How many times have you let a really good opportunity pass by? We all probably have tales we could share with each “one-upping” the next. And who knows how many got away that we never knew about!
God expects His people to be opportunistic. Paul instructed, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:10). Now, I understand Paul’s context here. Clearly he means as the occasion to be generous and to do good arises, do it. Some brethren would have us to place restrictions here that the Holy Spirit did no place. Frankly, it’s a pretty straightforward command that is quite easy to understand. When the opportunity is there, seize it! Don’t let the occasion get away. There’s nothing real tough here. Well, nothing other than recognizing the opportunity. We often admit missing opportunities to do good, be it benevolence or evangelism. How can we prepare ourselves for the opportunities God grants? I like Jonathan’s approach.
Jonathan and his armor bearer went against a Philistine garrison, declaring, “Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf” (1 Samuel 14:6). They did not know what God would do, but they also did not know what God would not do. So they decided to find out. If God chose to do nothing, things would not go well for them. But on the chance He would do something they decided to act.
Have you ever stepped up to serve God based on what “may be”? If you are like most, the answer is, “no”. Most want assurances that God does not feel obliged to grant. He did not owe Jonathan an explanation or promise other than what He gives to all His people, “Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10b). Jonathan saw the Philistine garrison as an opportunity, so without any special assurance, he attempted to seize it.
Jesus told the one-talent man (Matthew 25) that he should have seized the opportunity to see what God might do. He even told him that He would have been happier if he’d failed at trying rather than succeeded at doing nothing. As he should have done, so we must look at opportunities to serve God, and once we have come to the best course we can figure out, move ahead to see if “just perhaps Lord will act in our behalf.” — BULLETIN DIGEST