The Importance Of Opportunities For Every Believer In Christ
Copyright © 2009 by Robert Woeger.
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Publisher: Robert Woeger
Every opportunity, and each decision based on opportunities, is important. Life is made up of successfully discerned and followed instructions and opportunities, or it is made up of a series of failures based on missed or unwise opportunities that are pursued. Opportunities can be blessings, designed to enrich you, or traps that are designed to ensnare and deceive you. Consider carefully the consequences of your actions and decisions.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;..." Romans 1:16.
All Scripture references in this writing are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
U.S. Copyright Office Registration Number TX0006969084. Registered on 03/03/2009.
Opportunities are some of the most important things in life, but people often ignore, neglect, or miss them. We all need to realize the importance of embracing and discovering true and beneficial opportunities.
If opportunities were not important, why does the enemy of our souls fight us so hard in this area, trying to get us to make wrong choices, and to neglect true opportunities that are beneficial to our growth in Christ?
Instead we are often bombarded with wrong opportunities, that, when followed and accepted, will cause sin and a separation to come between us and our relationship with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. God does not permit any sin to be in His Presence at all. That is why Jesus Christ had to come, and pay the penalty for our sins, through the great atoning sacrifice of His shed blood, so that we could have right standing before God.
Timing is essential to take proper advantage of an opportunity. Opportunities may knock, but often there is a very limited time which exists for us to "open the door" to accept and "invite in" each particular opportunity. Procrastination is the enemy and destroyer of opportunities. Opportunities "go away," or expire, if neglected.
You Either Accept Or Reject An Opportunity
Each opportunity that exists does not always present itself, but must often be searched for and discovered. Whether you are aware of the existence of an opportunity, or not, in no way diminishes the power that the opportunity holds for those that discover it. Think of opportunities as stepping stones, or stairs to climb, to reach a specific goal, place, thing, or person. Opportunities that you successfully complete will advance you.
The key is to discern the right opportunity for each moment, out of the many opportunities that want your attention. You can not take every opportunity, as there is not enough time to give each one the proper time and attention that it deserves. Opportunities must be acted upon in a timely manner, or they will be missed.
You accept or reject each opportunity by deciding whether to embrace it or not, and by deciding to spend the necessary time to pursue it or not. The proof of your acceptance of an opportunity is by your pursuit of it. When you fail to pursue an opportunity, you abort the success that you would have gained by completing it.
Not all opportunities are from God, and many are traps of the enemy to entice you to sin and abort God's plan for your life. That is why you must learn to hear God's voice yourself and be able to discern truth from falsehood. Just like a farmer needs to purchase the best seed for the desired harvest, you need to find the best opportunities that will birth God's desired result for your life. Do not ignore opportunities out of the fear of making a mistake, but use each potential opportunity to hone your skill of decision making and discernment.
As my writing The Consequences details, there are consequences based on whether we accept or reject each opportunity in life. We will either bear good or bad fruit depending on who we choose to follow and believe.
Whom do we allow to present their opportunities in our life, and whose wisdom are we availing ourself of? There are many voices speaking to people. The key is discerning God's true voice and His true messengers, and getting into proper alignment with His instructions contained in His Holy Word. We must demonstrate to God that we respect His instructions and His opportunities, by passionately pursuing His Wisdom.
Wisdom is the ability to make the right, godly choices when faced with a decision between various things. God tells us throughout His Word to seek His Wisdom. The Holy Spirit reveals and imparts God's Wisdom. God commended Solomon for choosing wisdom above all other things that he could have asked God for.
Wisdom is a both a choice and an opportunity, that unlocks the favor, blessings, riches, hope, provision, and the love of God to abundantly flow into our lives. God responds favorably to those who seek His Wisdom. The discernment of the difference between two or more things, and choosing rightly, is walking in wisdom.
"Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her." Proverbs 4:5-8. We need wisdom from above (James 3:13-18).
Wisdom leads to the knowledge of God. The more wisdom from God that we have, the more understanding of Who He is, and how He operates, is ours. We are wise, if we know what He likes, and then we do what is pleasing in His sight. Wisdom tells us the protocol of how to properly approach God and how to respect Him.
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." Hosea 4:6. We are warned not to forget, or have a lack of, His Knowledge, or we will perish.
Wisdom is the key that upholds our right standing with God. We have access to God through Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit always lifts up Jesus Christ and points our way to The Father through Jesus' blood.
The Most Important Opportunity: Salvation Through Jesus Christ
"See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them." Deuteronomy 30:15-20. Not everyone accepts God's opportunity!
We must trust, believe, and hope in Jesus Christ, who alone has paid in full the penalty for all of our sins. We are justified by faith in Christ, having faith in His blood. See Romans 3:23-26, 5:1-2,9, and 1 John 1:5-7. "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." Acts 16:31. "And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself." Luke 10:27. See also Deuteronomy 6:5.
Opportunity To Belong To Him
We are either children of God or children of the devil. God has given us a wonderful opportunity to belong to Him, through Jesus Christ's atoning blood sacrifice on The Cross. We are to be living epistles of His Love.
"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13:34-35.
"BEHOLD, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." 1 John 3:1-24.
"He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep." John 21:17.
We show our respect and love for God by demonstrating His Love to others, and being His Hands extended.
"...If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us." 1 John 4:12. "And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also." 1 John 4:21.
Be Careful With Every Opportunity
God sends many opportunities to us along the journey that we call our life. It matters what we do with each opportunity that we are presented with. Stewardship and wisdom are involved in separating and knowing the difference between opportunities, and considering the ultimate consequences of accepting them or not. God holds us accountable for our actions, and for our thoughts. It has been said that as a man thinks, so is he. Every thought we have must be taken captive to Christ, and to His Ways. We are to be continually making choices, and clear decisions, based on the truth and wisdom of God, coming to us through Jesus Christ, as revealed by the precious Holy Spirit, and taught in the Holy Bible. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17. We need to hear and read The Word in order to build our faith.
Your decisions decide your next opportunity, and those opportunities decide your progress and wealth. God loves to give true followers of Christ opportunities to grow, mature, and have a deeper walk with Him. We should desire the deeper spiritual gifts that He has waiting for those who qualify to receive them. "NOW concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant." 1 Corinthians 12:1, all of 12, 13, and 14.
Each Opportunity Is An Invitation
Along with each opportunity, is an implied invitation to partake in one or more particular activities, with the end result being growth in one or more areas. Each opportunity, that you successfully finish, will open doors to future opportunities, will confirm what you believe, and will help you grow. God desires us to be fruitful and to increase, in everything we do. We are not to be idle, but rather we are to grow, increase, and prosper.
"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth." 3 John 1:2. God responds to a person's passion to change, not their potential. Opportunities test our beliefs.
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." Genesis 1:27-28.
Opportunity For Wisdom
Seek God's Wisdom. We must not seek after worldy wisdom, but rather we are to seek after God's Wisdom.
"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's. LET a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." 1 Corinthians 3:19-23, 4:1-2.
God is seeking those people who are faithful to every area of being a believer in Christ, without denying any part of what God or Christ has said or done, or Who they are. Faithfulness is the total package of belief in God and in His Son, Jesus. The purity of faith accepts and believes all of the promises of Jesus Christ.
There is wisdom in not trying to reason out with your mind the things of God and of Jesus Christ. This is the problem with many scientists and evolutionists today. If they can not sense or measure it, they reject it. God is not quantified or measured by our carnal senses or by our fleshly wisdom. In fact, The Bible says that the heathen world will reject the Wisdom of God and consider it to be as foolishness:
"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18. "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." 1 Corinthians 1:21.
"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence." 1 Corinthians 1:27-29. "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." 2 Corinthians 4:7. He gets all the glory!
When we have found true wisdom that comes from God, we are not to put it as a candle under a bushel, but rather we are to expose it so all the world may see and be blessed by it. See Matthew 5:14-16.
Opportunity For Rejoicing
"Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice." Philippians 4:4.
"Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation." Habakkuk 3:18.
Too many people forget that they need to allow themselves to rejoice in the Lord. Each Christian needs to continually rejoice in the Lord, because their name has been written in the Lamb's Book Of Life.
"Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven." Luke 10:20.
Jesus Christ, Our Soon Coming King, will come sooner than we think, and will catch many unaware of His Coming. We must continually be living with an expectant attitude of hope, rejoicing in His Soon Coming.
"And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." Luke 21:28.
"Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth." Psalm 96:11-13.
Rejoice because we are on the winning team, as our Lord has openly defeated all the works of the enemy! We are to walk in the revelation that we are winners in and through Jesus Christ, and we are not defeated! The enemy of our souls wants us to believe a lie that we are somehow defeated, so that we do not exercise the authority that Christ purchased for us. Jesus came that we may have life and have it more abundantly!
"I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." John 10:9-11.
People who are downcast have lost the focus on rejoicing in The Lord and in The God of their Salvation.
"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." Psalm 42:11.
We must trust the Lord at all times, and our praise (for Him) should continually be in our mouths. Each and every moment is an opportunity to demonstrate our devotion, acknowledgement, trust, and faith in Christ.
"I WILL bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears." Psalm 34:1-4.
The Essence Of Opportunity
Before we proceed talking about the many different kinds of opportunities that we are presented with and how to deal with them, let us stop and examine what makes up the essence of each opportunity.
Opportunities are conditional. Opportunities often decay, and are limited in the time they are valid. You must seize an opportunity while it is still in effect. Missing an opportunity is like arriving the day after the sale at a store ends, and trying to insist that you be given the opportunity to buy some item at yesterday's sale price. It does not work! Opportunities can not often be resurrected, and if revived, they often have less of the benefits.
Once someone dies, they can no longer accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior! A missed opportunity!
Opportunities are often conditional upon the invitation being accepted by a certain date, at a certain location, and having to do with specific people. If God invites you to minister at a certain place to specific people who will be present, you can not presume that you can successfully complete the task by going somewhere else or going to different people. You were invited by God to a specific place with specific people who needed you. You can not be two weeks early or a few days late. God wants us to be always on time and in the right place.
Every moment is an opportunity to do something. We can rest, work, eat, sleep, or perform a type of activity. God is looking for those people who will serve Him and be diligent. Diligence demonstrates to God that we are serious about our love, trust, belief, respect, and hope in Him, and in His Son, Jesus Christ. Slothfulness, on the other hand, shows God and others that we do not respect them, and that we are poor managers of time. God is seeking good stewards of the time, talents, and the life which He has given unto them here on earth.
Respect attracts opportunities, disrespect pushes opportunities away and may abort existing opportunities. What you do not respect will flee from you. Life depends on your response to opportunities you are given.
Are you going to accept, deny, obey, or reject an opportunity? You can not accept every opportunity, nor should you! The wisdom and discernment you need to choose opportunities should come solely from God.
Ignore opportunities to your peril. Do not miss out on valid opportunities! Life is a series of opportunities, and the measure of your life is how you handle opportunities. Appreciating an opportunity shows respect to the giver of the opportunity. Properly followed instructions will satisfy the conditions of an opportunity and will entitle you to receive further opportunities, which will help you to advance, succeed, grow, and develop.
Consider: What are you giving God an opportunity to do and show out on your behalf by your faith?
Too often we tend to limit God by our lack of faith and by our hardness of heart. Make sure you are totally giving God a pure, holy, clean vessel that His Spirit can flow through, without any inpurity or obstructions.
"Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." 1 John 3:21-24.
The Necessity To Be Spirit Led And To Crucify Our Flesh
"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." Galatians 5:16.
"IF ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." Colossians 3:1-4. "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." Galatians 5:24-25. We must subdue fleshly cravings. "I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:1-2. You must continually renew your carnal mind with the Word of God! Focus all your strength, energy, and concentration on spiritual things, that is, to be led by the Spirit of God. Things of the flesh will serve to limit our faith and belief in Christ, but the Power of God is unleashed in and through our lives when we choose to be led by His Spirit. Seek those things which are above -- desire them. Remember that you were bought with a great price, by Christ's blood, so walk in His resurrection power.
"Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Matthew 26:41. Our whole heart and mind needs to be focused on God. "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15. "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you... in all wisdom; ..." Colossians 3:12-16.
Opportunity To Trust And Acknowledge Him
"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6.
This passage of Scripture holds one of the most important keys to the life of every Christian, in that:
1. We are commanded to Trust in The Lord with all our heart, without any doubt or wavering.
2. We must not rely on our mind, on our own reasoning abilities, or on our own understanding. God's ways are so above our ways. Who are we to think that we know better than God? See Isaiah 55:8-9, Psalm 8:4.
3. We must continually acknowledge Him in everything that we do, think, and say. Allow Him to direct us.
Acknowledgement of Jesus Christ, and of God, is so vitally important, yet few Believers in Christ realize the need to consistantly exhibit this behavior, which demonstrates our dependance on God and faith in Him. When you acknowledge Christ, you are also acknowledging God, for the Father is always glorified by Jesus. Stay in an expectant attitude of trust and faith in Christ. Always remember: I am nothing, He is everything!
The Holy Spirit is now actively glorifying both Jesus Christ and The Heavenly Father. "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father." John 16:13-16. Jesus does The Father's will.
When you fail to acknowledge Jesus in everything that you do, say, and think, you are basically telling God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit that you have decided to leave them out of that part of your life, and instead you have chosen to rely on your own wisdom, on your own knowledge, and on your own self-sufficiency. This self-reliance leads to pride, and all manner of sin, and results in us becoming separated from God.
We are constantly given choices, opportunities, and instructions that will test us to determine how yielded we are to God, to see if we are truly walking out our life in humility, having our flesh crucified with Christ. One of the main ways that we can evaluate our progress is in examining how often we are acknowledging Christ.
If we are truly seeking first the Kingdom Of God (Matthew 6:33) and His Righteousness, then we will seek Christ with all of our heart, soul, and mind. We will realize that everything we have comes in and through Jesus Christ, and that we are nothing apart from Him! If we are looking unto Jesus as both the author and finisher of our faith, then all good things will be added to us, and He will be the focus of our hope and life.
"WHEREFORE seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1-2.
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning" James 1:17. Acknowledge God as your source for life.
Opportunity For Hope
We are blessed by God if we put our trust, confidence, and hope in the God of our salvation, and in Jesus. We honor God when we fully believe, trust, and hope in His Son, Jesus Christ. Faith is confidence in God.
"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is." Jeremiah 17:7.
"O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him." Psalm 34:8.
"I WILL bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth." Psalm 34:1.
"Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple. By terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea:" Psalm 65:4-5. Jesus is the true, sure hope of each Believer.
"Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily." Colossians 1:12-29.
"Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." Ephesians 1:9-14.
Opportunity To Be Led By The Spirit
"NOW concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant." 1 Corinthians 12:1
In an earlier section of this writing I wrote about The Necessity To Be Spirit Led And To Crucify Our Flesh. God has given us an opportunity to partake of many deep things of the Spirit, if we will hunger after these spiritual things. We must be fully qualified to receive these wonderful gifts that the Spirit of God has for us.
There is much power in the gifts of the Spirit, so the Holy Spirit chooses those whom He can trust to impart these wonderful gifts to. Many Christians are lacking in various things/areas due to their lack of knowledge concerning spiritual gifts. Jesus gave us the wonderful Holy Spirit so that we might be equipped and taught concerning the things of the Spirit, including the various spiritual laws that apply in each of our lives.
Jesus does not want us ignorant concerning spiritual things, nor to be ignorant of the enemy's devices. Power is available to those who pursue it. Knowledge unlocks God's Power. The Holy Spirit is the source of power.
Doesn't it make sense that we should better familiarize ourselves with God's power source, The Holy Spirit? People often want things from God and from Jesus Christ, but they do not properly understand the protocol of how they should approach God and receive these things from Him. We have so many powerful promises from God through Jesus Christ, yet few people know how to properly appropriate and receive them.
Just like you would be unwise to touch a high power electric distribution line, you could be in for a big shock if you do not know how to properly tap into the source of God's Power. If you have the wrong polarity, or the wrong type or size of connector, you will be prevented from receiving the intended power that you need.
Turn everything over to God and be led entirely by His Spirit, and stop trying to figure everything out with your mind and reasoning ability. Choose to crucify your flesh, and instead by led by the Holy Spirit. The things of the Spirit are not discerned by the natural mind, which is an enemy of spiritual things.
The Holy Spirit is the source of power, and operates and empowers the various spiritual gifts. He distributes the various gifts of the spirit as He chooses. The gifts are separate from one another, but He is their source.
The gifts are distinct in function from each other, yet all flow from the Holy Spirit, the same source of power. Faith needs to be present alongside each gift of the Spirit, but faith alone, without the power contained in the spiritual gift, will not produce the desired effect. Just like faith without works is dead, faith without the gift will not produce the result. If you need healing, then you need faith combined with the gifts of healing being in operation. If you need a miracle, you need faith combined with the gift of miracles. The same goes for all of the other spiritual gifts as well. Faith qualifies you to receive the power, but you also need the gift to be in operation, which contains the power, to receive the desired manifestation or result that you seek.
We must simply believe in the gifts of the Spirit, and Jesus must always be magnified through the gifts. If we start to get "puffed up" and filled with pride, thinking we have done some work, instead of the free gift given from God, we are in serious trouble. The gifts of the Spirit must be handled properly just like electricity must be handled properly and respected. There is much power available to Believers in Christ, waiting to be used. God and Jesus are seeking wise stewards who properly know how to operate in faith using gifts of the Spirit.
"NOW concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will." 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. The Holy Spirit chooses to give gifts as He wills.
Our assignment is to keep striving to seek the Kingdom Of God and His Righteousness (Matthew 6:33), and we must continually crucify our flesh, acknowledging God always through Christ, careful to remember that, "He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:30. We must continually be looking unto Jesus, whom all things come through. We come to God the Father only by the access granted to us through Jesus Christ. We must rely on the precious Holy Spirit, Who empowers and guides us into all wisdom, truth, and knowledge. We must be good stewards, having good character, and continue to ask, seek, and knock, in pursuit of God.
The gifts are given out according to the Holy Spirit, which He will distribute as He chooses. The gifts will be given to always lift up, magnify, and glorify Jesus Christ, and are never for your glory. Desire spiritual gifts.
God wants us to operate in the purity of the gifts of the Spirit, just as the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are all pure, like gold tried by fire. "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire..." Revelation 3:18.
The Holy Spirit is the power and He dwells in us, in each Believer. The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit releases the gifts, "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal." 1 Corinthians 12:7. Spiritual gifts are given so that we may have an opportunity of service to other people.
"Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit." 1 Corinthians 12:4. The Holy Spirit is the source of, and the power behind, the various spiritual gifts. Various lists of spiritual gifts are mentioned in The Bible, and there are many spiritual gifts which overlap on various lists, yet there is no complete list given, which may imply that there are more than those gifts specifically listed. These lists of spiritual gifts, and offices of ministry, may be found in: Ephesians 4:11, Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 12:28-30.
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ, Jesus gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers.
The spiritual gifts listed in The Bible include: prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, ruling, showing mercy, workers of miracles, gifts of healing, helps, speaking with tongues, interpreting tongues, governments, diversities of tongues, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, and discerning of spirits.
Spiritual gifts should be in unity with the fruit: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23.
Opportunity For Awareness
Being aware of your surroundings, by taking inventory of the people and things around you, and anticipating likely outcomes, is wisdom, and will cause you to be prepared to face things before they happen. No one really enjoys getting caught unaware by unexpected negative situations or people. When danger is almost at your door, wouldn't it be nice to be aware of it, so that you can properly be prepared to deal with and face it?
Awareness is a blessing and can be put to proper use. It is a fact that some people are more aware than others. Many people simply react to their surroundings and to the actions of other people. They seem to be passive, and "just along for the ride" through life, being tossed around to and fro. Some people are oblivious to the world and the people around them, paying little attention, not being aware of potential dangers and threats.
God warns us through His Word, and by His Spirit, of people and things to be aware of. Sometimes we will have an uneasy feeling when entering into a place or being around someone. I believe that is a warning that we should be aware, and extra cautious, of where we are, and of what is going on around us. The Scripture says that, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: ..." Hosea 4:6, and also, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world." 1 Peter 5:6-9. We are to be aware, and not ignorant, of the enemy's devices. God knows that we will be going through some difficult things in life.
Nothing catches God unawares or surprises Him. He admonishes us, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." Ephesians 6:10-11. "...God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." James 4:6-10. Awareness helps ward off evil.
"I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:9-10. Satan comes to steal life from us. Jesus came to open the door for a new life spending eternity with Him and His Father. Are we aware of this opportunity? Many people are missing Heaven, unaware of this wonderful opportunity for Salvation through Jesus Christ!
We need to be always aware of the opportunities and the people around us. They may be the golden keys to unlock a new phase of growth or blessings in our life or ministry. Many people are afraid of change, so they avoid seeking out and accepting opportunities that God has planned for them. They avoid having to change.
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." Galatians 6:7-10. Look for, and be aware of, opportunities to bless others, especially other Believers.
Opportunity To Be Uncompromising
Compromise is a word that means that you have permitted something that does not belong, to be involved in a situation or a relationship. It is a breach of the trust or confidence that someone has chosen to give to you. Compromise wrecks relationships/lives, acts similar to contamination or pollution, and can do much damage. Too often people want to be people pleasers, and try to be popular with others instead of being God pleasers.
When you cease to believe or trust in someone, you are demonstrating that the trust has been compromised. Concerning God, and His Son, Jesus Christ, we are to maintain our faith, our confidence, in Him at all times.
When we waver in our faith, we are showing God that we do not trust Him. The moment our faith wavers, a breach is formed between us and the Almighty. We stop pleasing God when our faith is compromised.
"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6.
"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering..." Hebrews 10:23. See also James 1:6-8.
"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6.
God is seeking those who will diligently believe in Him and serve Him, without any hint of compromise. Seek God's Wisdom: "I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me." Proverbs 8:17.
"Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass." Psalm 37:4-5.
When we compromise in any area, we potentially can open up the door to be attacked by the enemy, as sin, a separation from God, will likely result from our thoughts, words, and our actions. Jesus came to free us from the curse and bondage that sin brings, but many people are having trouble getting, and staying, free from sin. The key is to turn everything over to Jesus Christ, and stop trying to reason anything out with our mind. We must have The Mind Of Christ so we are not led around by our fleshly, carnal mind which is not spiritual. We are commanded to renew our mind, through the washing which comes by the water of the Word of God.
We must take on and have the character of Jesus Christ, as revealed to us by God's Word and the Holy Spirit. The gifts of the Spirit operate by, and according to, the fruit of the Spirit, which is the character of Christ.We must allow the Holy Spirit to discipline us in three key areas in order for the fruit and gifts of the Spirit to properly operate in, and through, our lives: unity, purity, and forgiveness. We are told to pursue love, and desire the spiritual gifts (see 1 Corinthians 14:1). We need the Power of the Spirit in order to do anything. God works through the Power of the Spirit that is within us. "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us," Ephesians 3:20. How much power are we allowing God to impart to work in us by His Holy Spirit? Unity in the Spirit (Ephesians 4:1-6), Purity in the Spirit (Ephesians 4:17-32, Ephesians 5:1-21) and Forgiveness are all vital to walk the way that Christ intends for us to walk as directed by the Spirit. We must continually walk in purity.