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3 Things to Remember When Opportunity Knocks

Door of Opportunity

I’m not a fan of surprises.

I figure life offers up an ample share of them, so to balance things out, I’ll take my daily hum in a rhythm of slow and steady.

Sometimes, though, surprises make themselves right at home, like the one that showed up at my “doorstep” a few months ago.

 

Opportunity knocked and I opened the door.

 

I can’t go into details now, but since that tap on my “door”, I’ve worked some of the hardest and longest hours since becoming a writer. At every turn, the words you-are-wasting-your-time flicked at my head like the curled fingers of a pesky brother.

 

And yet, somehow, this work feels like an act of obedience.

 

Regardless of our calling, flicks of discouragement aim to distract and discourage:

  • Who-do-you-think-you-are?
  • Can-God-really-use-this (or you)-for-His-glory?
  • Have-you-seen-what-______-is-doing? Why-should-you-bother?

Swatting at them only burns energy I have little of these days, so I’m learning to pause, take a breath, and face the pesky flicks with what we both know to be true:

 

1. We Need to Embrace the Opportunities But Release the Outcome

 

Opportunity knocks. We can either “open” the door, or pretend pamphlet peddlers are on the other side and ignore the taps. But it is God who determines what awaits us once we walk through the door.

The surprise knock on my door felt like a divine tapping of sorts, mainly because I didn’t go looking for it. It also aligns with the Word, and holds an opportunity to glorify Him. But this doesn’t mean the months of work will come to fruition as I hope, and that’s okay. I rest in knowing that I’m doing only what I can do⏤open the door.

 

I know the chances are slim for my “dream” outcome, but I don’t write for a dream.

 

I write for God.

 

And my guess is you do what you do for the same reason.

So we leverage those pesky flicks of discouragement by perceiving them as mini-opportunities to re-commit our work to the Lord, releasing the desire for a particular outcome, and trusting His best for us in every situation. Because here’s the thing:

When our joy is rooted in obedience rather than a particular outcome, there is a quiet satisfaction that roars of glory.

 

2. Only Truth Takes Lies Captive

 

Turn up the music, down another strong cup of joe, or check social media. It won’t matter. The pesky brother will use that time to strengthen his fat little fingers for a stronger flick when you return.

Let’s not waste our God-given time trying to run from discouragement. Let’s face it together, head on:

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV

When we release the desire to control the outcome, entrusting it to Christ, the lies lose their power, even their freedom to flick away as they please.

 

3. When Being Obedient There’s No Such Thing as Wasted Time

 

Take that, pesky brother! Surrendering the outcome to God means that time is no longer narrowed down to wise or wasted. Every moment of obedience is ripe with purpose.

 

“Growing closer to God is not the result of trying harder but of surrendering more.” Anonymous

 

So now I wait and pray to see what God will do and whatever that is, it is perfect for me.

But I still don’t like surprises.

Pink Line

Is there some way I can pray for you today? Maybe a door is opening or closing in your life, or perhaps you’re struggling to release the outcome. I welcome the opportunity to join arms with you in prayer.

*For confidential requests, feel free to message me via Facebook or contact me through my website.

 

When a One-Liner Becomes a Game Changer

 

by Cathy Baker

I love one-liners, especially when they’re girded with truth. As our community Bible study group closes out the Gideon study I’m reminded of the testimonies we’ve received. Spiritual eyes opened, forgiveness forged, and callings confirmed. May the fragrance of Christ continue to invade our lives and captivate those around us.

15 one-liners from our study:

  • Today’s difficulties are often a result of yesterday’s disobedience.  

  • Ordinary is often the disguise of the divine.
  • Knowing God’s purpose requires first being aware of God’s presence. 
  • Opened eyes precede your calling being realized.
  • Today’s tasks are preparation for tomorrow’s calling. 
  • If God said it then, He still means it now. 
  • Who you are is more important than what you have been called to do. 
  • Pride forgets. Humility remembers. 
  • Many of life’s external difficulties find their roots in the internal reality of pride. 
  • Don’t try to retain what God is asking you to release. 
  • Your faith can be stronger than a fleece. 
  • A vessel’s value is not determined by its composition but by its contents.
  • Finishing well could mean not finishing. 
  • Modernized idolatry is still idolatry. 
  • Commitments trumps convenience.  

Which of these means the most to you right now? 

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits. Psalm 103:2


Our Gift to God

What to give Jesus for His birthday? 

When the boys were younger, we’d bake a birthday cake for Him and at other times we’d create new ways to give Jesus a gift, i.e., buying for someone in need, or we’d all write out our gift (being more patient with others, an act of kindness, etc.) on a slip of paper and put it on the tree.

While these celebrations, acts of service, and growing desires to be more Christ-like are certainly pleasing to the Lord, He’s clear as to how He defines love, His love language, if you will:

In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. 
And his commands are not burdensome… 1 John 5:3

With this in mind, what gift of love we can Him today in the form of obedience?

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