Summary: daily we meet opportunities -- but what can we do with it?
“How To Make The Most Out Of Your Opportunities”
David P Nolte
We all have daily opportunities to be all we can be, to learn lessons of trust and obedience, to serve God and man faithfully.
It may be some pain or suffering, or sorrow, or loss. It may be an encounter with another person in need. It may be an overflowing joy and peace from a refreshing in God’s Spirit. It may be when God shows us a needed change in our lives. It may be when God urges us to some service for Christ.
To all of us there come these and other significant, but perhaps small, opportunities in life. When those opportunities come, how can we make the most of them? Let’s read the Scripture and then I will offer three suggestions.
“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open ullfep to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak. Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” Colossians 4:2-6 (NASB).
I. TRY TO FIND THE OPEN DOORS GOD PROVIDES:
A. Paul asked that they pray that “God will open up to us a door for the word.”
B. Remember that sometimes God closes doors. We want to do some certain thing and it becomes impossible for us to do it. The door is closed to us for that. It may be that:
1. We apply for a job and someone else gets it. That door is closed.
2. We pray for an opportunity to buy a house or car and we can’t swing the deal. That door is closed to us.
C. Closed doors are often God’s way of protecting us and guiding us and teaching us.
1. The problem is that we look so long at, or we pound so hard on, or we worry so much about, or we so deeply lament the closed doors we miss the one God has opened!
2. Someone said, “If God closes one door, He always opens another better one.”
D. For Paul it was an open door for service. For us it may be that or something else.
1. But God has opened doors to us.
2. Jesus said to the Church at Philadelphia, “Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut.” Revelation 3:8 (NASB). I believe He still says that to His church as a whole and to His people individually.
E. But there are opportunities in life when no door seems to be open.
1. We may have to wait for it patiently. God’s timetable is not ours. He uses a different Timex than we do. He’s never late or early!
2. We may have to learn to just quietly trust, and that’s always a good lesson to learn. When nothing seems to be opening, just trusting and not striving is the best thing to do.
3. To find the open door we must live in constant fellowship with Jesus, to obey His commands, to trust His Word and to follow where He leads. As one song says, “Lead me, Lord, I’ll follow anywhere You open up the door.”
4. We certainly have to look for that open door. So:
a. We pray for guidance.
b. We ask advice of godly people.
c. We check every lead we have.
d. We knock on every door that looks available.
5. If we are seriously seeking, we’ll find it: “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” You have Jesus’ word on that!
F. Remember the story of the silly fly? He was in a room and wanted to go outside. He spied a window and flew right at it. Problem was that the window was closed. He smacked right into it and fell, dazed, onto the window sill. Undaunted, he recovered his wits and flew a little harder at the window – which was still closed. Once again, he fell nearly unconscious onto the window sill. The third time he really gunned it and whacked into the still closed window. He was really dazed but when he recovered, he thought, “No use trying the same thing over and over. There’s gotta be a way out of here!” He looked around and saw an open door just across the room. Out he flew. Many of us just keep banging on a closed door instead of finding an open one. Why keep doing what doesn’t work?