Daily Devotion Thursday June 22, 2017
“These are the ones I look on with favour: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word”
In a one of the popular Facebook group to which I belong was posted this message; “I decree and declare, you are wearing a royal coat of favour. No one can take it off you.” This was posted by a one who claims to be a prophet. It is never strange and surprising to read such messages on Facebook and other social media platforms by many pastors and other “men and women of God.” Some will add “type amen and share to be blessed.” Such posts reduce receiving God’s blessings or favour through a mere Facebook post like or share. But is God’s favour or blessing just easily decreed and declared into someone’s life as that? Is a mere sharing, commenting or liking a post on social media the way to receiving God’s favour? Are our religious rituals alone enough to have God look upon us with favour?
Prophet Isaiah will not agree with such pastors and prophets who think they can decree and declare God’s blessings into people’s lives that easily. There is something more than sharing and liking a Facebook post to receive God’s favour or blessing. In a message given to him by the Lord, the prophet Isaiah describes the receivers of God’s blessings or favour in this way;
These are the ones I look on with favour: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word (Isaiah 66:2).
God requires a humble and broken heart, a contrite spirit and obedience to his word from us to receive his Favour and Blessings, NOT merely liking or sharing a Facebook post or typing an Amen in the comment box. We must never be deceived. Even our religious rituals of baptism, confirmation, tithing, seed sowing, priestly benediction among other practices are not an automated means to receive God’s blessings and favour. God is not just interested in our rituals, he is interested in our hearts. The rituals we practice must emanate from a humble, broken and obedient heart lest they become an abomination to God.
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At Isaiah’s time, the people delighted in rituals than considering their ways before the Lord. God was never pleased. Because of this, God promised never to look on them with favour. Instead the Lord God said;
“But whoever sacrifices a bull is like one who kills a person, and whoever offers a lamb is like one who breaks a dog’s neck; whoever makes a grain offering is like one who presents pig’s blood, and whoever burns memorial incense is like one who worships an idol. They have chosen their own ways and they delight in their abominations. So, I will choose harsh treatment for them and will bring on them what they dread… They did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me” (Isaiah 66:3-4).
We must desist from manufacturing our own ways by which we think we can receive God’s blessings and favour. We must get to the heart of what God requires of us other than choosing our own ways. God delights and looks with favour on “those who are humble and contrite in spirit, those who tremble at his word.”
Our humility, contriteness in spirit and obedience to God’s word must draw us to accepting God’s greatest blessing and favour on mankind—the gift of eternal life through his Son Jesus Christ. There is no other blessing that surpasses eternal life. When we first seek God and his righteousness in Christ, God will take care of all our needs—he will look on us with favour.
Therefore, I pray that you may devote yourself to God, and, submit yourself to him always. That you may walk humbly in a contrite spirit and, in obedience to God’s word. “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Philippians 4:19-20). Rev. J
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Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are taken from the New International Version (NIV). Rev. Julius Izza Tabi is a pastor in the Anglican Church of Uganda, Ma’di & West Nile Diocese. Julius served as an assistant Chaplain and lecturer at the Arua Campus of the Uganda Christin University. He is a graduate of Master of Philosophy in Religion, Society and Global Issues at Det Teologiske Menighetsfakultet alias the Norwegian School of Theology, in Oslo, Norway. He is an author of the Popular Triumphing Over Odds . For pastoral assistance you can contact him here and you can also help to support this site and his ministry by donating here.