“I need to tell you something.”
He had my full attention. As I stood in the middle of a hot, humid gym, I looked into the dark brown eyes of a friend. He nervously wiped the beads of sweat from his forehead, and slowly began to speak.
“Mandy, the Lord has been nudging me all day to remind you of something. I didn’t want to listen, but I told Him that if I saw you today, I’d tell you. The Lord wants me to remind you that He lives inside of you. You have joy in your heart.”
My eyes began to tear up as I let his kind words of truth sink in. His heartfelt obedience was a clear reflection of the words we read in James.
“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” James 1:22 (NLT)
I don’t know why doing what God says can be so challenging at times. We fight, wrestle, and run until we think we’ve escaped what God is calling us to do. We negotiate. We overthink. We believe that if we sit on something long enough it will eventually go away. Like pushing down an air-filled beach ball in a pool of water, over time, the ball resurfaces.
But here’s what I’m learning to embrace: when we sit, we forfeit.
When we sit on a nudge or command and choose to push down the promptings God places on our hearts, we forfeit stepping toward a God-ordained opportunity. If my friend would have walked away from what the Lord was placing on his heart that day, he would have forfeited an opportunity to remind me of who I am in Christ. I would have missed out on receiving a gift of godly encouragement.
What I love about God, is that even when we choose to forfeit, He doesn’t stop offering opportunities to keep trying. He’s not a one-and-done type of Father; He’s a redeeming Father. Opportunities resurface, and whether we boldly run with them or not, He waits with open arms filled with forgiveness, mercy, and grace.
As you begin your day today, and every day, know that chasing God-ordained opportunities beats forfeiting. You may be the precise vessel God wants to use to start a church, grow a business or simply encourage someone. God, in all of His goodness, will help you where He leads you. Your influence has impact.