Phil Pringle taught City Harvest Church members what favor really is and how to live our lives for God as highly favored ones.
By Annie Wong
“We become highly favored the moment we come to Jesus,” declared Phil Pringle, the senior pastor of C3 Church, Sydney, and the C3 Global Network of Churches, at the weekend services at City Harvest Church. “Once the favor is on us, nothing will take it away. And it will cause us to rise above the difficult circumstances we are in.”
Originally slated to appear in Amsterdam for the opening of a C3 Church there on Jul. 14 and 15, Pringle, who is also the advisory pastor of City Harvest Church, cancelled his appointment to come and encourage the church during its time of trial.
In his message to the church, Pringle proclaimed that the church is highly favored by God. He went on to explain what being a “highly favored one” means. He also encouraged the congregation to dare to “put on” the favor of God in their daily lives.
The Highly Favored Ones
The moment people come to Jesus, they entered into the favor of God and are considered the highly favored ones. This is shown in Ephesians 1:6 which says “To the praise of the glory of His grace by which He made us highly favored (accepted) in the Beloved (Jesus).”
He went on to explain that all the wealth and power are poured out on the people, just as it was poured out on Jesus, when they receive the favor of God through Jesus. And when the church has favor, the presence of God is with them.
To illustrate what it means to have favor, Pringle gave the example of how King David looked after Mephibosheth, the grandson of Saul, in 2 Samuel 9. When David wanted to bless Saul’s descendants, he found Mephibosheth, the sole survivor of his family, and showed him favor. Even though Mephibosheth was crippled, David had him carried to the palace and brought to the king’s table to eat with him. On top of that, David restored to him the land that belonged to Saul and gave him Saul’s inheritance. Mephibosheth did nothing to deserve all these things, but David showed him favor.
Favor Does Not Equate To A Problem-free Life
However, being highly favored does not mean that life is problem-free, that people will like you or that everything will work out well. “In fact, you will live in a problem-filled life,” smiled Pringle.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, faced great difficulties after the angel appeared before her and proclaimed that she was highly favored by God (Luke 1:28). She could not explain to the people around her or make them believe that her child was from God.
“As soon as the angel said to Mary ‘you are highly favored’, the next thing he said was that ‘God is with you'”. Many times this is what God will says to us—He needs to say it because there will come a time when we don’t feel that He is with us at all,” explained the preacher.
He went on to remind the church that even though Noah found grace (favor) in the eyes of the Lord (Gen 6:8), he did not manage to make converts out of anyone in the 120 years he spent building the Ark. However, it was because of Noah, the world was saved.
Using the example of Joseph, Pringle also taught the church not to be ashamed of having God’s favor. In Genesis 39:21, Joseph put on the coat given by his father even when he knew his brothers will be angry with him.
“Joseph was more interested in honoring his father than making his brothers happy. The glory of God is not given for us to reject, but for us to put on,” said Pringle.
Pringle shared with the church his belief for a successful Christian life: to have Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and finally to be part of a Church.
Jesus is the first step into the Christian life; to grow in the Spirit, a Christian needs to be in the Holy Spirit, to pray in tongues. Praying in tongues is the gateway to the supernatural, it helps to build the spirit man within the Christian, which then allow him to build others up.
“Don’t be grumblers, or complainers. It’s not difficult to find bad things to say, but it is when we prophesy to the church, we speak strength to the people. The Spirit unifies, so make a choice not to be amongst the complainers and grumblers, but be the one who speak life to others,” taught Pringle.
“We need a fresh supply of new oil, to strengthen us, and to empower us. Even the apostles were baptized in the Holy Spirit again and again, and whenever they encountered difficulties and challenges they would cry out to God again,” he reminded the congregation.
“The walk of God is sustainable,” he explained. “Sometimes we may mount up with wings like eagles but we can’t fly forever; we can run but not forever. To walk is what we are called to, every day of our lives. That is sustainable. We may have great experiences, and fly or run sometimes, but God [always] gives us strength to walk everyday.”
At the end of the service, Pringle encouraged the members to activate the power within them by speaking in tongues. The thick presence of God fell, refreshing those cried out for fresh oil in their lives. The advisory pastor also took time to prophesy over the church leaders and different individuals to encourage and strengthen their faith.
Jace Ang, 32, a make-up artist was blessed by Pringle’s presence at CHC. “He is indeed a friend to us. He came at a difficult time even though it was inconvenient, to edify the church and our leaders. We must be open, to receive the challenges that we face.”
Clara Loh, 28, a human resource assistant, felt encouraged by the message. “I feel very blessed and honored to have our advisory pastor preaching in today’s service. I am reminded to speak strength to one another so as to boost each other to be unified as a church, to be a builder of the church.”
Sales manager Hanson Chua 39, was reminded to give honor to God. “Joseph wore the coat despite knowing the ridicule he would face. It is important for us to keep in mind that we must always give honor to God and not to worry so much about what people may say.”