1. EXAMPLE: People utterly broken because they fail again.  God’s presence is completely gone from their life
    2. There are people who have deeply experienced God’s grace, but after years of failure, they feel that they have lost God’s favor from their lives.
      1. Worthless witness of God who they know to be holy and good
      2. Can I really find joy in the Christian life?
      3. Person who was spiritually crippled, but now is able to walk — yet, it does not come easily
    3. We find ourselves teetering on the brink of disbelief.
      1. EXAMPLE: Child dies and they are reminded of David who had a son die because of sin.  They feel that they are getting what they deserve because of their sin.  Like David, they prayed for seven days and nothing happened.
    4. God has rescued us from any possibility of a curse.  Galatians 3: 13
  2. What is our mindset today?  Are we believing we are favored or cursed? 
    1. We usually feel more cursed.
    2. Christ paid the full price of this sin in my life.  I may still have to work through the relational consequences of what happened, but Jesus paid the price by nailing our sin to the cross.
      1. We can’t be cursed
      2. We live and move in a state of blessing
      3. We are all “the apple of God’s eye”
      4. We live like we are on probation. 
        1. We are set free from prison yet must report each week and if we fail, we are sent back
    3. Isaiah 53: 5 He was whipped so I could be healed. 
      1. More than physical healing of the body, but spiritual and relational well-being restored. 
        1. Bad marriages.
        2. Bad relationships,
        3. Bruised minds and hearts. 
        4. Even in our angriest moments, we are not forsaken by God.
    4. Pray like the blind man that needs a second touch.
    5. Most believe that there is a catch to this. 
      1. Deuteronomy 28 — blessings and curses. 
      2. We tend to believe that we fall into the curse part of this chapter.  
      3. Yet, few chapters later, Moses is speaking blessings over the people. 
        1. Deuteronomy 36: 6, 7, 11, 12, 23
    6. What about discipline? 
      1. Never removes God’s favor. 
        1. A parent may punish his child, but will still go out and play football with them because they are in relationship with them.
    7. God used the difficult seasons to spread his favor . 
      1. Persecution spread the gospel until Antioch was filled with believers.
    8. Finances not cursed, marriage not cursed, health is not cursed.
    9. Our reality is what the word of God states.  1 Corinthians 2: 9
    1. God’s favor on you has to be more than a statement.
    2. Trials are not unusual 
      1. 1 PETER 4: 12 – 13
    3. God’s glory is going to be revealed through each trial. 
      1. Satan is always trying to steal this blessing from us.
      2. God will restore what Satan steals seven fold (if a thief is caught he is told to restore seven fold) or 30, 60, 100 fold.
    4. Our minds cannot see what God has prepared for us 1 Corinthians 2: 9
        1. EXAMPLE: dream job and you don’t get paid on Friday, you think every other week.  Two weeks go by and nothing, you think, once a month.  Three months go by and you begin to feel neglected that the boss is abusing you and not even mindful about you.  The next day you don’t get three months wages, but 30 years wages.  It’s outrageous.  I could never earn all of this.
      2. Blessings are not always material or physical, it is Him.  He wants to humble us with his blessings
        1. Romans 8: 31, 32 If God didn’t spare Jesus for us, will he give us the $20 we need?   Can’t you see how easy it is for God to give you everything you need?
        2. I didn’t withhold my son from you, I will not withhold my power to work in your life.
      3. We feel God only blesses those who have better faith than theirs. 
        1. Romans 8: 33, 34, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ 35 – 37
        2. I am convinced… Vs 38  This is the key to being set free from every doubt about God’s favor toward us.
        3. What if we doubt?  Thomas doubted yet Jesus came to him and showed himself to him.  He wants to show you his scars in the midst of your doubt.  He wants the power of the resurrection to raise you to life in a way you could never do for yourself.  He comes to convince you of his eternal Word — nothing can separate you from the love of God 8: 39
        4. Because of his grace, Thomas believed again.  He went to India and founded churches in seven major cities.  Today India has 30 million Christians.
        5. Jesus withheld nothing from his friend that needed help again.
    1. God wants to show you his favor right where you are in the midst of your circumstance
      1. EXAMPLE:  man lost wife, job, his children went to the mother’s custody.  Life seemed to be in disfavor, but God restored.  The key is when he felt God was absent, his life could have taken another direction.  He instead believed that His redeemer lived and was building a great harvest in his storehouse.
    2. I have learned that the greater the trial, the greater the reward at the end.
    3. No problem or bad decision we have made can withhold God’s favor from our lives.
    4. There is a difference between God’s unlimited favor and his ultimate favor. 
      1. Many preach wealth and possession which God will supply, but we short-change ourselves when we seek this instead of his ultimate favor.
      2. The promised land was a place of unlimited favor, but God ultimately wanted to give to them his ultimate favor.  God even offered to give them the promised land without his presence, but Moses would have none of it.
    5. QUESTION:  Would heaven still be heaven if God wan’t there? 
      1. When we define heaven, we should just say, God’s there.
      2. Exodus 33: 13 Please show me now your ways that I may know you in order to find FAVOR in your sight.
      3. Unlimited favor is God able to breath life into any desert wilderness. This is favor that exceeds things, it is found in the Lord himself.  What good is milk, honey, and grapes, without the presence of the Lord.
      4. We are surrounded by those with nothing.  Favor goes beyond bread or possession.  It is the Lord himself.
    6. Even after God blessed Israel, they turned to idols.  Romans 1: 25
      1. We don’t plead for bread when we are starving like Israel, or we don’t thirst for water from a rock. but we still need to seek God’s presence or we will build an idol.  When we pursue an idol, God can say, go ahead and enjoy it, but you find me in any of it.
      2. Moses response, God kill me in the desert before you lead me to someplace that you aren’t  may this become our churches cry too.
    7. If God enough for me — do I have any other gods before me?
      1. Moses cried, “Show me your glory” 33: 18
      2. God his Moses in the cleft of the rock and that rock is Jesus.
    8. We all with unveiled faces behold the glory of the Lord.
      1. When the children of Israel were in the desert they put God to the test to see where the water was for them to drink.  The original language states that they used a hammer or gavel meaning they judged the Lord and convicted him.
      2. This is after God released them from Egypt and set them free.
      3. Yet God offered them mercy after they judged him.  He told Moses to strike the rock which was Christ.
    9. God, do away with every idol in my life I don’t want to go anywhere that you are not.