Experience God's Favor with Gary Wilkerson

Experience God's Favor with Gary Wilkerson

Understand God's favor is and what it is not. Listen to this Greenelines interview as Gary Wilkerson, president of World Challenge, explains that you will no longer wonder if you walk in God's favor when you know God's nature. Hear about more demonstrations of God's goodness from Gary's new book, God's Favor.

38 Minutes • 14 days ago

Episode Notes

Greenelines with

Dr. Steve Greene

Guest: Gary Wilkerson

Understand God's favor is and what it is not. Listen to this Greenelines interview as Gary Wilkerson, president of World Challenge, explains that you will no longer wonder if you walk in God's favor when you know God's nature. Hear about more demonstrations of God's goodness from Gary's new book, God's Favor.

Introduction

Dr. Steve Greene: This is the Greenelines podcast. I'm Steve Greene on the Charisma Podcast Network. I'd like to tell you about a series that's available to you now through Charisma. Many of you have seen bits and pieces of maybe one of these books, The Deborah AnointingThe Esther AnointingThe Anna Anointing, and The Ruth Anointing, plus a free bonus all in the Solid Rock Series. You're going to get all four anointing books by Michelle McClain-Walters, plus a Charisma subscription and to Life in the Spirit devotions for only $36. I want to say that part of it again. You're going to get all four of those anointing books by Michelle McClain Walters. Plus, you'll receive a Charisma subscription, a subscription to Charisma magazine, and then you'll get two Life in a Spirit devotionals for only $36. Now, you can find this at charismamag.com/anoint. Or, you can just look right here, down below this podcast in the show notes and you'll see the link to charismamag.com/anoint. I know you'll love these books, and I know you'll love the free bonuses and a subscription to Charisma magazine. Now let's get to the show.

Dr. Steve Greene: So many of us have said to someone at one time or another, could you do me a favor? I remember my little ones, my children, I don't think they ever grew out of it. You know how kids grow out of phases. Mine got into this phase and didn't get out of it. They found a word that worked, and it is called favor. Dad, can I have a favor? You know, it involves car keys. I would know at that point that favorite to them met stuff, give me stuff. I never heard them request the favor of discipline. Isn’t that strange? They never asked me to favor them by discipline. And yet, they probably should have. They were disciplined, but they should have prayed for the favor of discipline. They should have prayed for the will of their father and their mother to be done in their lives; things would have been better for them. Maybe they would have had less discipline. The idea of favor is something that is often misconstrued. Not everyone does, but some do. Some take it to one extreme or another and we get into maybe theological debates over it. We're going to settle a lot of that today with our guest.

 

Gary Wilkerson Podcasts

·         What Did Jesus Mean When He Promised Abundant Life?

·         Having Fun Might be One of the Most Holy Things You Do

·         How to Have Wholeness in Your Christian Life

·         Love is Powerful, Confronting Every Form of Darkness

I'm so excited to welcome, and I mean this with, with all my heart that I'm excited about this topic. The author is Gary Wilkerson. You sure know him. We love his work, his books, the work that he's done in his life. He's in Colorado Springs now as the President of World Challenge. That's a global ministry dedicated to helping people experience a fulfilling life, both in their personal lives and in their communities. If you listen to me for more than a minute, you know that I'm very zip code oriented. I want to help my zip code first. Certainly, I have a mission heart. But my goodness, if we can reach out first to our communities or locale, before we get out on a boat to somewhere, we're going to do a lot of good where were planted. I don't want to spend a lot of time wasting the time that we're going to have with Gary Wilkerson. I'm so excited to present his book to you. The name of the book is God's Favor: Experiencing the life God Wants You to Have. I've got to ask that question right from the beginning. I hate definitions. I hate opening up a dictionary to go first. But I think we've got to do that in this case because favor is so misunderstood. So, talk to me about it. What is God's favor?

Gary Wilkerson: If we use some other words, it might help us capture the heartfelt meaning that God wants us to understand about Him. Kindness, mercy, long suffering, forgiveness, tenderness

Dr. Steve Greene: Sounds like fruits of the spirit.

Gary Wilkerson: Yes, fruits of the spirit are things that God has already and he wants us to walk in them, to receive them and to give them to others. So, favors is, it’s like what you said just a second ago, you are a father, you have children and you want the best for them. You want to see them blessed. You want to see them thrive. And God is no different. Matter of fact, He's better. He's such a good, good father. And it's God's expectation of his power to make our life all that He's intended it to be rather than us wallowing in failure and defeat and discouragement and being downcast and corrupted by sin and the self-hatred and self-loathing. All of those things are the antithesis of the work His favor does when it hits our life.

Dr. Steve Greene: So, let's go to the other side and just touch on it lightly. What is not God's favor? What is it that we misconstrue from God?

Gary Wilkerson: For somebody who has come to know Christ, favor is already present. So, it's not something you're trying to get or trying to earn. There are certain steps of obedience that bring greater blessing in our life. But favor is something that is not … we're not working towards favor. If we feel like we don't have favor and we're working towards it, it's going to end up in stress, fear, anxiety, a sense of always being a failure, of there is a nagging thing. I've been a pastor for over 30 years as well as working with World Challenge and one of the things I actually see lot of people is this nagging deep down sense of “I'm not enough, I'll never be enough.” I’m not good enough. I think the root of that is what causes all the stress and the fear and anxiety and self-hatred. To me, when somebody is working to get God's favor, they're going to end up that way. Once they understand, He's so good and so loving, it is His in His nature to do good for us. Once we understand that, then we say I am favored, I am a child of God, I already have favor, I'm not trying to earn it from Him. So therefore, I can rest, I can trust, I can have peace, I can have confidence. And then probably most importantly of all is I can surrender my life to him. I don't have to wake up morning say like, how am I going to get this done? What if this doesn't happen? What if my kids backslide and what if my marriage doesn't work? What if I get fired? All of that fear and anxiety just flees when you surrender your life fully to the Holy Spirit and say, you know what, I trust your favor is upon me. And one day at a time, I'm going to believe that this day will work according to your plans and purposes for my life. So, knowing God's favor gives us trust. I think the key to it is people don't know that their favored and feel like we've been growing up … we've grown up a lot of times in a church that fills me up with thoughts like, you put this coin in and you get this out of it. It's an earning mentality. So, we don't realize it's like, God's the Father. There's nothing my kids could do to withdraw my favor from them. I can discipline them, as you said, and I can correct them and I can be even upset with them. But they're always going to have my love, affection and favor and that's what God our Father does for us as well.

Dr. Steve Greene: Well, Gary, it seems like it starts with self-image. As I've listened to you and I’ve read big portions of your book, I feel like sometimes we think that I need favor from God because I sure don't get it from my parents, from my friends, from people at work. We always feel less than. I spent a big majority of my life trying to please my father and seemingly never did. That’s a long therapy session away from getting rid of that one. Sometimes that self-image means that we have to perform our way out of it. I've got to go earn my dad's love. We take that right into our relationship with the Heavenly Father.

Gary Wilkerson: Yes, absolutely. That's such a good point. I think if people could find that freedom, all of a sudden that changes everything. It is a game-changer, finding the freedom to know that you are already are accepted. So, let's look at this way. Somebody who, in the core of their heart, they really don't believe that they're acceptable, that they're enough, that they're loved, that they’re valued, that they have worth. So, if they don't feel that way, no matter what anybody says to them … they could hear the best sermons by Joel Osteen and they could do a positive confession every day. They could quote scriptures even for themselves like I am the righteousness of God in Christ. But if they don't believe it inside, then there's these two voices. One is the self-talk that says, I can do this, and I'll be better. And then the other is the critical self-voice or even the voice of the enemy, saying, you're not enough and you'll never make it. You're such a failure. Those two voices battling inside of us, Paul called them the flesh and the spirit and they're going to continue to war. But I have come to find out and it sounds like you have as well, Steve, that once you settled the battle and you understand who you are in Christ, that I am favored, that I am loved that I am accepted … also, I'd say one more step to this too is not just doing it religiously … I think a lot of people feel like, well, yeah, I'm loved by God because He has to because that's His job. He just has to love people. And that's not how He's doing it. He's not doing it just because He is love, although that's the primary reason. I kind of feel like a lot of us have grown up, especially those in the church or an environment where we hear more bad news than we do good news, kind of what's wrong with us? So, we kind of believe God accepts us, but almost like in spite of us. He doesn't really like us but he has to because we accepted the four spiritual laws and we prayed a prayer. So now He has to accept us but he doesn't really want to. That’s a heresy, that's so false that causes so many Christians to live in defeat and discouragement. And that's why so many Christians … I ask a lot of people when I do conferences around the world, how many of you know people that don't know Jesus that are seem happier and more content and peaceful than people who are so-called Christians and almost all people say, yeah, I know a lot of people like that. I’m not proposing that’s the reality. But what I'm saying is so many Christians are stuck in a, I’d guess I’d call it a false gospel, not to be critical, but just not to the fault of their own, but just they got stuck in something that tells them that God's just putting up with them but not really liking them, not really enjoying them, and that they're corrupt and that they are perpetual worms and that they will never be any good and they will just squeak into heaven anyway. If that’s the amount of God's favor, just squeaking us into heaven, that's, that's really not what I read in the Bible.

Dr. Steve Greene: That’s not what the cross was about. So, how can we feel favored if we understand the cross. When Jesus kept telling the guys remain at the cross, he wanted him to stay close to that, to know how much they're loved. That's what I think He is saying all the way through John 14 and 15, somewhere in there, where He's speaking so clearly about stay here. Don't drift away from the cross. When you do that, you're going to start picking up your own baggage again and feeling put upon and sad and down. When you stay near the cross, you're gonna understand this gift. You speak to that in your book, would you expand that a little bit for us?

Gary Wilkerson: Yes, that is such a good point. The cross is central to understanding this. It's not just an intellectual knowledge, a head knowledge of yes, I read this part of the Bible that says I'm favored. It's it demonstrated. He demonstrated his love for us. So, I'm so glad you brought that point up. And in the book, I talk about different types of favor. Some favor is like … it's like my marriage is struggling. I get on my knees and I cry out to God and He favors me with maybe some insight, wisdom or transformation in my own heart to help me treat my wife better. So, there's that kind of favor. Sometimes it's real simple favor, like car is not running and maybe I need a blessing to get a new car. I come from a background that almost kind of looked upon blessing and favor as the extreme. Hyper charismatics, they go for that. But we're into holiness and we're into self-denial. So, I think that school misses so much of God's favor and blessing. On the other hand, there is the extreme that goes like God's favor and blessing is almost all materialistic. The end result of that can often be oh, I didn't get the car, oh, my marriage isn't as happy as I want it to be, so God, you're letting me down, You're not as good as you say you are. And then there's this lack of contentment and peace in your relationship with Jesus. So, so both extremes are going to cause us deep, deep trouble inside. So, I believe God takes this approach to what is best for us. Sometimes it's, material goods that helps us, but ultimately the book is about … the key to the book for me and the reason I wrote it was I have experienced, and this my personal revelation that God gave to me is that the greatest favor that God has ever given me, I call it in the book ultimate favor. That was the favor that Moses talked about when God said to him, hey, you can go into the promised land and you can have the milk and honey and you can have all the blessings and you can have your family settled in this beautiful land and you can live there peace, but I'm not going with you. And Moses said, no, if you don't go, I don't want to go. The ultimate favor is your presence. It's that You are with me, that you you walk with me and you talk with me and I'm your friend and that I'm your son, loved by you, and that I love You. That's the that's the favor I want. I want to know every morning when I wake up that I have the presence of the Holy Spirit, that Jesus lives in me and I thrive in Him. To me that's greater favor. I like the car and the house and I’m content with my family, but if could have all that and miss Jesus, then forget it, man. Give them just give me Jesus. That's what I want more than anything else.

Connect with Gary Wilkerson

·         At Worldchallenge.org

·         On Facebook

·         On Twitter

On Instagram

 

Greenelines Host Information

Dr. Steve Greene is the Publisher and Executive Vice President of Charisma Media. Dr. Greene received his Ph.D. in marketing from Memphis State University. He has worked in television station management and worked directly with over 80 stations throughout the United States. He has worked in marketing capacities with McDonald’s, Jiffy Lube, and Stanley Steemer. He has owned restaurants, a national advertising agency and a syndicated marketing research firm. Dr. Greene has served as the Dean of the College of Business and professor of marketing at Oral Roberts University. He is also the author of Love Leads, which dispels the myths and misconceptions many have come to accept about leadership.

To learn more about Dr. Steve Greene, connect with him on social media!

Facebook: https://facebook.com/drsgreene/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrSteveGreene

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dr.stevegreene/

Episode Notes

Greenelines with

Dr. Steve Greene

Guest: Gary Wilkerson

Understand God's favor is and what it is not. Listen to this Greenelines interview as Gary Wilkerson, president of World Challenge, explains that you will no longer wonder if you walk in God's favor when you know God's nature. Hear about more demonstrations of God's goodness from Gary's new book, God's Favor.

Introduction

Dr. Steve Greene: This is the Greenelines podcast. I'm Steve Greene on the Charisma Podcast Network. I'd like to tell you about a series that's available to you now through Charisma. Many of you have seen bits and pieces of maybe one of these books, The Deborah AnointingThe Esther AnointingThe Anna Anointing, and The Ruth Anointing, plus a free bonus all in the Solid Rock Series. You're going to get all four anointing books by Michelle McClain-Walters, plus a Charisma subscription and to Life in the Spirit devotions for only $36. I want to say that part of it again. You're going to get all four of those anointing books by Michelle McClain Walters. Plus, you'll receive a Charisma subscription, a subscription to Charisma magazine, and then you'll get two Life in a Spirit devotionals for only $36. Now, you can find this at charismamag.com/anoint. Or, you can just look right here, down below this podcast in the show notes and you'll see the link to charismamag.com/anoint. I know you'll love these books, and I know you'll love the free bonuses and a subscription to Charisma magazine. Now let's get to the show.

Dr. Steve Greene: So many of us have said to someone at one time or another, could you do me a favor? I remember my little ones, my children, I don't think they ever grew out of it. You know how kids grow out of phases. Mine got into this phase and didn't get out of it. They found a word that worked, and it is called favor. Dad, can I have a favor? You know, it involves car keys. I would know at that point that favorite to them met stuff, give me stuff. I never heard them request the favor of discipline. Isn’t that strange? They never asked me to favor them by discipline. And yet, they probably should have. They were disciplined, but they should have prayed for the favor of discipline. They should have prayed for the will of their father and their mother to be done in their lives; things would have been better for them. Maybe they would have had less discipline. The idea of favor is something that is often misconstrued. Not everyone does, but some do. Some take it to one extreme or another and we get into maybe theological debates over it. We're going to settle a lot of that today with our guest.

 

Gary Wilkerson Podcasts

·         What Did Jesus Mean When He Promised Abundant Life?

·         Having Fun Might be One of the Most Holy Things You Do

·         How to Have Wholeness in Your Christian Life

·         Love is Powerful, Confronting Every Form of Darkness

I'm so excited to welcome, and I mean this with, with all my heart that I'm excited about this topic. The author is Gary Wilkerson. You sure know him. We love his work, his books, the work that he's done in his life. He's in Colorado Springs now as the President of World Challenge. That's a global ministry dedicated to helping people experience a fulfilling life, both in their personal lives and in their communities. If you listen to me for more than a minute, you know that I'm very zip code oriented. I want to help my zip code first. Certainly, I have a mission heart. But my goodness, if we can reach out first to our communities or locale, before we get out on a boat to somewhere, we're going to do a lot of good where were planted. I don't want to spend a lot of time wasting the time that we're going to have with Gary Wilkerson. I'm so excited to present his book to you. The name of the book is God's Favor: Experiencing the life God Wants You to Have. I've got to ask that question right from the beginning. I hate definitions. I hate opening up a dictionary to go first. But I think we've got to do that in this case because favor is so misunderstood. So, talk to me about it. What is God's favor?

Gary Wilkerson: If we use some other words, it might help us capture the heartfelt meaning that God wants us to understand about Him. Kindness, mercy, long suffering, forgiveness, tenderness

Dr. Steve Greene: Sounds like fruits of the spirit.

Gary Wilkerson: Yes, fruits of the spirit are things that God has already and he wants us to walk in them, to receive them and to give them to others. So, favors is, it’s like what you said just a second ago, you are a father, you have children and you want the best for them. You want to see them blessed. You want to see them thrive. And God is no different. Matter of fact, He's better. He's such a good, good father. And it's God's expectation of his power to make our life all that He's intended it to be rather than us wallowing in failure and defeat and discouragement and being downcast and corrupted by sin and the self-hatred and self-loathing. All of those things are the antithesis of the work His favor does when it hits our life.

Dr. Steve Greene: So, let's go to the other side and just touch on it lightly. What is not God's favor? What is it that we misconstrue from God?

Gary Wilkerson: For somebody who has come to know Christ, favor is already present. So, it's not something you're trying to get or trying to earn. There are certain steps of obedience that bring greater blessing in our life. But favor is something that is not … we're not working towards favor. If we feel like we don't have favor and we're working towards it, it's going to end up in stress, fear, anxiety, a sense of always being a failure, of there is a nagging thing. I've been a pastor for over 30 years as well as working with World Challenge and one of the things I actually see lot of people is this nagging deep down sense of “I'm not enough, I'll never be enough.” I’m not good enough. I think the root of that is what causes all the stress and the fear and anxiety and self-hatred. To me, when somebody is working to get God's favor, they're going to end up that way. Once they understand, He's so good and so loving, it is His in His nature to do good for us. Once we understand that, then we say I am favored, I am a child of God, I already have favor, I'm not trying to earn it from Him. So therefore, I can rest, I can trust, I can have peace, I can have confidence. And then probably most importantly of all is I can surrender my life to him. I don't have to wake up morning say like, how am I going to get this done? What if this doesn't happen? What if my kids backslide and what if my marriage doesn't work? What if I get fired? All of that fear and anxiety just flees when you surrender your life fully to the Holy Spirit and say, you know what, I trust your favor is upon me. And one day at a time, I'm going to believe that this day will work according to your plans and purposes for my life. So, knowing God's favor gives us trust. I think the key to it is people don't know that their favored and feel like we've been growing up … we've grown up a lot of times in a church that fills me up with thoughts like, you put this coin in and you get this out of it. It's an earning mentality. So, we don't realize it's like, God's the Father. There's nothing my kids could do to withdraw my favor from them. I can discipline them, as you said, and I can correct them and I can be even upset with them. But they're always going to have my love, affection and favor and that's what God our Father does for us as well.

Dr. Steve Greene: Well, Gary, it seems like it starts with self-image. As I've listened to you and I’ve read big portions of your book, I feel like sometimes we think that I need favor from God because I sure don't get it from my parents, from my friends, from people at work. We always feel less than. I spent a big majority of my life trying to please my father and seemingly never did. That’s a long therapy session away from getting rid of that one. Sometimes that self-image means that we have to perform our way out of it. I've got to go earn my dad's love. We take that right into our relationship with the Heavenly Father.

Gary Wilkerson: Yes, absolutely. That's such a good point. I think if people could find that freedom, all of a sudden that changes everything. It is a game-changer, finding the freedom to know that you are already are accepted. So, let's look at this way. Somebody who, in the core of their heart, they really don't believe that they're acceptable, that they're enough, that they're loved, that they’re valued, that they have worth. So, if they don't feel that way, no matter what anybody says to them … they could hear the best sermons by Joel Osteen and they could do a positive confession every day. They could quote scriptures even for themselves like I am the righteousness of God in Christ. But if they don't believe it inside, then there's these two voices. One is the self-talk that says, I can do this, and I'll be better. And then the other is the critical self-voice or even the voice of the enemy, saying, you're not enough and you'll never make it. You're such a failure. Those two voices battling inside of us, Paul called them the flesh and the spirit and they're going to continue to war. But I have come to find out and it sounds like you have as well, Steve, that once you settled the battle and you understand who you are in Christ, that I am favored, that I am loved that I am accepted … also, I'd say one more step to this too is not just doing it religiously … I think a lot of people feel like, well, yeah, I'm loved by God because He has to because that's His job. He just has to love people. And that's not how He's doing it. He's not doing it just because He is love, although that's the primary reason. I kind of feel like a lot of us have grown up, especially those in the church or an environment where we hear more bad news than we do good news, kind of what's wrong with us? So, we kind of believe God accepts us, but almost like in spite of us. He doesn't really like us but he has to because we accepted the four spiritual laws and we prayed a prayer. So now He has to accept us but he doesn't really want to. That’s a heresy, that's so false that causes so many Christians to live in defeat and discouragement. And that's why so many Christians … I ask a lot of people when I do conferences around the world, how many of you know people that don't know Jesus that are seem happier and more content and peaceful than people who are so-called Christians and almost all people say, yeah, I know a lot of people like that. I’m not proposing that’s the reality. But what I'm saying is so many Christians are stuck in a, I’d guess I’d call it a false gospel, not to be critical, but just not to the fault of their own, but just they got stuck in something that tells them that God's just putting up with them but not really liking them, not really enjoying them, and that they're corrupt and that they are perpetual worms and that they will never be any good and they will just squeak into heaven anyway. If that’s the amount of God's favor, just squeaking us into heaven, that's, that's really not what I read in the Bible.

Dr. Steve Greene: That’s not what the cross was about. So, how can we feel favored if we understand the cross. When Jesus kept telling the guys remain at the cross, he wanted him to stay close to that, to know how much they're loved. That's what I think He is saying all the way through John 14 and 15, somewhere in there, where He's speaking so clearly about stay here. Don't drift away from the cross. When you do that, you're going to start picking up your own baggage again and feeling put upon and sad and down. When you stay near the cross, you're gonna understand this gift. You speak to that in your book, would you expand that a little bit for us?

Gary Wilkerson: Yes, that is such a good point. The cross is central to understanding this. It's not just an intellectual knowledge, a head knowledge of yes, I read this part of the Bible that says I'm favored. It's it demonstrated. He demonstrated his love for us. So, I'm so glad you brought that point up. And in the book, I talk about different types of favor. Some favor is like … it's like my marriage is struggling. I get on my knees and I cry out to God and He favors me with maybe some insight, wisdom or transformation in my own heart to help me treat my wife better. So, there's that kind of favor. Sometimes it's real simple favor, like car is not running and maybe I need a blessing to get a new car. I come from a background that almost kind of looked upon blessing and favor as the extreme. Hyper charismatics, they go for that. But we're into holiness and we're into self-denial. So, I think that school misses so much of God's favor and blessing. On the other hand, there is the extreme that goes like God's favor and blessing is almost all materialistic. The end result of that can often be oh, I didn't get the car, oh, my marriage isn't as happy as I want it to be, so God, you're letting me down, You're not as good as you say you are. And then there's this lack of contentment and peace in your relationship with Jesus. So, so both extremes are going to cause us deep, deep trouble inside. So, I believe God takes this approach to what is best for us. Sometimes it's, material goods that helps us, but ultimately the book is about … the key to the book for me and the reason I wrote it was I have experienced, and this my personal revelation that God gave to me is that the greatest favor that God has ever given me, I call it in the book ultimate favor. That was the favor that Moses talked about when God said to him, hey, you can go into the promised land and you can have the milk and honey and you can have all the blessings and you can have your family settled in this beautiful land and you can live there peace, but I'm not going with you. And Moses said, no, if you don't go, I don't want to go. The ultimate favor is your presence. It's that You are with me, that you you walk with me and you talk with me and I'm your friend and that I'm your son, loved by you, and that I love You. That's the that's the favor I want. I want to know every morning when I wake up that I have the presence of the Holy Spirit, that Jesus lives in me and I thrive in Him. To me that's greater favor. I like the car and the house and I’m content with my family, but if could have all that and miss Jesus, then forget it, man. Give them just give me Jesus. That's what I want more than anything else.

Connect with Gary Wilkerson

·         At Worldchallenge.org

·         On Facebook

·         On Twitter

On Instagram

 

Greenelines Host Information

Dr. Steve Greene is the Publisher and Executive Vice President of Charisma Media. Dr. Greene received his Ph.D. in marketing from Memphis State University. He has worked in television station management and worked directly with over 80 stations throughout the United States. He has worked in marketing capacities with McDonald’s, Jiffy Lube, and Stanley Steemer. He has owned restaurants, a national advertising agency and a syndicated marketing research firm. Dr. Greene has served as the Dean of the College of Business and professor of marketing at Oral Roberts University. He is also the author of Love Leads, which dispels the myths and misconceptions many have come to accept about leadership.

To learn more about Dr. Steve Greene, connect with him on social media!

Facebook: https://facebook.com/drsgreene/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrSteveGreene

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dr.stevegreene/

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Experience God's Favor with Gary Wilkerson