Have you ever said or heard someone say, “I just need the right opportunity.”
Before you can ever really have an opportunity you must know where it comes from.
2 Corinthians 2:12 in The Living Bible says:
“Well, when I got as far as the city of Troas, the Lord gave me tremendous opportunities to preach the Gospel.”
God wants us using every opportunity we have. . .RIGHT NOW.
1 Corinthians 7:31 in The Living Bible says:
“Those in frequent contact with the exciting things the world offers should make good use of their opportunities without stopping to enjoy them; for the world in its present form will soon be gone.”
Have you thought about why God gives you opportunities?
2 Corinthians 4:11 in The Living Bible says:
“Yes, we live under constant danger to our lives because we serve the Lord, but this gives us constant opportunities to show forth the power of Jesus Christ within our dying bodies.”
He gives us opportunities to showcase His power.
Let me also be very clear. . .He wants you and I to maximize every opportunity we have.
Colossians 4:5 in the New English Translation says:
“Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunities.”
So the question is. . .does the Word teach us how to create even greater opportunities in our lives?
Yes, and the answer is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:15-25 in the Weymouth Translation which says:
“See to it that no one ever repays another with evil for evil; but always seek opportunities of doing good both to one another and to all the world.
16 Be always joyful.
17 Be unceasing in prayer.
18 In every circumstance of life be thankful; for this is God's will in Christ Jesus respecting you.
19 Do not quench the Spirit.
20 Do not think meanly of utterances of prophecy;
21 but test all such, and retain hold of the good.
22 Hold yourselves aloof from every form of evil
23 And may God Himself who gives peace, make you entirely holy; and may your spirits, souls and bodies be preserved complete and be found blameless at the Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He will also perfect His work.
25 Brethren, pray for us.”
Let’s take a closer look at the seven ways to create greater opportunities for yourself.
1. Always be joyful.
How you act and react to adversity will ultimately determine whether or not you’ll ever be a success in life.
The song says “joy comes in the morning” but I want joy around all the day long. . .especially, when trouble rears its ugly head.
James 1:2 in the New Living Translation says:
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.”
The key to experiencing real joy in your life. . .is not found by where you live or work, what you drive or wear and most certainly, not by whatever you own.
The key to always being joyful is found in Proverbs 16:20in the New Living Translation which says:
“Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the Lord will be joyful.”
Sounds like a great formula for lasting success.
2. Always pray without ceasing.
Praying for one another isn’t just a good idea. . .it’s a God idea.
James 5:16 says:
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
The Amplified Bible translation of James 5:16 says:
“Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].”
If the devil is nervous when one person prays. . .just imagine how he acts when two people coming together in the place of agreement.
Ecclesiastes 4:9 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Two are better than one, because they have a good [more satisfying] reward for their labor.”
The enemy is terrified. . .petrified. . .horrified at the thought of two people coming into the prayer of agreement. . .because He understands the spiritual power that results from the power of two agreeing on anything.
That’s why the enemy will do whatever he can to keep us from coming into the power of agreement.
The enemy fears. . .that’s right he experiences fears too . . . the demon chasing and binding power of two believers who understand their authority, the potential of their agreement and the inevitable result of that union. Every demon from hell fears the power of two.
In Ecclesiastes 4:12, you see why the devil has taken up Prozac.
“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”
You, me and the Holy Ghost . . . now that’s the power packed package God knows is ready for success.
3. Always be thankful
If you’re looking for opportunities. . .even greater than before. . .you should begin recalling and praising God for the opportunities He’s given you in the past.
In fact, I encourage you to write down how God has manifested His presence in your life. . .listing the times He opened doors for you or closed doors to keep you out of trouble.
Psalm 34:1 says:
“I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
In the midst of the attack it’s more important than any other time for you to be thankful and have an attitude of gratitude praising God for all He’s done and is doing in your life.
If you think you’ve got it tough or had it rough. . .recall what old Job faced and everything he lost. . .but remember the words of Job 1:22 which says:
“In all this Job sinned not nor charged God foolishly.”
Job didn’t sin … he didn’t begin singing “Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen”… he didn’t ask to be on Oprah, Jerry Springer or the Nightly News to tell how bad things were … he did as the scripture says “not charge God foolishly” as though God didn’t know what was going on with him.
What happens when you are reverent to God no matter what your situation, circumstances or problems may be? We find the answer in Job 42:10.
“And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.”
Job’s “friends” weren’t exactly the kind of folks you’d want to hang out with. One translation even calls them “fair-weather friends.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says:
“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
4. Always be open to moves of the Holy Spirit
Your success in life. . .will be determined by whose voice you listen to.
There is only one voice that gets you absolutely accurate information and direction every time.
Galatians 5:16 in the New Living Translation says:
“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.”
Let me also say. . .it’s one thing to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. . .but it’s something entirely different when you obey and act on His instruction.
We should not only listen to, obey and act on the voice of the Holy Spirit. . .we should encourage and build up others in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jude 1:20 in the New Living Translation says:
“But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit.”
If you have brothers and sisters in the Lord. . .who share their vision and/or opportunities with you. . .you should be building them up as well.
You have an ability. . .a creativity. . .beyond your imagination.
2 Timothy 1:14 in The Living Bible says:
“Guard well the splendid, God-given ability you received as a gift from the Holy Spirit who lives within you.”
When you listen to rather than quench the voice of the Holy Spirit. . .you’ll be strengthened to accept every challenge and embrace every opportunity. . . God creates for you as it shows up.
1 Thessalonians 1:2-5 in the Message Bible:
“It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special. When the Message we preached came to you, it wasn't just words. Something happened in you. The Holy Spirit put steel in your convictions.”
I strongly encourage you to personalize 1 Thessalonians 3-4 in the Message Bible and carry it with you wherever you go.
“It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves <<Salutation>> very much but also has put his hand on <<Salutation>> for something special. When the Message we preached came to <<Salutation>>, it wasn't just words. Something happened in <<Salutation>>. The Holy Spirit put steel in <<Salutation>>’s convictions.”
5. Always treasure and maximize the gifts.
1 Thessalonians 5:20 in the Weymouth Translation says:
“Do not think meanly of utterances of prophecy.”
As I started to share some thoughts on this verse. . .God clearly directed me to discuss how the gifts He’s given us can only create greater opportunities. . .if we do something with what we’ve got.
If God has given you a gift with words.. .the ability to write creatively and inspirationally then you must be using that gift. . .before you will be given greater opportunities.
If God has given you the gift of leadership. . .you must be using that gift. . .where you are. . .before you will ever be given even greater opportunities.
If God has anointed you with the gift of teaching. . .you must be exercising that give. . .where you are before ever greater doors of opportunity will open for you.
If God has given you the gift of serving.. .you must reflect a servant’s heart in all your dealings before you will ever become great in the Kingdom of God.
Regardless of your gift. . .talent or ability. . .it’s time for you to use what you’ve got. . .right where you’re at.
Ephesians 3:7 in the Message Bible says:
“This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details. When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God's way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities.”
Your gifts, abilities and talent (money) are from God. . .what you do with it (them) is your gift to Him.
1 Corinthians 12:11 in the Message Bible says:
“All these [gifts, achievements, abilities] are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same [Holy] Spirit, Who apportions to each person individually [exactly] as He chooses.”
What you are doing with what you’ve got. . .will determine whether or not you ever get even greater opportunities in your future.
6. Always do what’s good in His sight.
God expects us to do what is right in His sight. He wants us to live our lives in such a way that we’re doing what He wants. . .not what we want or what others say is right.
Isaiah 48:17 in the New Century Version says:
“This is what the Lord, who saves you, the Holy One of Israel, says: "I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to do what is good, who leads you in the way you should go.”
God always wants us doing good for others.
Galatians 6:10 in God’s WORD Translation says:
“Whenever we have the opportunity, we have to do what is good for everyone, especially for the family of believers.”
1 Corinthians 10:33 in the New Century Version says:
“Just as I, also, try to please everybody in every way. I am not trying to do what is good for me but what is good for most people so they can be saved.”
The primary reason that you do good for others is so they can be saved.
1 Chronicles 19:13 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Be of good courage and let us behave ourselves courageously for our people and for the cities of our God; and may the Lord do what is good in His sight.”
By doing good for others. . .we’re doing what’s good in God’s sight. But more than that. . .we are creating greater opportunities for us.
Ephesians 6:8 says:
“Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.”
Whatever good you do. . .the “same” shall you receive from “the Lord.” Your future opportunities. . .your reward will not be coming from them but Him. . .and that ought to make you shout.
7. Always run mentally and physically, if necessary, from evil.
When you look at something. . .you’re focusing on that person and/or object. The Word of God is clear that He doesn’t want us looking at such things if we don’t want to live below our spiritual pay grade.
When Potiphar’s wife. . .who was no doubt beautiful. . .approached Joseph he ran from evil.
1 John 2:16 in the Amplified Bible says:
“For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one's own resources or in the stability of earthly things]--these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself].”
Never give the slightest thought or opportunity to evil.. . . because God is watching what you do and how you act and react.
Proverbs 15:3 says:
“The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”
It’s not enough to stop looking at evil. . .those with evil ways must also stop. There is an immediate as well as an eternal benefit when a person stops doing evil.
Jeremiah 25:5 says:
“They said, Turn ye again now everyone from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the LORD hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever.”
Regardless of our background, up-bringing or educational experience. . .we all have to learn to do what is right in His sight. . .but doing right is a conscious, individual choice.
Job 34:4 in the New International Readers Version says:
“So let's choose for ourselves what is right. Let's learn together what is good.”
Proverbs 9:9 in the New Living Translation says:
“Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more.”
Ignore evil. . .run away from evil by not placing yourself in a position to make a choice that would yield to temptation.
Now we’ve covered the seven ways to create greater opportunities based on 1 Thessalonians 5:15-25 in the Weymouth Translation.
Before we finish this teaching. . .let’s talk about what happens when you do what the Word says.
1 Thessalonians 5:27-28 in the Amplified Bible says:
“I solemnly charge you [in the name of] the Lord to have this letter read before all the brethren. The grace (the unmerited favor and blessings) of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) be with you all.”
You can be assured of greater opportunities in your life when you have the “grace (the unmerited favor and blessings)’ of the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 5:27-28 in The Living Bible says:
“I command you in the name of the Lord to read this letter to all the Christians. And may rich blessings from our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, every one.”
You’re assured of His rich blessings and greater opportunities when you READ YOUR BIBLE. . .DO WHAT IT SAYS.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS