Saturday, 10 June 2023
“Whoever watches the wind will not plant and whoever looks at the cloud will not reap” - Ecclesiastes 11: 4
“Opportunity doesn’t knock twice!” is an oft quoted phrase. Do we make the best out of the opportunities that pass our path? A good question to ponder on! Well, that’s the underlying thought we need to take from the key verse of our reading today. We have to learn to make the most of every situation. Apostle Paul admonishes us: “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly but understand what the Lord wants you to do.” (Ephesians 5:15-17, NLT).
The key verse reminds us that we cannot always wait for the most conducive conditions to venture to do something. A farmer knows this best. Christian life too is one of faith. When we entrust our life to God, we are allowing Him to direct our paths and guide our steps. Sometimes it involves risk taking—but we know the Lord is with us all the way! There are several examples in the Bible of those who failed to use a given opportunity and those who did use it wisely.
Let’s first look into two examples of people who failed to use an opportunity.
When we see the life of Barak (Judges 4 & 5), Deborah the Judge had prophesied to him to go and attack King Jabin’s army. But Barak refused to go alone, and this changed the outcome! He missed out the opportunity to defeat the commander Sisera who was instead brought down by the hands of a Hebrew woman named Jael – merely because Barak failed to seize the opportunity given to him.
Again, looking into the life of Moses in Exodus 4:10-16 when God asked Moses to go back to Egypt, he hesitated. This angered God and the opportunity to speak was given to Aaron who then became the voice of Moses.
Now let’s look into an example of three men who used an opportunity for God’s Glory.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego the three Hebrew men encountering a situation to bow before the king’s image were presented with an opportunity to either be pressured to do so or refuse by affirming their allegiance to God. In their refusal, they were thrown into a fiery furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar. But God intervened and the three were preserved from harm and the king saw four men walking in the flames, "…the fourth is like the Son of God!"(Daniel 3:25) This is what God expects from each of us— to utilise an opportunity by faith! God often calls people to step out in faith to attempt the unexpected and that’s when God is able to fulfil His plan in our lives!
Has God placed before you an opportunity? Can you can seize the moment for His glory? As children of God we are expected to run the race for Christ. We are expected to use our opportunities to lift up Jesus and serve Him! Paul says in Acts 20:24 [NIV] “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the good news of God's grace.”
Let’s take some time to ponder over this thought in our lives. Are we doing what God expects us to do? Have we ignored opportunities to bring Him glory? Are we still boxed in our comfort zones? When God created each of us, He did it with a divine plan and purpose and if that has to unfold, we need to make constant effort to step out in faith and allow Him to achieve the unexpected through us!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, teach me Your ways, strengthen me to step out in faith and use every opportunity for You. In Jesus name, Amen.