Don't Let Opportunities Pass You By
"The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all." Ecclesiastes 9:11, NKJV
Ever thought about your life? Where you are, where you could be, should be? The "what if's" on certain decisions you made or didn't make? Ever felt like you were taking the long way to God's will for your life? I am sure we've all had thoughts along these lines at one time or another.
What makes one person's life look like a blessed and well-greased machine that operates like supernatural clockwork and another person's life looks like "a day late and dollar short," failure after failure? Is it smarts? Speed? Strength? Wisdom? Understanding? Skill? According to Ecclesiastes—it's none of these things; but rather, it's the difference between opportunities taken and opportunities missed.
The Bible is true: time and chance happen to everyone! In other words, everyone gets their time and everyone gets their chance. Whether we accept, embrace or maximize these chances or opportunities is up to us. While we all get our time, our chance—our opportunity—to be saved, to enter our destiny, to be used by God, to grow spiritually, to prosper, to excel or to walk by faith—we have to embrace our time, our chance and our opportunity.
What type of times, changes or opportunities does everyone get?
Everyone gets time to be saved. Jesus paid the price for our salvation with His blood, but in order to activate it we must give Him our whole life. The cost: our life! Some people miss their time and chance to be saved and they go into eternity lost.
Everyone gets the opportunity to serve God. Perhaps it's a calling to pastor a church, an opportunity to go on the mission field, teach the Bible or start an orphanage, an opportunity to be on staff at a church, an opportunity to serve in church or evangelize your neighbors. Nice opportunities to invest in eternity...but it costs. Might cost you a reduction in pay and benefits. Might cost you some personal time. Might cost you some frustration as you help fulfill another person's vision and not your own. Might cost you your current reputation and claim to fame. Might cost you the comforts of your home. What if this is your chance and this is your time...but you aren't willing to pay the price? Your opportunity will pass you by and you'll still have to pay a price—often a higher price in vocational frustration, stagnation and unfulfillment. If an opportunity has come your way, don't let it pass you by through leaning on your own logic, forecasts and wisdom—take a step of faith and watch the Lord fill your heart and life with satisfaction and fruit!
Everyone gets the chance to step out of their comfort zone. Sure, God asks you to give more money than ever to His kingdom when you were saving up for a house; God asks you to share the gospel with a group of homeless people and your knees are knocking; God says give more time to serving in your church when you were thinking about taking a break; God says go on a short-term missions trip when you want to go on vacation; God says stay in your current job when you want to quit; God says humble yourself and go through the steps for leadership in your local church when you want to sit on the bench; God asks you to forgive people that have offended you when you want to be bitter. There is a price to pay if we want to step out of our comfort zone. The person who lets these opportunities pass them by discovers that life gets really empty.
If we look at the price tag on a chance too long, we'll say no and miss out on an opportunity God sent our way. In other words, a particular opportunity came along—it was our time, it was our chance—but we missed it because we weren't willing to activate our faith and pay the price required. When we miss an opportunity, we pay a different price—the price of regret, struggle, frustration, disappointment and the like—and in the end, missed opportunities ultimately cost us more!
Don't let your opportunity pass you by! When God brings your time, chance and opportunity, it may look a lot like "sacrifice," "hard work," "a demotion," "stay," "pay cut," "serving," "study"...but really, it's your time and chance! By faith, embrace your opportunities! God brings us these opportunities for the purpose of making our lives large with His reality, His blessings, His fulfillment, His joy, His goodness and His fruit!
Note: What if you've already let an opportunity pass you by? Is it too late to obey? Maybe and maybe not. If you missed the boat and an opportunity has passed you by—here are three things you can do today.
First: Run to God's throne with a genuine humility, broken and contrite spirit and repent! Ask the Lord if there is any way to access that missed opportunity or to salvage it in any way.
Second: Humble yourself even further and talk to whatever parties necessary to present yourself as one who is available and willing to maximize your time, chance and opportunity.
Third: Pray and see what happens.
"I returned and saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong, neither is bread to the wise nor riches to men of intelligence and understanding nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all." (Ecclesiastes 9:11, AMP)
Say It: “Father, help me to recognize, access, maximize and walk by faith in every time, chance and opportunity that comes my way. In Jesus' Name. Amen."
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