O for Opportunity

O for Opportunity

A couple of years ago I developed a conference called Mission Possible: Re-Presenting  Jesus in a Broken World . The final chapters of Ephesians follow that same theme. Paul gives instruction as how to walk  out our destiny in troubling times.

Those of us who live in the Western world- particularly the USA & Canada can identify with the Ephesians.

Moral standards had been eroded. False religion & occult practices  abounded. Religious freedom was challenged. Political correctness was the standard of  behavior. Economic collapse was on the horizon.  Life in a big city was challenging & distracting.  Commuting took hours instead of just walking across a field into the house for supper.

Wait a minute Linda ! Are you talking about Ephesus or my city ?

Actually, I’m talking about both. Apart from our time saving devices which add 10 hours to our workweek (30  are added if we have a smartphone) the situation in Ephesus  circa AD 65 was not much different than the situation in Vancouver or New Orleans or  in my city, Calgary in 2015. 

Thirty Somethings

I suspect  that the demographics & struggles  of the church body at Ephesus were similar to those in my church in Calgary.

They were Thirty Somethings; men & women age 30 to early 40’s

  • busy raising kids & establishing  careers
  • facing economic & relational challenges
  • struggling to make ends meet
  • many  moved to the big city from smaller centers
  • few had extended family nearby
  • aging  parents added to the mix
  • they struggled to  balance family-home-job-church

 

Spiritually most were new  believers. They were faced with questions such as :

  •  How  do I live the Christian life in a rapidly changing, frightening world ?
  • How do I go deeper with God?
  • How is  faith real in the 9-5 of life?
  • I’m desperate for more of God. What do I have to do to make this happen?

 

Paul makes this statement:

  Make the Most of Every Opportunity To Do Good in These  Evil Days

An honest Thirty Something would probably say :

I Don’t Want More Opportunities

Give Me Less!

Please, Please, Please

Take Something Off My Plate .

I Can’t Take It  Anymore.

 

Maybe you feel the same way.

Are you asking the following kind of questions;

  • How do I find out what the Lord wants me to do?
  • What are the right priorities?
  • How do I balance all the demands on my life?
  • How do I find time to listen to God?
  • Which opportunity do I choose?

 

Fierce  Intentionality

Pastor Ken Blue said this:

At The End of  The Day It Is All About

My Relationship with God,

My Relationship With My Family

And

My Relationship With a Few Good Friends

In the post F for First Love we found that the Ephesians had lost their moorings. Their real relationship with Jesus didn’t seem so real any more. They were no longer Fiercely Intentional about their love for God & their love for others.

When faced with new options, new opportunities we need to ask God this question:

How does this choice – this opportunity effect

  • My relationship with You
  • My relationship with my family,
  • My relationship with  the others  close to me?

Paul modeled Fierce Intentionality in his relationship with the Ephesians

  • Intentional time
  • Intentional prayer
  • An intentional goodbye
  • An intentional letter

 

Listening For Opportunities

Jesus was never overwhelmed by demands on his time .

Jesus was never ruled by the tyranny of the urgent.

Jesus spent time with the Father morning by morning . He listened for the opportunities the Father wanted him to take that day.

I have a question for each of us but especially for you Thirty Somethings.

How do I find time to find God’s Opportunities in the crush of daily life?

I understand that extended time or any time at all with God in the morning is virtually impossible.

There is an option. It is found in chewing on one verse as we go through our day.

 

Your Turn 

Proverbs 3 : 5-6 is likely very familiar to you.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart.

Do not depend on your own understanding .

Seek his will in all you do and He will direct your path.

Step 1: Memorize this verse

Step 2: Repeat it slowly over & over. Think about it line by line or even word by word.

Step 3: Tell Him about the day ahead.Tell him about the options/opportunities that lay before you. Tell him about any confusion or anxiety you have.

Step 4:  Listen for His response.

Step 5:  As soon as you have time record any thoughts/impressions .

 

Virtually yours

linda

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3 thoughts on “O for Opportunity

  1. In the crush of April, I haven’t been able to enjoy – as much as I’d have liked – my favorite blog discoveries, as I participated in the A to Z challenge. But I am grateful to have a place to come to practical perspectives on faith now that that madness is over. What you write is rich and requires contemplation, and is not easily squeezed into said crushed life. I really like the idea of mulling over one verse, maybe even on days when I have extended time. I am going to pull out some 3×5 cards and see if have it jotted down will help me re-focus throughout the day. Thanks!

    • Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. They are just what I needed to hear today. I put up Q for Questions today. Can I put you on my email (Mailchimp) list?