When Opportunity Knocks

When Opportunity Knocks
 
 
When Christians seek direction for their lives (A.K.A. ‘God’s Will’), there are four sources of information to help direct us: God’s Word, Prayer, Circumstances and Advice. Let’s take a moment to examine each of these in the context of seeking God’s Will.
 
 
God’s Word
  • Relevance: The requirements, rules and principles given by God for our good and His glory.
  • Reliability: The Word of God is 100% reliable when correctly understood and applied.
  • Resources: Personal Bible Study, Group Bible Study, Devotions, Sermons, Books, Discussions with Other Believers
  • Risks: The Word of God is often misunderstood and misapplied. Strong desires for a specific outcome can lead even mature Christians to act contrary what the Bible teaches.
Prayer
  • Relevance: The leading of Holy Spirit to align our hearts with what God desires.
  • Reliability: God’s part in prayer is always loving, holy and right.
  • Resources: Personal Prayers, Group Prayers, Prayers of Others
  • Risks: Prayer is two-way communication with God; we must openly share our hearts with Him and also ‘listen’ for His response(s). Unfortunately, we often ‘hear’ what we want, not what we need.
Circumstances
  • Relevance: The unfolding of events according to God’s sovereign purposes.
  • Reliability: God is always in complete control of all things; He rules creation perfectly.
  • Resources: The events of your life (Opportunities, Breaks, Calamities, Confirmations)
  • Risks: Sin, in all its forms, has blinded many to the eternal purposes of God. The fallen world we live in can mislead even devoted followers of Christ. Sometimes we twist circumstances to justify our desires.
Advice
  • Relevance: The counsel from mature Christians that confirm, negate or delay our decisions.
  • Reliability: Reliability of advice is based on the Godly knowledge, experience, wisdom and obedience of the person providing it.
  • Resources: Input given by others (Congratulations, Warnings, Suggestions, Hesitations)
  • Risks: Some people are hesitant to be completely open and honest when asked for advice because they fear damaging the relationship. Sometimes we hear what we want regardless of what is said. If you seek advice from someone not qualified to give it, you will most likely receive poor counsel.
 
 
In the Bible, we are introduced to David in the Book of 1 Samuel. Most of us are familiar with the man who defeated Goliath, became King of Israel, led Israel to many military victories, had an adulterous affair with Bathsheba, was the father of Solomon and was the head of the kingly family line from which Jesus Christ was born. But many may have missed the tremendous lesson in David’s story about not misinterpreting circumstances and advice.
 
 
In 1 Samuel chapters 13- 15 we see the decline of the first King of Israel Saul. 1 Samuel 15:26 reveals God’s rejection of Saul as king. And even though David was then anointed as King of Israel by the prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 16:13), it was many years before David assumed the role of king. The remainder of 1 Samuel is an intricate story that culminates with the death of Saul and three of his sons.
 
 
Before he died, King Saul tried to kill David many times. Twice Saul threw a spear at David. Many times Saul and His army sought after David with the intent of killing him. And in the midst of being hunted, on two different occasions David had the opportunity to kill King Saul.
 
  • In a Cave
    • 1 Samuel 24:4 Then the men of David said to him, “This is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it seems good to you.’” And David arose and secretly cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.
  • In Saul’s Camp
    • 1 Samuel 26:8 Then Abishai said to David, “God has delivered your enemy into your hand this day. Now therefore, please, let me strike him at once with the spear, right to the earth; and I will not have to strike him a second time!”
 
But in both of these circumstances, David rejected the temptation to misinterpret the circumstances and the bad advice he was given; he honored God with his words and actions (see 1 Samuel 24:6 and 1 Samuel 26:9). It is very hard to truly appreciate the significance of David’s restraint without reading all of 1 Samuel (actually, Genesis 1 Samuel). However, just from the details included in this devotion, it is clear to see that God has provided a tremendous example of how important it is to put His requirements, rules and principles above our own desires.
 
 
When you are seeking God’s Will for your life, if you have a big decision to make, use all the Godly resources at your disposal to help guide you in your decisions and actions.   Remember to weigh the truth of God’s Word, the power of Prayer, the reality of your Circumstances and the wisdom of Advice against the finite perspective of man, the moral weaknesses of humanity, the influence of living in a fallen world and the resulting tendency to misinterpret information and circumstances while selectively taking advice that suits our desires.
 
 
When Opportunity Knocks, put God’s standards above personal desire. Thank Him when the two align; trust Him when they don’t. But always praise, worship, obey and appreciate Him.
 
 
Prayer
 
 
Father, as a result of our humanity, discerning Your Will can sometimes be difficult. Thank You for providing Your Word and Your Spirit to guide us. I pray for wisdom and obedience for those who truly love You and desire to glorify Your Name with their lives. May Your peace fill the hearts of those who have surrendered themselves to You. Make their way straight. In Christ’s name I pray, Amen.