When Opportunity Knocks

Ephesians 5:15 – 17 “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”

Have you ever thought about how many decisions we make, each and every day? Should I get up, or sleep a few more minutes? What should I wear? Breakfast or just coffee? Should I go through the yellow light or stop? Should I gossip about my friend, knowing it will hurt her deeply if she finds out? Should I lie about my credentials and hope no one catches me?

Each and every day, we are faced with many opportunities to do the right thing. But doing the right thing isn’t easy. So we must each make one important decision, which will affect every other decision we make: Do I want to be a wise person, or a foolish person?

Nearly 2,000 years ago, Paul wrote that the days are evil. Now, more than ever, we are living in evil days. It is easier than ever to make wrong choices. Society seems to encourage the very behaviors that God warned us against! But remember, a foolish person almost always does the easy thing. A wise person, on the other hand, always tries to do the right thing.

But before we can be wise, before we can do the right thing, we have to decide what the right thing is. And we can always determine the right thing by asking ourselves, “What would God have me do?” After all, God is good. He is only good. There is no wrong or impure or unjust or dark or evil or mean thing in Him. He is light and He is love. When we remember that His goal for each of us is to make us like Him – full of love and goodness and kindness and compassion and truth and light, then it is much easier to figure out the right things.

Wisdom comes from God. But “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God,’ ” (Psalm 14:1). So, if we are going to live wisely, we must always seek to know God’s will. And when we seek Him, we will always find Him, (Jer. 29:13). By seeking God, and by making the most of every opportunity to do the right thing, we will make wise choices in our lives. Gradually, choice by choice by choice, we will build for ourselves the kind of upstanding, honorable, peace-filled lives that God wants each of us to have.

James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

Dear Father, I want to be wise in the decisions I make. I want to make the most of every opportunity to do the right thing. Please help me to do that, as I seek Your will.


11 Responses to When Opportunity Knocks

  1. April 20, 2008 #

    I’ve come across the passage from James three times in as many days – on another blog, in today’s sermon at church, and now here. I think there’s a strong message for me!

  2. April 20, 2008 #

    Lillie, That is one of my favorite passages in scripture. It is so comforting to know that, when we don’t know what to do, He will help us!

    Thanks for stopping by. 🙂


  3. April 21, 2008 #

    Dear Renae,
    we also have quite a few important family decisions to make these days, that will for sure affect our future.
    I found your words, words of the right time.
    I have and will continue to pray for guidance.

    I so remember thirty nine years ago, I was applying for two colleges for education either as a teacher or as a nurse for the mentally handicapped.
    I prayed God that I might be let in where he wanted me to be.
    I was accepted as a student on both places and had to make my own choice.

    What I learned? I cannot command God, he also wants me to take responsibility myself for the gifts I’ve been granted.

    I’ve never stopped pray for guidance, but I also know sometimes the decision has to be mine.
    It would simply be too easy to cast all the blame on an unjust God if things went wrong.
    But He is just and loving, on thst I can relay.
    From Felisol

  4. April 21, 2008 #

    Good words, Felisol. You are right. There are some choices that are left to us! I remember going to a writers’ conference a little over a year ago. I wanted to make a good impression, and I labored over what to wear! But then, standing in my closet, I felt God whispering, “It doesn’t matter what you wear on the outside. Let them see Me!“.


  5. April 21, 2008 #

    Another wonderful post, Renae, and I also appreciate Felisol’s comment. I am so glad I visited here before starting my work day!

    I’m wondering what your choice was 39 years ago, Felisol, and how did you make your decision?

  6. April 21, 2008 #

    Thanks, Jeanette! And Felisol, I’d like to hear the rest of the story, too!



  7. April 21, 2008 #

    Dear Renae,
    the rest of the story is not yet written.
    If you mean what choice I made back then in 1969, I went three years on a nursing school and then took one more year with special pedagogy.
    This way I was qualified to work with mentally retarded and other handicapped both in schools and in institutions.

    The Lord got me where I was needed, and when the rough days came, as they will do in anyone’s life, I had but myself to blame.
    I have made wrong choices too in my life, mind you, but I’ve tried to include the Lord wherever I go.

    I stopped working when Serina was born, mainly due to illness.
    I’ve often thought and witnessed that my illness also was a blessing in disguise.
    It made it possible for me to stay at home and be a Mom and a housewife to Gunnar (who is teacher by profession.)
    If I had not become this ME thing, I would have had to go on working, as do most Norwegian mothers.
    Who knows what would have become of Serina’s childhood or our marriage for that sake, if I was not taken aside and have this rich life building our home.

    His ways are so much higher than ours,
    and his banner over us is love.

    I somehow never told my daughter about how I chose my profession.
    Was I happy to experience that she prayed exactly the same way last year when she after finishing gymnasium should decide what to study.
    She applied to many schools, was accepted four places, and decided a Christian media school where she has had a wonderful development.

    Yes, indeed God is listening and caring, but we have to make our personal calls as well.
    This freedom is one of our toughest challenges.
    Still yours Felisol

  8. April 21, 2008 #

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Felisol. I believe that building a home is perhaps the most important thing that we, as women, can do.


  9. April 21, 2008 #

    My friend said the other day ‘I wish I was quick enough to think ‘What would Jesus do?’ rather than always thinking ‘What would Jesus have done’!

    Nothing beats prayer for decision making, if you ask me!

  10. April 21, 2008 #

    I think that’s where we can bring back the water pump analogy, Jackie. The more we keep pumping God into our lives through prayer and reading His Word, the more easily the split-second decisions will come.

    Great to see you! 🙂


  11. April 22, 2008 #

    Thanks for sharing your experiences, Felisol. I agree that our freedom is one of our toughest challenges. Just because we CAN does not mean we SHOULD, and I know when we truly seek, the Lord will lead us. But there is so much learning along the way!

    (PS: I am especially interested in your story because my daughter who is 28 is severely disabled both mentally and physically due to lack of oxygen during birth.)

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