yet... say and yet...we got it - that is favor.

When we allow God to invade our lives with his favor there is deliverance, and then when we pray THINGS HAPPEN, governments and kingdoms change, THINGS HAPPEN, prayer has made the abortion rate go down in our nation, the fivefold ministry has been restored, and the live of the church is now guided by apostles who hear the voice of God.

When we as a people make a decision to reign with Him, he gives us favor, he gives us favor in the market place, he gives us favor to reach the youth, he gives us favor to conquer our land because we will have the authority to triumph over all that we touch and anywhere the sole of our feet are set.

However, in order to earn that favor we need to be intimate with him.  Don't you get sidetrack, God wants your heart, and God wants you in tune with him, so that the noise of the outside can be tuned out.

There are many people that work for God's attention and favor instead of working with God because of his favor, We think water will save people as they are baptized, we think that if people know how to say untie-my-bowtie-who-stole-m-Hyundai; or I-can-ride-a-Hyundai we have God's favor.  NOoooooo

Psalm 37:4 say, "Delight thyself also in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart".  V. 7a Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him..." Favor of God is found when we take pleasure walking with God because Jesus has restored our relationship with him.  His favor sent Jesus, and Jesus is our righteousness, I accepted Him and because of that come favor.

Hebrew 11:16 says:  "But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly; wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God:  for he hath prepared for them a city."  Favor is the fact that even though we do not deserve it, God has prepared everything so that we can reign with Him.

Human favor is earned and deserved; God's favor is unearned, undeserved.   Favor comes when you list expect it, you begin to walk with the Lord and suddenly you realized his favor.

Friends this is the Season of new beginning.  We just passed the 8th month, now as we have entered the 9th month; we need to know that the baby is about to be born.  God's favor has brought us this far.   He has been our good shepherd; he has made our hearts one with his.  As Herbert Locker said in his volume III of the book Seasons of the Lord,   "Lord Jesus, are we one with Thee?  Oh height! Oh depth of love! With Thee we died upon the tree, in Thee we live above.  Ah! That is how we came to a season of favor.

Let me leave you with seven Apostolic Revelations that bring you to be part of a season of favor:

  1. If you are part of the apostolic and prophetic reform, God has already provided all you need since before the foundation of the world, because of his favor and grace.  All you have to do is walk by faith and not by sight.  2 Corinthians 5:7
  2. An apostolic favor is displayed before us as we humble ourselves before the Lord, laying our burden and worries on the cross of Calvary.  1 Peter 5:5-7
  3. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all you need to realize the commandment to be part of the apostolic and prophetic people will be added.  The commandment that we are talking about is:  "do not fret, only rejoice" Matthew 6:26, 26,31, 33 and 34
  4. According to our seed planting will we rip apostolically.  2 Corinthians 9:6-12 Remember, your thought will produce good or bad harvest so guard your thoughts.
  5. The greater our intimacy with Jesus the Great Apostle, greater will be the favor in our lives.  Blessings will pour down from heaven to be all over our lives and ministry that is apostolic.  Hebrews 11:6
  6. The path to victory over sin, is not by rededication to Him conducing to a behavior modification, it is through a spiritual transformation resulting a completion in Him and dwelling in the apostolic rivers of living waters.  2 Corinthians 3:18
  7. When God assigns you what seems to be an apostolic vision impossible to see come through, just put your eyes on the heavens, and there is his favor and his provision  John 6:5-11.

I want to leave you with this text in Isaiah 61:1  "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted, he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, and the opening of the prison to those 3who are bound, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor..."  We are living the best season of the life of the people of God, a time in which what has never been seen is happening, we are making history and God's favor is upon our family, lives and ministry.

BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD.

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