“Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.” – Galatians 6:10.
You have probably heard the name Peter Drucker. Peter Drucker was a management consultant, educator, and author, whose writings contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business corporation. He once said that “Progress is obtained only by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems. When you solve problems, all you do is guarantee a return to normalcy.” Now before you stop reading, let me say this: problem-solving is important, even crucial, but it is not always progress, it is usually returning us to here we started before we had the problem. Real progress usually comes from coupling opportunity with initiative.
I have never met anyway who did not miss at least one opportunity. The most common reason for missing opportunities is because we are overly cautious, or risk adverse and prefer a wait and see attitude. We choose to be a spectator. The problem with remaining on the sidelines is you cannot take advantage of the opportunities God gives you. We have the power to make a difference in other’s lives– it’s just a matter of getting off the sidelines and getting involved.
In 2 Chronicles 15 we read the story of King Asa. 2 Chronicles 15:17 says, “Although the pagan shrines were not removed from Israel, Asa’s heart remained completely faithful throughout his life.” That is a very rare and difficult compliment to achieve from the Bible – yet Asa achieved it. But right in the next chapter we can see that Asa made some wrong decisions. 2 Chronicles 16:7 says “At that time Hanani the seer came to King Asa and told him, “Because you have put your trust in the king of Aram instead of in the LORD your God, you missed your chance to destroy the army of the king of Aram.” The back story is that King Asa defeated a much bigger army with the help of God, but rather than go to God again when another problem arose, he turned to the king of Aram for help. Simply said, he “missed his chance.” He missed an opportunity.
Opportunities do not wait around for the overly cautious nor the slow to move. They must be seized. Opportunities are being presented to you on a daily basis. You will either seize them or you will let them slip by. Many times the reason we let them slip by is because we are not interested in them. It’s work. “There is a wide-open door for a great work here, although many oppose me.” (1 Corinthians 16:9) The Amplified Bible says it this way, “For a wide door of opportunity for effectual service has opened to me there; one great and promising and many adversaries.”
Don’t let the fear of falling short deter you from trying. You will make mistakes. You will mess up. You may have to admit defeat. Keep going. Use them as opportunities to discover what doesn’t work, but always persevere. Because despite the risks and messiness of it all, my hope is we become fearless and dare to take the plunge, even when it means risking failure. Philippians 4:13 reminds us: “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
- How do you define opportunity?
- Was there a time when you felt that God wanted you to act and you failed to do so? How do you feel today about that lost opportunity? Did God use someone else to do His work?
- What are some of the promises of God that you can trust as you embrace the opportunities that God gives you?