Opportunities. They present themselves constantly. Day-in and day-out, through a suggestion or a question, a thought or connection or new information. You make more choices than you realize in any given day and, unfortunately, have probably missed more opportunities than you’d like to admit.
- We miss some opportunities for lack of attention or understanding.
- Some we purposefully pass up for something we want more.
- Others we avoid, for reasons maybe only we know.
What we call a lack of opportunity usually has more to do with not being ready for it, rather than not being given a chance. I know this has been the case in my own life. I’ve often had to overcome spiritual, mental, and physical obstacles to get myself to the place where I’d step into the ring of possibility. As long as I denied my personal hurdles and entertained thoughts of never being able to do certain things, many prospects passed by as I looked the other way.
God speaks a powerful and challenging word in Isaiah 43:19 AMP
Behold, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs forth;
do you not perceive
and know it and
will you not give heed to it?
I will even make a way
in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
God is forever doing a new thing in your life. Change is constant. Some change looks to be inconsequential, but it always holds value in God’s economy. And with change comes opportunity. If you’re not intentional, you may miss the signs. You may not perceive or heed the open door. You may be so convinced of the improbability of opportunity that you dismiss favor when it comes your way.
But look again at Isaiah 43 (above). Not only does God tell you of coming opportunities, He plans to make a way where there looks to be no way. He wants you to go forward and succeed. Although the obstacles to your opportunity may looking daunting, He has taken that into account and still extends the invitation. Let’s look at some common road-blocks. As you read through, you’ll notice they overlap, emphasizing the importance of getting free from their influence.
Reasons Why You May Miss or Avoid Opportunities
1. Unaddressed soul issues.
Fear, offence, rejection, shame, despair… These wreak havoc in your life when not dealt with. Often, by the time the kids are grown and out of the house, we’ve swept a lot of personal struggles under the rug or in the closet. Honestly, we didn’t always have the time and energy to focus on them earlier. (And taking care of the kids was an easy excuse.)
How do you recognize if you have unresolved soul issues?
- Do you find yourself avoiding someone or something, consistently?
- Do you automatically point the finger to blame someone else when something goes wrong?
- Do certain words or actions of others instantly or unexpectedly set off your emotions?
- Have you lost hope for change?
If you can identify with any of these questions, the Holy Spirit wants to speak truth to your mind and bring healing to your heart. We don’t know how long we each will live, but every day free of fear, shame, and hopelessness is worth the process of healing and opens up new, exciting possibilities for your future.
We’re all busy it seems, but there’s a place where busyness works against you. You’re no longer accomplishing what you want, but just barely keeping the plates spinning. When you have an unhealthy habit of busyness…
- your focus is often “elsewhere” or in only one specific place, to the detriment of all else.
- you don’t have time to wait on or listen to the Holy Spirit.
- your security and affirmation come from what you do.
- you feel the need to control what you’re doing and where you’re going.
Being active is not bad. But busyness to the destruction of yourself and others will cause you to miss the doors to God’s best. Slow down and make deliberate, purposeful decisions that feed into your priorities and give margin for new opportunities as they come along. You’ll be so thankful you did.
Opportunities are often missed simply because we don’t care one way or another if things change. We don’t recognize the value of an opportunity and, therefore, don’t investigate. Instead of curiosity and adventure, apathy keeps one in a rut of complacency. It’s important to recognize this rut and give the Holy Spirit room to lead you out. Ask for the heart of a child. Ask for the joy of living in wonder. Ask, and expect to receive.
Ignorance is nothing more than a lack of knowledge, exposure, or understanding. The older I get, the more I’m aware of how much I don’t know. Every day I purposefully learn something new. I expose myself to people, ideas, and places that don’t naturally come on my path. When a desirable opportunity arises, I want to be prepared by having gained the needed wisdom and experience beforehand. I want to give the Holy Spirit plenty to work with.
This may be the hardest hurdle to overcome. When our pride grows to a place where we’re unwilling to change, we’ve stepped into a room and locked the door behind us. We are simply unwilling to look at the opportunities that come our way.
Pride isn’t impossible to overcome. Change begins with being willing to be willing. God can do a lot when you crack the door even the slightest bit to His presence. To His words. To His power to transform. He sees treasure in you that you don’t. And He knows you’re able to accomplish what you could never imagine. If you’re willing to trust His wisdom and love, He will lead you out from under the yoke of pride and into bright new opportunities.
I love this quote by Lisa Bevere:
“You were not created to live small & safe. You were created to live fierce & brave.”
Oh, may we get this truth into our thinking. Let us dream and believe and step out to meet the new thing God presents to us. Opportunities may come in a million different forms, from a word spoken in passing to a new career to starting a new friendship. Look for God’s fingerprints. They will be on the ones He designed for you to walk in. He is for you and is working for your very best.
For from old no one has heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has eye seen a God besides You, Who works and shows Himself active on behalf of him who [earnestly] waits for Him.”
Isaiah 64:4 AMP
A few verses to help lift you over the hurdles…
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.”
Colossians 3:1-3 NLT
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
Philippians 4:8 NASB
For nothing is impossible with God.”
Luke 1:37 NLT