Joseph Prince - Activate God's Favor In Your Life
God is a good God. God is a generous God. God wants to see your life prosper in every way. Amen? You know, regardless of how unpopular it is, you know, to hear the word "prosperity" in some circles, the Bible is full of it. The Bible says that 3 John 2, "Beloved, I wish above all things", imagine, this is God's heart. The apostle would not write something that would not represent God's heart. Amen? All Scripture is God breathed, including 3 John 2. And God says, "Beloved, I wish above all things", imagine that, above all things that God desires for you, God says, "I desire, I pray above all things that you prosper and you be in health, even as your souls prosper".
So, that covers the three dimensions, amen, of man. Health for his body, prosperity for his soul, even as his soul prospers; and not only that, that you prosper and be in health, prosper materially, prosper outwardly, prosper in his relationships. But God is just, you know, God is just out to bless us, to get us with his blessings. Amen, people? What I'm going to share with you today is gonna bless you. It's gonna help you, amen? But before it helps you, you know, sometimes medicine will, will not be so pleasant to take. But guess what? You'll be okay after that, amen? And I am believing God that each and every one of you will prosper and be in health, even as your souls prosper.
Now first Joseph, in Genesis 39, it says that... by the way, I must give you the background before you read verse 2. Joseph is now sold by his brothers to a band of Midianites. They were passing by, a passing caravan. They sold him, the brothers who were jealous of him sold him to this traveling caravan, who were on their way down to Egypt. So, in Egypt, he stood up, all right, to be sold like a slave, like, literally, like a cow, you know, like a sheep being sold in the market. So, his brothers sold him. So, let's follow the story. A man called Potiphar bought him. And it says here the Lord was with Joseph. Aha.
So, when you have nothing, not even the clothes on your back, but the Lord is with you, you will get it all back and more and more, amen? The most important person that needs to be with you is the Lord. Doesn't matter. If your best friend forsakes you, you've been betrayed by a friend you trusted, as long as the Lord is with you, look at what happened, "and he was a successful man". I like the old King James. "He was a prosperous man". He was a prosperous man, the Hebrew word "tsaleach". He was a prosperous man. And in the Hebrew, it literally says the Lord was with Joseph and caused him to become successful. The Lord caused him, that he feel he's used to make something happen. The Lord was with him and caused him, the Lord can cause you to be a success. The Lord can cause you to prosper, amen?
And the Bible says that, "He was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him". And by the way, it's all by grace. I'm going to show you right now. "The Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand". The Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. "So Joseph found favor in his sight". See, I told you it was all favor, grace. Say, "Grace". Say, "Favor". It's the same, grace and favor is the same. So, he says here, "Joseph found favor". And so favor is unearned, undeserved, and he served Potiphar. "Then Potiphar made Joseph overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority". Look at verse 5. "So, it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, the Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake".
I have no doubt many of you, your company is blessed because you are there, amen? Your organization is blessed because you are there, amen. I have no doubt this nation is blessed because we are here. Amen. So, "God blessed everything in the Egyptian's house. Thus, he left all that he had in Joseph's hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate". That's really letting go. Then it tells you, "Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance". Okay, why? Because of the next verse, and the next verse says, "It came to pass after these things, his master's wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, 'Lie with me'".
Now, this is not tell lies with me. Okay? So, let me just tell you this. A lot of people have this idea, "If the Lord prospers me, why do I get into trouble"? Because he's about to get into trouble. Now, he didn't sleep with her. Okay, listen carefully. But trouble is designed by God as a stepping stone, because he's about to end up in prison. Ah, that's a stepping stone, amen? And he's about to interpret the dreams of the king's butler, who later on will tell the king about him. And because of his testimony, Joseph will not just be brought out of prison, but out of Potiphar's house to stand in the presence of the most powerful monarch during that time. So, you think about it.
You know, people say, "I confess I'm the righteousness of God in Christ, and I get into trouble. Why this trouble"? Hey, it is still the favor of God. All the bad things that have happened in your life, okay, because of the favor of God on you, it may happen because of the favor of God on you. People may say things about you because of God's favor on you. People might lie about you, blog about you, write about you, you know, and say all kinds of things about you because of God's favor on you. No one kicks a dead horse. Amen. So, don't expect, "Pastor, I confess favor, I confess I'm the righteousness of God, and these things happen". Okay, are you with me so far?
Now, there is one thing that will stop grace from flowing: self-righteousness. You will attempt trying to justify to make yourself righteous. In Galatians, please, right. "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law", justified is made righteous, you see? The moment you are trying to be self-righteous, the moment you are trying to be justified by the law, you are fallen from grace. You have fallen from the realm where grace holds you, where grace is able to help you, where grace supplies you, where grace covers you. You are fallen from grace. Grace is higher, or else you cannot fall from it. Law is lower or else you cannot fall into it.
Look at 2 Corinthians 6, verse 1, 2 Corinthians 6, verse 1. "We then, as workers together with Him," so you can fall from grace by trying to be self-righteous, you know self-righteous, right? Trying to do things to make yourself righteous, instead of just receiving the righteousness as a gift and declaring, "I'm the righteousness of God in Christ". Now, here, "We then, as workers together with Him," Paul writing, "also plead with you not to receive the grace of the favor of God in vain". Don't receive the grace of God in vain. Don't receive it in vain. That means it's possible to be in a church of grace, amen, and still not receive the favor of God. Don't receive it in vain. In vain means not producing results in your life. But how do you not receive it in vain?
Notice this, the beginning verse, verse 1, and it starts with, "We then", that means you must look at the preceding verse. Am I right? This is simple English class, right? So, originally, when Paul wrote the letters, he didn't put down chapters. So, let's look at the last verse. Do you know what the last verse before this verse? So, you understand why people don't receive the grace of God. The last verse before this verse is actually chapter 5, verse 21. "God made Jesus who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him". So then, don't receive grace in vain. God made you the righteousness of God in Christ, and here you are, you refuse to accept it, and you're trying to be self-righteous.
By the way, if you think you are half bad, get ready for a fall, even after you are a Christian, because all of a sudden you have a outbreak of things that you say to your wife, your family, you never expect to say, even before you were a Christian. All of a sudden, you have a outbreak, flesh outbreak of maybe indulging in pornography. All of a sudden, you have a outbreak. Now, for that you start, "How can I do this? How can I do it"? And the devil comes in. Then, "God, I promise you I will never do that again". The devil listens. He doesn't say hallelujah. He doesn't say praise God. I am so saved, I don't know what to say. But he's rejoicing. The devil is rejoicing. The devil is rejoicing the moment he hears you say, you know, "God, I'll never do that again," and you meant it, but it's the wrong thing to say. It's a form of self-righteousness.
You know what the best thing you can say? Yeah, confess your sin all you want. Go ahead, confess your sin, believe he has forgiven you; but more than that, confess, "I am the righteousness of God in Christ". Then you honor what Jesus did. All his sufferings is not in vain. You take your place as the righteousness of God in Christ, and you honor the one who became sin. But if he became sin that you might feel sinful, then you know what? As far as you are concerned, it's all in vain. As far as he's concerned, he's grieved. Imagine taking all the trouble to earn money as a school boy to buy for your dad a present, hard-earned money. You want to surprise him. And finally, you give him the present. He looks at it. He says, "Cheap one, is it"? And the next time you see it, it's in the wastebasket.
Doesn't use it, doesn't treasure it. The greatest thing you can do towards God to honor him is to take your place, because he took his place. And what is the place you are to take that he gave you? The righteousness of God in Christ, not because you are such a hotshot. It's a gift. He didn't become sin by doing sin. You didn't become righteous by doing righteousness. So, if you think you are half bad, even after you're a believer, get ready for a fall, and the fall is good for you. He will jerk the self-righteous life out of you. And it's good, because all of us have this secret root that is obstructing God's grace, because grace can only reign through righteousness. Give me that verse, Romans chapter 5. "As sin has reigned unto death, even so might God's favor, grace, favor reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord".
You want favor to reign in your life, reign like a king in your life? You want the favor of God to reign in your children? You want the favor of God to reign in your business? You want the grace of God to reign in your family, amen, the grace of God to reign in your body? You want that? It only reigns in the Greek, dia, true, the righteous, by the means of righteousness. But if you are feeling sin conscious, you are feeling, "I can't understand how I did that. God, I'm so sorry. I promise I'll never do that again. Oh, God, next time I will not do that again". That is a form of self-righteousness trying to atone for your sins. The most humbling thing, when you find yourself falling is to tell the Lord, "Lord, that was a sin, and I receive your forgiveness, and I proclaim I am the righteousness of God in Christ". And I tell you this, effortlessly, you will rise above it.
Now, what the devil meant for evil, the whole thing is turned around now, and now you appreciate righteousness even more, and you have a greater fear of your flesh. So, many of us know the flesh. What is the flesh again? The part of you that wants to do wrong? You have it, the speaker has it, all of us have it. Make no mistake about it. We all have it. The thing about the flesh is this. We all know the flesh. Show them the flesh. The flesh, we all know flesh as in the Pharisees, their self-righteousness, pride, conceit. It produces a superiority complex. Because I am this, this person's inferior. Because I have this paper qualification, this person's inferior. Because of my position, this guy is inferior. Because I am worth this much money, all right, this person's inferior to me because he earns less. Because I live in such a house, therefore I am this. Superiority complex, it's all flesh.
And the Apostle Paul in Philippians saying this. "My brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe". Rejoice in the Lord, not in your flesh, not in yourself. Rejoice in the Lord, not in your status. Rejoice in the Lord. "Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation". Now this is where you get the verse, in people's houses beware of dogs. To this day, they have a Bible verse in their house, you know, on the gates, "Beware of dogs". Okay, go back to dogs again, please.
Now, you know who it's referring to? You know who it's referring to? The Jews called Gentiles dogs. Paul reversed the whole thing on the Pharisees, on those who are trying to promote the law, all right, to protect their self-righteousness, all right, and coming against the gospel of grace that caused them the mutilation, because they will you to become circumcised, and Paul called them, "Beware of the mutilation". Strong words. Never mind, don't spend time here. Go to verse 3. "We are the circumcision, the true circumcision, that is, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh". We have no confidence in the flesh.
Now watch this. What is the flesh then? What is no confidence in the flesh? Okay. "Though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so. I was circumcised the eighth day," Paul says, "of the stock of Israel, or the tribe of Benjamin. I'm not just a Hebrew. I'm a Hebrew of Hebrews," or having saw that, "concerning the law, a Pharisee". Man, he's giving it. He says, "If you want to boast, I can boast in the flesh". So, confidence in the flesh is actually reliance, trusting and being confident in your efforts, in your accomplishments.
Go back to the flesh graph again. The flesh can also manifest in the other way, like this. Shame, condemnation, defensiveness, trying to atone for your sins, trying to defend yourself, trying to make it appear like, "I know. That should not have happened. Let me do this. Let me do that for you. Let me do this, God. Let me do that, Lord. I'll go the mission field, Lord. I'll double tithe". No, friend, when you have sinned, okay, the response that people show many times, "Now, Pastor Prince, when you believe, there must be some kind of grief in the heart". It's called godly sorrow. I believe in godly sorrow. Godly sorrow worketh repentance. This is not godly sorrow. Shame, condemnation is what the devil wants you to have. Defensiveness and all that.
So, when you sin, it's still the flesh. Whether it's pride, it's focused on self, occupied with self. And then shame, you're still looking at yourself. You're not looking to God and his grace and the fact that God made Jesus to be sin for you, that you might become the right, you're not looking at that. You're looking at, "How can I do that? I feel so bad, I feel so shameful". No, friend, sometimes people feel bad they hurt their wife. They feel bad they exposed their children to it. They feel bad that their friends find out about it. But they're not feeling bad towards God.
When David committed adultery, when David killed the woman's husband, David prayed this prayer in Psalm 51, "Against you, you only, have I sinned". How could David say that? He told God, "Against you, you only, have I sinned"? He killed Uriah, committed adultery with his wife, brought shame. For those who know about it and the nation of Israel, have other nations looking at the God of Israel and what he's able, and instead of that, you know, he told God, all sins, actually, is sin against God. But we can feel sorry horizontally without ever really feeling bad vertically. Really, his honor has been discredited. You took glory away from him, so the best response is when you sin, "God, sorry, Lord. I thank you, you've forgiven me, and I see afresh the need for Jesus to come and die. Father, Jesus is my righteousness. Jesus is my righteousness. I have none of my own". Amen? Are you listening, people?
So, actually, when you respond correctly, because of your shame, do you know what God says? If you respond correctly and receive Jesus as your righteousness, now you really understand. Jesus is my righteousness. I'm not on my own! I get concerned when people start saying, "Ah, Pastor Prince, you know, the Bible says I'm righteous", and they stop there. I feel like saying always, I know I sound legalistic, but I feel like saying, "Say the whole thing. I am the righteousness of God in Christ," not in yourself. People have this idea, you know, "I'm born again, I'm righteous". No, it's always in Christ. Your flesh is still your flesh. You listening, people?
But if you respond well, if you respond by embracing Jesus as your righteousness and say, "Lord, truly, you are my righteousness". Do you know what's going to happen? Do you know what's going to happen? Hundred and twenty percent restoration in the very area you lost. Isaiah, "For your shame," God says, "you shall have double honor, instead of your shame". So, in other words, "instead" means what? In place of your shame, you will have double honor. Some people say, "You know, I did that thing, Pastor. I don't know how to face my family. I don't know how to face people," and all that. Don't respond and stay there for too long. It is still self-occupation. You stop the favor of God.
See, pride, "I am this, I am that, I am this, I'm not like this, I'm not like that, I'm this, I'm this," that will stop grace from flowing. That's self-occupation. But this is also self-occupation that goes undetected. "I'm so shameful, I'm this, I'm that". Stop it and be Christ-occupied. And you know when you are Christ-occupied? Show them in quietness and in confidence. "Thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, 'In returning and rest you shall be saved'," yasha. Whatever situation you're in, you shall be saved from your shame. You shall be saved from the consequences, if you return to the Lord in rest. And then God says, "In quietness and confidence shall be your strength, and you would not".
So, when you are Christ-occupied, don't look at yourself. Pride is looking at yourself. Shame is also looking at yourself. Yes, you should have godly sorrow, especially towards God. But then after that, "No, the devil, the devil tricked me, all right, in this area. Okay, Lord, I receive you, Jesus, as my righteousness". And then guess what? You are Christ-occupied the moment your eyes is on him. Watch this. "In quietness and confidence shall be your strength". Quietness and confidence will replace all your pride, all your conceit, all your defensiveness, all your trying to atone for your sins, all your shame. Instead of that, there's gonna be a quiet confidence.
So, I pray, in Jesus' name, that you never come to a place you start believing in resolutions, willpower, self-effort, determination, all the things of the world, but you trust the favor of God and depend on Jesus as your righteousness and get to know him more and more, because you've found an object for your heart that no one else can take. A job can fail you. A child can disappoint you. A loved one can break your heart. But if Jesus is the object of your heart, you have found the one for whom your heart was created for. And the woman says, "I have a well now that springs up to everlasting life". And all the people said amen, amen! Give him praise, church. Hallelujah! Thank you, Lord, for your love!