It’s a new year full of new opportunities. I know God has great things in store for you. But how do make sure this isn’t just another year? How do we position ourselves for God’s best?
It’s not just about how many hours we pray (although prayer works). It’s not just how hard we work (although diligence pays). One of God’s greatest blessings is favour.
Favour opens doors, brings promotion, makes the way for breakthrough and so much more. Someone once said that you don’t need many people to like you. But when the right person likes you, you’re set up for success.
The Bible is clear that when we follow God, we are all favoured. However, the Word also teaches that we can increase in favour. In 2017, I pray that you experience more of God’s favour than ever before. So how can we attract more of His favour? Let’s look at Proverbs 3:3-4:
“Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.”
If we commit to two attributes, we will be guaranteed great favour with God and people. If we prioritise mercy and truth in 2017, doors will open, blessings will abound and promotion will be inevitable.
Let’s unpack what mercy and truth really are. In this blog we will focus on mercy and next week we will look at truth.
What is mercy?
Mercy is being kind to people that we don’t think deserve it. It’s choosing to overlook the wrongs of others. It’s being pleasant with people who are winding us up.
It might mean smiling and being gracious towards the cashier at the store when you’re in a rush and they are faltering over your shopping. It could mean forgiving that friend who forgot you.
For many years, I was quite intolerant. If people were late, I would let them know I was a little annoyed. If other drivers were sloppy, I would huff and puff. If waiting staff brought me the wrong meal, I would be annoyed.
I thought my attitude was an indication of strength. In reality, it revealed a heart of judgement – the exact opposite of mercy. The Bible often talks about “tender mercies”. Wherever you find mercy, you also see tenderness.
Harsh or tender?
One day God revealed to me that just as tenderness is a sign of mercy so harshness (the opposite of tenderness) is a symptom of judgement (the opposite of mercy). Every time I was harsh or irritated, I realised I was judging.
As we embark on a New Year, let’s pray for God to change our hearts. That way, we will draw closer to Him and be setting ourselves up to increase in favour.
If you realise you’re often impatient or agitated by the shortcomings of others, or if you’re easily frustrated, these are probably symptoms of judgement. Why not repent in prayer and ask God to fill you afresh with His mercy.
Make a point of practicing kindness and tenderness. You’ll be amazed at how much strife you avoid and the peace it brings. While you work at this, God promises to surround you with His favour.
Start the right ways
If you want God’s best for 2017, remember that it’s your heart that determines the course of your life. Do what it takes to get your heart refreshed and renewed ready for the year ahead. If you’re in the U.K, come along to our Healed for Life event in Wembley on Saturday 14th January. If you’re in the US, our next event is in FL on 25th March (details to follow).