“Stan,” I asked him one morning, “do you think you have ever missed any opportunities to serve God?”
“You might just as well ask me if I have ever taken a breath,” Stan replied with a laugh. “I miss those opportunities every hour of every day.”
“Every hour of every day?”
“That’s right,” Stan replied. “Missed opportunities to serve God are part of life, but they don’t have to be. As well, I think there’s a good part about missed opportunities.”
“What could be good about missing an opportunity to serve God?” I asked.
“God can use those misses,” he replied, “to teach me how not to miss the next opportunity, but that doesn’t just happen. There’s a condition that goes along with it?”
“What’s the condition?” I asked.
“I have to be open to hearing and listening to the voice of God through the Holy Spirit. And that hearing and listening needs to be followed by learning.”
“Learning? In what way?” I asked.
“I can’t just acknowledge that I blew another opportunity and go on to blow the next one. I need to learn how God wants me to respond to the next opportunity.”
“Sounds kind of like repentance,” I commented.
“Exactly,” Stan replied. I have to acknowledge my miss and ask God to show me why; and I have to ask Him how He wants me to respond differently to the next opportunity He puts in front of me.”
“Do you normally know the reason why, and what to do about it?” I asked.
“Always,” was Stan’s response. “Self is always the ‘why’. Self gets in the way. Getting self out of the way is the ‘how’ part.”
“Whenever I don’t take advantage of an opportunity God puts in front of me to serve Him, it’s usually because self steps up and says, ‘that’s not what I want to do’.”
“But,” he continued, “each time I choose to get self out of the way and do what I know God wants me to do, it gets easier because I get to hear His, ‘Well done,’ and I want to hear that more often!”
Bible verses to consider:
To one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:17.
If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. John 14:15.
He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him. John 14:21.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for wanting me to be involved in what you are doing. I confess that too often I choose not to be involved with what you are doing because I choose to do what I want to do apart from you. Please forgive me. And please help me to follow each step of your lead so I will take advantage of every opportunity to serve you. Help me to get self out of the way and do what you have for me to do while I follow you, wherever you want to lead. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: God constantly presents opportunities to serve Him. Do you agree with that? Why or why not? If you agree that God does present such opportunities, how are you doing with your response? As well as you would like? As well as God would like? If you sense changes may be required in how you look for as well as at such opportunities, how is that going to happen? Do you want it to happen?