Maybe This Time…

Over and over again, I find myself praying for opportunities, opportunities to share the gospel or to share the love of Christ with others.  The intentions I have when I pray for opportunities are, of course, good intentions.  But, they are just that, intentions.  I can pray for opportunities until I am blue in the face, but it won’t change a thing.  Until I act on the opportunities God has given me, they will be nothing more than opportunities.  Too often I think we go through life praying for opportunities while we walk right by them.  The opportunities are everywhere, in our homes, at the post office, the thrift store, and even the bowling alley.

We are called to be stewards of the gospel (1 Corinthians 4:1-2).  That doesn’t mean keeping the gospel to ourselves, but sharing it with others that it might increase and be multiplied.  A steward doesn’t only see the opportunities, He makes the investment.  “For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as LORD, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.  For God, who said, ‘let light shine out of the darkness,’ has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:5-6).  We have the light.  Each day we should be proclaiming that light to others.

There is a song by Casting Crowns called “Here I Go Again” that reflects the importance of actually taking the opportunities God gives us.  It is one I listen to over and over again; a great reminder to not only see the opportunities but to take them because it might be someone’s last or only chance to hear the words of life.  The words to the song are:

So maybe this time I’ll speak the words of life
With Your fire in my eyes
But that old familiar fear is tearing at my words
What am I so afraid of?

‘Cause here I go again
Talkin ’bout the rain
And mulling over things that won’t live past today
And as I dance around the truth
Time is not his friend
This might be my last chance to tell him
That You love Him
But here I go again, here I go again

Lord, You love him so, You gave Your only Son
If he will just believe; he will never die
But how then will he know what he has never heard
Lord he has never seen mirrored in my life

This might be my last chance to tell him
That You love him
This might be my last chance to tell him
That You love him
You love him, You love him

What Am I so afraid
What am I so afraid
What am I so afraid of?

How many “maybe this times” will there be?  God gives us opportunities each day, yet we often believe the lie that maybe next time will be a better opportunity.  We talk about the rain and talk about things that won’t live past today.  More often than not, we waste the very opportunities we ask for.  The enemy wants us to believe the idea that there is always time.  The gospel is a life or death matter.  How will the people we encounter every day know the truth unless we take the opportunities to tell them.  “How are they to hear without someone preaching” (Romans 10:14)?  Does the weather really matter when someone’s eternal soul hangs in the balance?

The enemy doesn’t care if we pray for opportunities.  We can have all the opportunities we want.  The enemy cares when we start taking those opportunities and making the most of them.  Opportunities are everywhere.  When we begin to look for them, recognize them, and act on them, the devil is hard at work in an attempt to prevent us from taking those opportunities.  The devil has lost the battle for our soul, but will continue to fight against the spread of the gospel hoping that it will stop with us.

I can talk all day about the gospel.  We can talk amongst ourselves about the gospel, but what does our talk matter if we are not sharing it with others, if we are not living it out each day.  Talking about the gospel with others who are already saved will not bring others to salvation.  We can talk about sharing the gospel, we can talk about taking our opportunities, but we must not only talk, we must do “For the Kingdom of God does not consist in talk” (1 Corinthians 4:20).  “Let us not love in words or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 2:18).  Knowledge will pass away, but the light of the gospel and the love of Christ will remain.  It matters not what we say, but how we live and how we love.

I can sit here and write spiritual sounding blog posts every day and what will I gain?  What will be gained for the gospel if I write and do not actually live out the words I am speaking?  I can continue to pray for opportunities day in and day out, but what will happen to the opportunities I miss while I pray for more?

The Lord has given me many opportunities throughout my life and especially throughout the last three months.  I regret to say, I have not done a very good job acting on many of those opportunities.  I talk about love and trust and don’t consistently live it out in my home.  I go to work and to the store and neglect to show the love of Christ to my co-workers or to the other shoppers.  I go into difficult areas of town and encounter people who are desperate to hear the hope of Christ and yet I keep my mouth shut.

I want to be bold for the gospel.  I don’t want to waste any more time looking high and low for the opportunities when they are right in front of my face.  I want my “manner of life [to] be worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27).  I want the words that I proclaim to be evident in my every deed.

So, instead of asking for opportunities, we should be asking for the boldness to act on them, for the boldness to share the gospel and share the love and the light of Christ.  “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).  I pray that the Lord will grant to me, and to you, to continue “to speak the word of God with all boldness” (Acts 4:31).

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