I read a comic strip today that has the potential to be quite funny. A wife is sitting in a chair and asks her husband, “Who was that at the door?” The husband responds, “Oh. It was opportunity. It had the wrong house.” In today’s cynical society, that can be quite funny. There are many people who believe that opportunity is just passing them by, never knocking on their door. Fortunately, opportunities never cease when you are following Jesus.
The root cause of society’s apparent lack of opportunities stems from several things:
- Selfish motives
- Desire for wealth
- Meattitudes (Me focused attitudes)
- Apathy toward society and life in general
These root causes are all born out of the sinful nature that we are all susceptible to. The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The good news is that Jesus came to set us free from the sinful nature!
Maybe you are reading this today thinking to yourself, “Opportunity is always passing me by. Why doesn’t the Lord give me opportunities?” Friend, I can guarantee, you are surrounded by opportunities. When we get into this kind of thought pattern we have lost focus of Jesus and shifted it to something else.
The availability of opportunity in our lives is often a result of our attitude. Take the young woman in the image above. She is standing in a field, opening a door, that really doesn’t give her any more access to the world than she already had. Be sure to have an attitude that allows you to see all the opportunities Jesus is giving you each day.
Recognizing Jesus’ opportunities isn’t always easy. It gets easier when we spend time getting to know Jesus and spending time with him. We get to know him by reading our Bible, even 5 minutes a day. We spend time with Jesus in prayer. This does not have to be eloquent lofty prayers. Just have a conversation with Jesus. Tell him what is on your heart. Then take a moment to listen for a response.
You must understand that Jesus’ goals may not match our own. That is when we must adjust our goals. If you are following Jesus, it is his goals and plans for your life that will succeed and bring you fulfillment. Any goals you set for yourself on your own, whether you achieve them or not, will be hollow.
Jesus shares with us some of the chief opportunities that are presented to us daily in Matthew 25:34-40. There are many people who are hungry, thirsty, sick, or captive by life’s events. You are presented with them daily. Sometimes, they don’t even look like they are in need on the outside. Jesus knows, and if you listen to him through the prompting of the Holy Spirit, you can help people. This is opportunity.
We need to stop equating opportunity to financial wealth. I heard a missionary once say, “Success for the Christian is nothing but living in the will of the Father for them at that time.” God does not measure success the way the world does. We need to look to God’s measure of success.
Most days I ask the Lord for two things during my prayer time. I ask him to see the world and those I encounter with his eyes, not my own. I also ask for a measure of his compassion to share with others. This is the chief reason I am able to minister, that is serve, others with a joyful smile, and relish each encounter I have with people.
Stop wasting time looking for the world’s opportunities. Ask Jesus for opportunities and ask him to help you see those opportunities when they are presented. I am sure, your perspective will change as you shift your focus to Jesus and being his hands and feet in this world.