A little over a month ago we asked, “What does the favor of God look like for you?” and we were met with dozens of brilliant responses about the majesty and loving-kindness of God for us. Today we’d like to share one of those testimonies from Chester Wilmot:
I share here my experience of walking in the favour of man and of God.
I have known years of being hidden from man and I have also experienced the
favour of man in distinct times of my life. In the hidden times, when men did
not seek my friendship or council, I felt that Father God had turned His
back on me as well.
In all the days that I have been a follower of Christ (since the age of 30
years and i am now almost 70), I have had a very deep sense of a personal
relationship or sonship and always had a wonderful sense of His delight in
me as I have obviously delighted in Him. I have been in some form of
leadership in church for the first 30 years of my Christian walk, many of
them as a lead pastor. All of these years I knew wonderful favour that even
in the difficult times I knew His love and personal careing for me.
One day without any warning, He told me that I had to close the church. I
was devastated as it was the joy of my life.
After a month of trying to argue with God, I told the congregation the news
and two weeks later we closed the doors and this to everyone’s horror. From
being a respected and loved pastor in a small community, I was now held in
suspicion of some secret sin or something worse. I became a hidden person
in the eyes of the community and this lasted for about 7 years. No one asked
my advice, I was not asked to preach or share and I, for a while at least,
felt that the Glory of God had departed from me. I still knew His presence,
but there was no revelation of scripture or any sence of blessing on my
public life. I tried to join another church and was rejected from that, but
that is another story. All in all I felt alone and cut off.
On a particular day, at 3pm on a Saturday, my whole world changed and
suddenly once again I knew favour from man for no natural reason other than
God chose to let me out of school as it were. Since then I have continued to
live in an ever increasing favour from man. I am once again wonderfully
seeing His Kingdom grow around me with no effort from me and truth be
told, in spite of me.
What I see in this story I discribe above, Father in His love for me had to
get church (the formalised version of it) out of me and the only way He
could do that was to let me die. The first noticable thing I discerned from
this renewed favour was that Father started to show me what He wanted far
off, ahead of where my thoughts had ever been. I started to feel His arm of
trust about my shoulder encouraging me to go where no one has ever been
before as I can not find a blue print anywhere to describe what He is doing.
I say that because things are happening that I know are because of me, yet I
had nothing to do with it.
In short, I know what it is like to walk in and to walk outside of man’s
favour. When I walked in the hidden period I thought that I was also outside the
Father’s favour but it later proved that because of His love for me that He
had hidden me and that I had always been in His Favour.
If you would like to share your story of favor or hiddenness, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can check out some of Graham’s specific teachings on hiddenness or favor at Brilliant Book House.