A few months ago, I started praying this radical prayer, asking God to honor me. I almost felt uncomfortable praying it, because it seemed like a weird thing to pray. It seemed nearly idolatrous; like I was taking something from God.
But He said in Psalm 91:15 that He wants to honor me, so I asked Him to go ahead and do it. And the weirdest, freakiest things started happening.
And you know how I reacted?
Feeling like this was the “spiritual” and “right” thing to do, I told the Lord:
“Thank You for honoring me. But God, I give it back to You.”
When I said that, for some reason I felt like it grieved the Holy Spirit… but I didn’t know why. On top of that, it seemed like the pipeline of honor that had opened up for me suddenly stopped.
Well, I just found out why recently.
A few days ago, I tried to honor someone I know. I was absolutely sure that this person was the one I should bless. I had prayed about it, dreamed about it (actual dreams at night), and had the go-ahead from my leader.
So I talked to the person. And you know what? The person wouldn’t receive the honor.
Then I finally understood what I had been doing to the Holy Spirit.
Out of ignorance and not knowing how to handle it when God honored me, I threw that honor away. Think of it this way:
When the prodigal son came back to his father, his father put his own best robe on the son. What an honor that was! It was the equivalent of a royal robe; the garb only worn by the head of the household. It screamed to everyone else how valued, treasured, and precious this son was.
Do you think the son immediately said:
Thanks for the robe, Dad. But here you go; you can have it back. I prefer my stinky, dirty, piggy clothes.”
Ummm, NO! I’ll bet that boy wore that robe all night. I’ll bet he wore it to eat in, to dance in, and to talk to all his father’s friends in. Did it fit? Who knows. Was it his? No, it was his father’s. But it was the father’s good pleasure to put his robe on his boy to show everyone how much he loved that boy.
Honor is like that. It is our Father’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom.
When Papa God drapes us with honor, it’s because He wants us to wear that honor well. He doesn’t want us to refuse it, despise it, or give it back. He knows it’s His, and we should know it’s His… but we shouldn’t refuse it.
I’ve been praying about this awhile because I felt like I had grieved the Holy Spirit when I rejected the honor He draped me with. And as I prayed, I felt like this prayer was a better one than I had prayed before:
Father, thank You for honoring me. Please teach me how to wear Your honor well.”
So how do you apply this? How do you show proper respect to the honor God gives you? Here’s how:
When God honors you, don’t throw it away.
When you start praying for honor and the Lord starts answering your prayer, it could look like any number of things:
- You get picked for specific opportunities that you never imagined would come your way.
- You suddenly have favor, and people who can impact your destiny start talking about you—in a good way.
- Your work starts getting recognized, when nobody ever recognized your work before.
All of these are examples of honor. Honor is something we all want, even if we don’t know what to call it. It’s what happens when the Father chooses to brag on you and promote you.
But how we receive that honor is crucial.
When our Father drapes His cloak of honor over us, it’s a gift. More than that, it’s a sign of how much He loves and values us.
So when Father honors you, here’s what to do:
- Thank Him for it, knowing that it belongs to Him, and ask Him to help you wear it well.
- Be worthy of the honor you’ve been given.
- Ask the Father to continue to honor you.
Will you ask God to honor you today – and then be sure to receive and carry it well?
Image courtesy of Kim Faires on Flickr.