“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” Ephesians 1:4-6
Each day is a day of opportunity. Opportunities for responsibility. Opportunities for influence. Now every once in a while, one of these opportunities comes along that is big enough, and potentially life-changing enough, that it becomes a very serious matter of desire. We want this opportunity. We want it to the extent that it becomes, at least for a season, the constant backdrop of every conversation, every reflection, and every prayer.
So there it is – the big thing. The big moment. All you need is to be given the chance. But we should remember something when we are faced with big opportunities like these: God’s highest goal for you is not that opportunity. And frankly, it doesn’t matter what “that opportunity” is – it still won’t be God’s highest goal for you.
You see, God’s highest goal for us is, and always will be, that we are made holy.
God’s will for us is that we are conformed to the image of Christ.
It’s not that we have this job or that one, or live in that city or that one or have this level of influence or that one. Those opportunities may come and go, and they may even come to fruition, but all such opportunities exist under the umbrella of God’s overall goal of Christlikeness.
So why does that matter to us? What difference does it make when it comes to these opportunities? Many things I’m sure of, but here is one at the top of my mind today: Remembering God’s truth gives us room to breathe when we find ourselves getting wrapped up in opportunities. Because they are so significant and life-changing, they can become near obsessions. We might even find ourselves bargaining with God in order to try and get Him to move a few things around so everything will fall in the right place for us to receive this opportunity.
In such moments, we can step back and remember that while we don’t know what God is going to do with this specific opportunity, we can know with certainty what He is doing all the time in our lives. He is making us into the image of His Son, and if we receive such an opportunity, then we can know we have received it in order to make us more like Jesus (among other things). And if we do not, we can trust that for some reason unknown to us, having this opportunity would not further this goal.
In fact, walking through the disappointment of being denied that opportunity might actually be the thing that moves us further along in our conformity with God’s Son.
Written by Michael Kelly, Guest Contributor
To read more of Michael’s writing, check out his daily blog, Forward Progress. http://michaelkelley.co/