“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” – Ephesians 5:15-16
Opportunity – ‘a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.’
How do I make the most of every opportunity?
For one, you take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you. When it comes to serving for the Lord, there are numerous ways to get involved in the church to advance the Kingdom of God. From attending prayer meetings, to a small group, to writing encouragement cards, the opportunities to strengthen the Body of Christ are endless!
Yet I believe that there are also opportunities that are presented to you daily. When that person wrongs you, you have a choice – do I get justice or use this as an opportunity to show God’s mercy? When you are having a bad day, you have a choice – to focus on the current situation allowing negativity in your heart and complaints on your lips or use this as an opportunity to demonstrate the fruit of patience and self-control?
Second, you make the most of every opportunity by engaging in changing certain decisions you would normally make. While some opportunities are passive since they happen to come your way, taking advantage of opportunities for life change usually require an intentional choice to be made; You knowingly and purposefully are choosing to take the opportunity for change. Embracing opportunities in this way requires a degree of retrospection and can lead to transformation.
For example, I tend to watch a lot of movies. (Who doesn’t like a great story?) This is what I typically do when I want to ‘veg’. While watching movies are not in of themselves ‘evil’, I like to make sure that I watch movies that are edifying with certain parameters. Yet this isn’t the struggle I need to make when it comes to making the most of every opportunity. The main question I need to ask myself is: Do I really need to watch a movie at this time? I find that many times the answer is ‘no’ but I default to a movie simply because I’m tired, lazy, or unmotivated, thus needing to recharge. The irony is that I’m not recharging my Spirit – I’m only entertaining my mind. I could make the most of this opportunity by choosing something that is life-giving and spiritually nourishing instead. Yet I choose the movie that just ‘numbs’ my thought process.
I find that knowing what opportunity to choose as a transformative lifestyle comes through prayer. The Holy Spirit can reveal to us what exactly we need to change to take advantage of those opportunities. We ask Him and He can give us the desire to change and the will to carry it out. Each person is different as to what specific change is needed, but the goal is the same for each one of us – to be transformed into the image of Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “And we all… are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” Transformation only comes through actively listening and responding to the Holy Spirit for we cannot will the lasting change upon ourselves. Lasting change comes through the power of God, but do we want to change enough to submit to what the Lord has for us?
What opportunities does the Lord want you to take? Ask God for a spirit of boldness to make the most of those opportunities that happen to come your way. As for the opportunities that require active participation ask the Holy Spirit, “What change is needed in me to be all that you have created me to be? How can I make the most of the opportunities with how I use my time, resources, and energy?” I pray that the Lord will not only reveal to you the answer to these questions but that He will give you exactly what you need – the need to bring the change that leads to transformation, reflecting more of the image of Christ.
Below is an excerpt from my book, “Write the Vision” (it will be out for public release this summer!) that is written to encourage you in your journey of making the most of every opportunity. I hope it speaks to you, blessings!
The key is before you –
use it to open the door across from you,
This door will take you to a new beginning,
a place of incredible opportunity.
The time for you to enter is now –
the delay for your upgrade is over.
You have walked in circles long enough,
feeling stuck in the same place,
not knowing what to do or where to go.
I know what is next for you:
I have created this opportunity for you to step in.
The wait is over!
The key I have given you opens only this door.
Trust Me for what awaits.
The other side is full of blessing…
You will thrive in your place of newness;
accomplishments will come easily,
a sense of purpose and gratification will emerge.
But you must unlock and open the door, as,
I have given you the key.
This is a partnership –
reliance upon Me.
I cannot make you walk through the door,
for you must choose what’s best for you and
by understanding My ways, you will choose rightly –
which is My ultimate desire.
I want to see you blessed beyond measure!
Now take the key, unlock the possibilities,
turn the handle,
and step into the future that awaits you!
~ NEHEMIAH 1-2:9 | HABAKKUK 2:3 | PSALM 37:5 ~