Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.Galatians 6:10
I recently asked a group of leaders what they had learned about opportunities. Some of the lessons these gifted and talented people had learned were surprising. Some saw opportunities as burdens, not benefits. In other words, opportunities brought with them greater demand or additional responsibility. Most, however, viewed opportunities as "God moments" of growth and blessing.
From my view, 2021 has not only brought the unexpected but has also been filled with "God moments." Throughout the year, doors of opportunity have opened up to us in the Oregon Ministry Network family. Opportunities that spurred us on and allowed us to increase, grow, make a more significant impact and fulfill the great commission. I'm grateful for every open door that the last 12 months have provided.
As we conclude a challenging year, let's remember that God is still opening doors and providing opportunities. Here are four important lessons I've learned about opportunities.
- DISCERNMENT: Opportunities require discerning between a God opportunity and a goal distraction. The question must be asked, Does the opportunity enhance or advance your God-given mission? I've discovered that not every open door is wise to walk through. In fact, some open doors will test your maturity and focus. They will demand seeking the Lord wholeheartedly and asking, "Is this wise or timely?"
- FAITH: Opportunities require a response of faith. Hebrews 11:6 reminds us that we must have "faith" to live a life that pleases God. Most opportunities, God moments will stretch you and demand steps of faith. For example, when God spoke to Abram to move his family, the Bible tells us his obedience was credited as a step of faith. Throughout 2021, we have needed to activate faith to see us through and move us forward.
- OBEDIENCE: Opportunities require following God's lead and not just what is convenient. God's instruction to His children is, "Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess." Deuteronomy 5:33. When "God moments" come our way, it will call for us to be obedient. If not, we will miss opportunities that could change our lives.
- PERSEVERANCE: Opportunities require staying the course and not giving up. A "God moment" calls for us not to give up. Whether working through schedule adjustments, key people relocating, or facing financial challenges, we have discovered that perseverance is necessary. Open doors invite you to step into something new and demand staying with it and finishing well.
We can look back over the last 12 months and thank the Lord for the many opportunities He has extended to us. We rejoice in the accomplishments and now press on to what God has for each of us in 2022.
So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid."Hebrews 13:6