Hebrews 11:15 – And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
Hello readers, back with another blog today. Recently I’ve been thinking about opportunity. Many people equate opportunity with God’s will. That is, an opportunity arises in their life, and they take that opportunity as the permission and provision of God for them in their life. I’ve quoted a verse from Hebrews 11, in the big faith chapter of the Bible we see the word opportunity. Opportunities in life arise for us all. What we do with them really will show whether or not we have a heart to obey God’s word. Opportunities really do just prove us. How real is this thing. They prove our supposed spirituality. They prove where our desires lay. They prove where our love really is. Often our love is not for God. In Hebrews 11 we see the word mind, because opportunities will reveal what’s really in our mind, and on our mind.
Today we want to look at opportunities some characters in the Bible had. Balaam is an interesting character in the Bible. Read about him in Numbers 22, but one day opportunity found this man. A bunch of messengers show up at his door, and they’re from king Balak. A king sending for me! And he’s got a job offer, and it’ll pay well! Balak had a job for Balaam, to curse Israel. Well, we all like to move up in life, and this opportunity must be from God because it found me, it’ll be good for me financially, and suits where I am at in life. But was the opportunity really of God? We know from reading the story that Balaam’s way was perverse before God. This opportunity was from God, but it was from God to test Balaam, to test his obedience to God. See, opportunities really do just prove us. What Balaam did showed that he loved money more than obeying God. There was nothing in him that desired God’s will for his life.
Think about David. He’s a fairly main character in the Bible. Well, David was persecuted by king Saul relentlessly for a long time. David hadn’t done anything wrong, but Saul was after him to capture and kill him. One day, while David was on the run with Saul after him, he hid in a cave with his men. And he’s hiding in the cave, and guess who comes in? Saul! Saul comes in completely unaware that David is in there. David has a golden opportunity to spear Saul, to take revenge, to take the throne promised to him by God! Furthermore his men, his mighty men no less, they say to him, David, God has delivered Saul into your hand. Their advice is to take this opportunity. See, they equated opportunity with God’s will. Many people see an opportunity for advancement, or fun, or acceptance or progression in life, and they take it. It must be of God. God’s doing this. This is God’s will. Well David’s mighty men… and the advice is that this is of God David!
Well, what an opportunity this was to David. Not only this, but he got the opportunity again to take Saul’s life. But both times, David refused. This is why David was a man after God’s own heart. What kind of a guy was David. That’s a different manner of person we’ve got here isn’t it. He’d been hunted like a dog by Saul, falsely accused, Saul kept trying to kill him… and when David got his chance, when he could’ve taken Saul’s life and felt justified and nobody would’ve blamed him… he said, I’m not touching the Lord’s anointed. I’m not murdering this man. It took a special kind of power to refuse the opportunity. He could’ve rationalized and justified taking Saul’s life… but it would’ve been wrong. Often we are able to rationalize and convince ourselves of just about anything. Reason with the devil for long enough and you’ll be acting upon it soon enough. We need to pray for the grace and power of God in what we do with the opportunities set before us. If we don’t have the power in us to do right and what’s pleasing to God, we may just seize on an opportunity that ends up our ruin.
Well, there’s more. Remember a bloke in the Bible called Joseph? Joseph was hated by his brothers. He was betrayed by them. He was sold by them into a life of abject slavery. He got a raw deal. You’d have forgiven him perhaps for quitting on God. Often when people go through some hard times, the first thing they do is throw away faith. They blame God. Joseph didn’t though. And because of the type of man he was, because he was reliable, honest, hard working, Potiphar entrusted him with everything in his house. The only thing Joseph didn’t have was Potiphar’s wife. But one day, opportunity found him. It just so turned out Potiphar’s wife had a thing for him. She wanted Joseph to sleep with her. Think of how Joseph could’ve rationalized this. He could’ve thought, well look where serving God got me. I’m entitled to a bit of pleasure and fun in my life. Joseph got a golden opportunity to satisfy his lust and desires with a beautiful woman. Just because the opportunity was there… should he have taken it? We know he did not, he honored God.
What about Moses? He had every opportunity to be the next Pharaoh. He had opportunity for fame, wealth, women. All that opportunity lay before him for his taking. He had such an opportunity for a great Egyptian career and life. Yet he refused all that. He could’ve rationalized staying in Egypt and planning to help his people when he became Pharaoh. He could’ve just stayed comfortable and not rocked the boat. Moses had an opportunity to have all that he could ever want in the worldly sense, but he refused it for Jesus Christ. Not just that, but when Moses returns many years later with God’s word to Pharaoh to let Israel go… Moses has numerous opportunities to cut a pretty good deal. Pharaoh offers him some compromises, some half way ground, short of God’s word but still better than nothing right. And well might the people and Moses’ advisers said, hey it’s probably as good a deal as we’re going to get, let’s take it and be thankful for what God’s got us. Hey, we’re lucky we’ve made it this far with Pharaoh, let’s cash out here Moses. But no, Moses said, we are all leaving, nothing is being left behind. See, all those opportunities Pharaoh offered Moses for compromise, for a deal between to two, it really just tested how convinced Moses was of God’s word. It tested Moses’ obedience and his faith, it showed who and what he really was.
What about nowadays? Christians had an opportunity to trade out their old King James Bible… and they took it. More accurate, more up to date, more readable, more relatable, more hip, while retaining all the old meaning… and we took it. We fell for it. God proved us through opportunity. Christians had an opportunity to make their churches more seeker friendly. Make the services more fun, make it less about God’s word and more about worship and activities, take out the sin and righteousness and judgment parts so nobody gets offended… and they took it. God proved us through opportunity.
I’m reminded of Naomi offering Ruth and Orpah an opportunity to back to Moab. Naomi had been returning home to the land of Judah, and they’d said they go with her. So they are going with her, but then Naomi once again tells them to go home. Get going, I can’t give you a son to marry, and look how my God has dealt with me, who’s land I’m headed to. Go back to your country and your gods. Well that’s a real fork in the road isn’t it. These two women had an opportunity to split from Naomi. Get off this sinking ship. Look at the tragedy that had unfolded, let’s abandon Naomi and her nasty God who let my husband die. Orpah took the opportunity to split, and she went back to Moab. But Ruth clave unto Naomi, she said your God is my God. Don’t bother telling me to leave you, because I am not. Maybe you got saved, or you tried leaving Moab. But now you’ve got the opportunity to return, just like in Hebrews 11. Many opportunities are an opportunity to return to the slop that God saved you from. Why return? An opportunity to return to what you left and should stay behind you is an opportunity to refuse and obey God instead.
Opportunities in life really do just sort out where we are at with God. How we view them. How we process them. What we see them for. God left the nations that they didn’t destroy in Canaan to prove them. To prove whether they would keep his commandments or not, to prove whether they loved him or not. So when they had an opportunity to intermarry, or follow other gods, or whatever… it proved each child of Israel. What opportunities will you take? Many pastors and preachers get sucked in by opportunity. Read 1 Kings 13, there is a man of God there who had obeyed God and God had used mightily. He’d stood up against the king of Israel. But then while sitting under an oak on the way home, he got an opportunity to have some food and fellowship with an old prophet. I’m one of you! I’m on your side. We serve the same God! We are saying essentially the same thing! And he took that opportunity, but in so doing, he disobeyed God’s word. If your opportunity is causing you to disobey God’s word, it’s not of God.
Just because you get an opportunity in life doesn’t mean God wants you to take it. Opportunities test whether you really love the Lord Jesus Christ. They test your spiritual growth and maturity. They test if there is any divine power and wisdom there. Opportunities test whether you’ll be faithful to God’s word. Don’t worry about the future judgment seat, this life right now is a fiery trial of your faith. And for many people, not much remains, not much abides the fire of life. Many opportunities seem like the best thing ever. This will enrich your life. This is something I must have. Hey, this is perfect. This is providence. This is blessing. But is it?
Joshua and the people had come into the promised land taking all before them, and they were presented with an opportunity to make a league with some people from a far off land. So they thought. But they didn’t consult God’s word, and they were deceived, and they took the opportunity, and they had to live with its consequences. They always had those Gibeonites and their gods around. All this life boils down to is opportunity. Judas Iscariot looked for an opportunity to betray Christ. Maybe you’re just looking for a opportunity to sin. Many Christians are. God gave Cain an opportunity to confess, acknowledge truth, and repent. But instead Cain said nah, I’m good thanks God. That opportunity really proved what a hateful, bitter, murdering rebel he was.
The Bible is a book of opportunity. It’s an opportunity for you to come to the light. It’s an opportunity for you to be saved. It’s an opportunity for you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s an opportunity for mercy, grace, love and truth. But for many people, they’re looking for an opportunity in the world, they’re looking for an opportunity to the flesh. And that’s why when that opportunity comes, they go for it. Christians today trade in the Bible, trade in what’s right, and trade in the truth for opportunity. They’re waiting for Satan’s offer. Jesus refused Satan’s offer, but you’re just waiting for it aren’t you. You’re waiting for your opportunity. The prodigal son got his opportunity when he was given his inheritance, and look what he did with it. It just proved he had a heart problem, a sin problem. That’s all opportunity proves, it proves ourselves. It proves whether we love God, and whether we will obey his word. Nehemiah’s enemies offered him an opportunity to meet up and work it out, but he saw straight through it. Joab offered Abner an opportunity to have a word, and Abner went for it. And he died like a fool. Because he should’ve known better, he should’ve seen what Joab was up to. It wasn’t that hard to figure out was it? Joab hated his guts, why mess around with a man like Joab. But that opportunity got him.
So how do you navigate opportunities in life? It depends on whether you really want to obey God or you just say that while already knowing what you already want to do, your mind is already made up. They did that with Jeremiah, read Jeremiah 42. They asked him, please, go and speak to God and find out what we should do, we really want to know and we will obey. But they’d already seized on the opportunity to jump ship and go down to Egypt. They’re just saying this to Jeremiah to make it look like they’re obeying God and look all religious and godly while they’re just doing what they want to do and have decided to do. Christians often have no shame when they say oh God’s leading me this way, God told me to do that, oh I feel this is of God. Come on. It all looked great and sounded great. But Jeremiah returned with what they didn’t expect. You’re a bunch of liars, you already know what you’re going to do, you’re going to do it regardless, you’re not interested in God’s word, . And they made Jeremiah the bad guy because he told them the truth. So often we as Christians are guilty of this. We’ll say this opportunity is of God, about God, for God. But it isn’t. Stop lying. Stop lying to yourself. Do you want to obey God with your opportunity or not?
Decisions in life can be hard, but most of them aren’t as hard as we make them. Often we know what’s right and what’s wrong, just there’s a battle between the flesh and the Spirit, between my will and my Father’s will. Jacob wrestled God all night, why was he wrestling with God? Because we resist, oppose and fight him the whole way. When God prevails over you, then your life will prevail. Your power with God is that he has the power. Just hang on to him like Jacob did, and he will bless your life. We spoke about David in a good sense, but in the bad sense, he saw an opportunity to abuse his position, his power, his prestige to get a woman in bed that was married to another man. It’s amazing what opportunities may come into our life which show just how deep the sin runs, how deep the unbelief runs, how deep the depravity runs. It wasn’t so hard to know what he was doing was wrong, for what he was doing was against God’s word, against holiness, against righteousness, against purity, against truth, against goodness, against love, against grace. It’s just he saw her, and he wanted her.
An opportunity that causes you to deny Christ in your life, that draws you away from him, that brings rebellion and sin… that’s not an opportunity to take. Sometimes opportunities are tougher trials than outright persecution. Because opportunities can look so good. Eve saw that tree as an opportunity to her lust and pride… and look where it got us all. Just because the opportunity is there doesn’t mean God wants you to do, or that it will be good for you. Often you have an opportunity to get what you want, but it’s not what you need or what’s best for you. If you want something, Satan will try and give you the perverted version of it, just like the honey in the carcass. You want the honey, but you’ll defile yourself getting it. Pray for wisdom. Praying for guidance. And be willing to offer your Isaac. Be willing to sacrifice what you want and see what God truly gives you. He gives good gifts, gifts that aren’t laced with poison and bitterness in the end.
The Bible says in Galatians 6:10 – “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Use your opportunities in life to do good, to do what’s right. God will give you opportunities to be blessing to others, to be a help, to be a shining light for his son Jesus Christ. When the most High is most high in your life, you’ll know what to do with the opportunities in life. Not all opportunities are ones we should take. Many opportunities really just highlight the pride and lust that is in us. If Jesus defeated the devil and all those opportunities presented him, in Christ, you can defeat yours also. Through his power. See, if you’re saved, you have the Holy Spirit. He’s there. If you’re not saved, he’s not there.
It’s funny how we don’t take opportunities in life to serve God, to obey God, to witness to someone… but we quickly jump on opportunities that advance ourselves. All the opportunities God gave David, and he took the opportunity to sin! It shows that we really aren’t as good as we think we are, it shows us where our priorities lie. If David can get it so horribly wrong and go from hero to zero… so can you and I. Let God stand on your wall and measure your life out with his plumbline. Maybe our life is out just a little bit. Maybe it’s far off to the left or the right. If you’re on the straight path, an opportunity to go left or right should be pretty obvious that it’s off the straight. When you’re on the straight road, you know what ain’t. We do live in a world of opportunity, many of which are a dead end and ill advised for the child of God. God has given us the opportunity to be saved, to be forgiven, to be redeemed, to have truth, to know truth, to live and walk in the truth. What an opportunity that is. That’s the opportunity we should take. The opportunity to believe on him and follow him in all areas of our life. May God give us all the ability to know, to discern, and make good of our opportunities in life to serve him and honour his Son with our lives in word, in deed, in spirit and in truth.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)