Opportunities are around us daily. Opportunities to choose joy over sadness, to try something new over being stuck in the mundane, to walk in obedience, to touch the life of someone else, or to share the good news of the Gospel. Chances to rejoice rather than complain are available. Occasions to smile instead of frown. You know opportunities, big or small; our lives are full of them.
When I look back over my life, I wonder just how many opportunities have I missed. Much of my life has been lived out confined into a small, safe box, in a way. Having been the shy, introverted type didn’t lend itself to exploring new frontiers. Stifled by the fear of rejection and insecurities, I lost chances to meet and fellowship with new people. At times, I failed to obey the voice of God, preventing Him from revealing Himself to me in new ways. Immobilized by the fear of failure or fear of what others might think, I didn’t take the chance of engaging in new activities. Being so self-absorbed and consumed with the “what-ifs”, I neglected to share a word of encouragement that could have rendered aide to a fellow brother or sister.
I heard a lady once say that Passing Over Opportunities Repeatedly leaves you POOR. And I must agree. Hearing the word poor, we might immediately think of it economic terms but it simply means less than what is normal, necessary, or desirable; or low quality. Not seizing opportunities for new relationships can leave you with a low quality of companionship and less than normal chances for growth. For iron sharpens iron. As we walk in obedience, our faith increases. Lately, I’ve began to step out in small areas of obedience and I’ve seen my confidence in not only God’s willingness to use me but His great desire to use me in service to Him. He wants to use me, despite my insecurities and my personal temperament.
You may find that like me, you have overlooked a few opportunities. Don’t despair. Every day that you awaken you are given the chance to begin again. The same ones do not always come around again but rest assured that if you’re living, God is opening doors of opportunity to you each and every day. It’s up to us what we do with them.
I found a few keys in maximizing opportunities:
1) Conquering fear –some things you have to do afraid.
2) Being alert/aware- live consciously knowing that opportunities are available daily
3) Obeying God’s voice/word
4) Preparation – it’s too late to get prepared when opportunities present themselves.
A few scriptures to meditate on regarding opportunities:
Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (NIV)
Ephesians 5:11-16 Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.
Wake up from your sleep,
Climb out of your coffins;
Christ will show you the light!
So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times! (The Message)
Colossians 4:4-6 Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude. Don’t forget to pray for us, that God will open doors for telling the mystery of Christ, even while I’m locked up in this jail. Pray that every time I open my mouth I’ll be able to make Christ plain as day to them. Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don’t miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out. (The Message)
Mark 13:9 When these things begin to happen, watch out! You will be handed over to the local councils and beaten in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. (NLT)
Luke 4:13 When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.
James 1:2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. (NLT)
Lord, forgive me for all the times I failed to take advantage of the opportunities presented to me. Open my eyes that I might see the opportunities all around me. And give me the courage and boldness needed to not only see but seize every God given opportunity. Amen
Now go in peace and may you enjoy a blessed weekend. Be sure to check out other “o” related topics in the A-Z challenge.