Unleashing the Force of Favor
by S.E. Miller
Duane Vander Klok is the pastor of Resurrection Life Church, located in Grandville Michigan. In his book “Unleashing the Force of Favor” he says,” God’s favor is free but there are things we can do to unleash the force of favor in our lives.” Vander Klok, says “Favor is something we can turn on or turn off.” We can “gain favor or lose favor.”
This view is supported by Vine’s Dictionary’s definition of the word “favor” meaning “to cause to find favor.”
There are things we can do to find favor!
Vines says, “favor” can be deserved or gained.
Vander Klok quotes the New International Version of Luke 2:51-52, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men.”
The King James Version says,”He increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men.” Increase means to drive forward as if by beating. This definition implies work or effort required to obtain favor. Obtaining favor with God and man is not acquired passively. (Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries)
To illustrate this point Vander Klok visits the account of Naomi and Ruth. He says, Ruth “Wasn’t shy nor slack in her pursuit of favor.”
As we see from the text Ruth’s pursuit of favor began early in the morning. She had a goal to reap grain in the field of the one she found favor. She quickly found favor and reaped grain in Boaz’s field.
Ruth’s hard work impressed the foreman of the field and he reported it to Boaz. Hard work, humbleness and politeness swung the door of favor wide open. The foreman repeated Ruth’s humble and polite request to Boaz, “She said, please let me glean and gather among the sheaves and she came and has continued from morning to now, though she rested a little in the house.”
Ruth Deserved Favor
Previously, we noted “favor” may be deserved or gained and it appears Boaz believed Ruth deserved favor because of her loyalty to Naomi.
He spoke a blessing over Ruth, in Ruth 2:11-12, “ It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother- in- law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore.”
“The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.”
In verse 12 Boaz speaks of recompense and a full reward. He wants the Lord to recompense her, that is to prosper her or repay her for taking care of her mother- in- law.
She could have returned to her mother and father in Moab; She could have sought to marry a young man her own age whether rich or poor as noted by Boaz himself. But in the valley of decision when she had the opportunity to turn back with Orpah, she decided to remain with her mother-in-law until parted by death.
She would not allow her aged mother-in-law to travel 120 miles alone. Could she cross the Jordan River safely alone?
She could not imagine her mother-in-law attempting to make the treacherous journey alone. They would do it together or die together.
Boaz saw the sacrifices Ruth made and called upon God to reward her.
He used two distinct words “recompense” and “full reward.” He wanted God to recompense Ruth, that is repay her for “works” or “good deeds” she performed on Naomi’s behalf. He also wanted God to give her a full reward for rejecting the false gods of Moab and coming to trust in the Him, the Great I Am.
Vander Klok notes coming to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is the first step required to receive God’s favor. Salvation is a gift. We can’t work for it. We can’t earn it but there is another level of favor that is earned and hence is the way we reach our goals and dreams in life.
Operating on this level of favor will get us a job promotion or that high paying client we long to serve. Our children will rise and call us blessed. Joy and peace will reign in our marriages.
This level of favor is based on the choices we make in life. Ruth chose to be “faithful, loyal, polite, humble and a hard worker.” Most importantly Ruth chose to come under the wings of the Most High God.
Vander Klok says, Ruth was “One favor chasing woman.”
I wonder where God’s gracious favor take us when we decide to be “Favor” Chasers!
Duane Vander Klok is the Pastor of Resurrection Life Church in Grandville, Michigan. And is the host of a weekly television program, Walking by Faith. He also travels in the United States, Latin America and abroad encouraging the Body of Christ with practical teaching from the Word of God.