How does favor produce breakthrough?

For today’s lesson I want to talk to you about how the favor of God doesn’t just bring immense and wonderful blessings, but also numerous and significant breakthroughs.

One grand breakthrough, I’d like to share here, has to do with an experience many people have had:  the round peg, square hole syndrome. If you have struggled with this, I hope this lesson will help you.

There is a verse in Psalm 139 that I have known for years, and have accepted as true.  But in all honesty, meant little to me. It says, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  marvelous are Your works.” Now, I know that God doesn’t play favorites, and so, if He thought this about David, then He thinks this about me.  So, if I read this right, it says that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  And if I consider that I am one of His works, then I am marvelous, too.

Hmmm… I have had a problem with this.  Let me explain.

For years I lived with a pervasive anxiety – about the kids, about money, about my worth, value, and competence, about my place in the earth.  There was always something to worry about.  I didn’t know, that despite how blessed I was, I did not have a “favorable” view of myself.  I think the reason this was so masked was because I had made studying my identity in Christ  a focus and priority.  Discovering who I was in Christ was very freeing, but I mistakenly thought it was all I needed to know about who I was.

I rarely thought about my uniqueness as being a part of my identity. When I considered how I was different from others, it did not make me jump up for joy.  I did not embrace it as part of this wonderful person God created.  Instead being different  produced bad feelings.

As a child, being different, specifically part Asian in a totally Caucasian environment, brought pain.  It was hard for me as a little girl to understand why people would not like me, or why they would call me names, or not pick me for their team.  It wasn’t till I got a little older that the connection between rejection and my ethnicity became crystal clear.  Being different was not a good thing. It was a very painful one.

I also discovered that it wasn’t just how I looked that made me different.  I also discovered I thought differently.  After a couple of years of teaching public school, I decided I should go to law school.  It was a dream I had long put away, being told that only men were lawyers.

But in the 70’s when women were burning their bras, I stepped out and became a lawyer.  Little did I know that I was narrowing the commonality I had with womankind, even further.  More difference to cause me more pain.  And it did.  This pain added to the larger accumulated pain of a dysfunctional past.  It was oppressive.  it was confusing.  It was depressing.

Then God came to me one day, and gloriously, ecstatically, and electrically filled my soul.  I didn’t ask Him to come.  I was an atheist, but so thrilled that He initiated this Grand Blood Transfusion and Divine Exchange.  I belonged to Him and  I knew it.

The problem, though, and unfortunately there was a big problem, once the glory wore off, I was now left feeling even more alienated and different.  Even less in common with my fellow man!  The pain that followed was crushing, to the point of nearly total debilitation.  I couldn’t work.  I couldn’t eat.  All I could do is stare numbly into space. I felt so alone.

I cried out to Him, “Why did you come to me?  Why did you do this to me?  Why did you make this supernatural experience so cataclysmic that I can’t possibly deny it happened?!” Oh, the anguish.

To add to my pain, I couldn’t get a date to save my life. Asian, 5″9′, prosecutor, and now… born again Christian.  Not many takers.  Anyone?

Well, that was a long time ago, and God saw fit to favor me with a wonderful husband, 4 children, the ability to homeschool the kids, be in ministry, have a home based business, have grandchildren, a beautiful estate…. I have a fabulous life.

But like I said at the beginning of this post, despite all the blessings, I worried pretty constantly about everything.  How many hours of sleep did I give up to worry over the years??  Scriptures helped.  Declaring God’s truth was a life saver.  But still, I struggled.

On top of it, the things I was compelled to do, like be a business owner, preach  (even to men!) , write a book, or give women “permission” to separate from their abusive husbands, just put me farther out on that limb.  I still wanted to be like everyone else.  I wanted to fit in.  I wanted to belong.  But it wasn’t working. The perception that I was a square peg trying to always fit into a round hole made me insecure and unstable.  That is the essence of self-doubt.

Well, God had it all figured out.  He knew one day I would have such a powerful revelation about His favor that I would be totally and completely transformed by it.  What a brilliant strategy!  By compelling me to focus on favor, to write about it, speak about it, practice it and release it – I would come face to face with my tendency to despise His goodness, namely:  how He made me.  He knew that I could no longer avoid the issue. I was ready to be done.

To see myself with eyes of favor, His and mine, to see the favorable and delightful purpose for which I was created, to know deep within the cells of my tissues that my differences are unique, special, and the combination of which are specific to me and are necessary to the role I am to play in this world… marvelous.

The favor of God, fully embraced, has brought me a breakthrough of cosmic proportions.  I no longer see all the thing that once bothered me about me as flaws, defects, or imperfections that the Almighty tolerates as part of the package of Maryann.

No, I see them as part of His divine design.  I need these differences, these supposed flaws, to fulfill my destiny.  Like King David, I am fearfully and wonderfully made!  As one of God’s works, I am marvelous!  I am favored.  All of me is favored.  Now all of me is ready to be released!  I have busted through the barrier of self-doubt and can now walk through it boldly and take my rightful place in this world, to make it an even more beautiful place.

Now here’s my challenge for you today:  Ask the Lord where in your identity do you not feel so favored.  What part of you do you see as flawed, so different, and imperfect?  Could it be that part of you is a necessary part of who you are and a vital part to your purpose and destiny?  Declare to the world, or at least to yourself, that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.  Say it with me:  I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  I marvelous!  I am favored.  All of me is favored.  After you speak this out a while, you will be challenged to stand in this grace.  But you need too.  God is calling you out.  Be bold.  He is there on your side, with you.  I pray a major release of His favor in and through you today.

Contact me if you too, are desperate for a breakthrough and are ready to step into your destiny!  It’s right around the corner, waiting for you.

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