Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How to Identify a God Opportunity

There are those opportunities, choices and decisions in life that are really big. You know, the kind that keep you awake at night and may cause a couple new gray hairs! Right now, we just experienced one of those situations here in my family. My husband was offered a job with a different company. Normally, that would be an easy decision for many people who are looking to advance or otherwise move on, but he has truly enjoyed his job and has been highly respected. This was not an easy, or straightforward choice.

The pros and cons lists were out. Options, salaries, benefits, duties, etc., were being compared. Prayers for wisdom were being said, and wise counsel was being sought. Beyond all those natural factors that weighing choices involves, believers have an added layer to consider with our decision-making. Amidst our process, we seek God's will to be done and truly desire to align ourselves, our direction and decisions to God's will and purposes.

It was kind of like this; Imagine standing in a hallway with two doors, both open. They both seem similar and equally good, but God is waiting just inside one of the doors and not the other. As believers, our hearts cry is, "Take me to the place where you are Father!" When it comes right down to it, really there is just one question to be answered in these situations -

Is this an opportunity that is being presented by God, or is it just a distraction?

It could be choices about who to marry, jobs, to relocate, to start or close a business, health-related decisions, education paths, going into the ministry, etc. Everything else aside, what we really want to know is - Is it a God-thing? A God-idea? A God-opportunity? If not, no matter how good it looks, it's not the right choice.

Once we have this question in focus, then we need to know how to identify whether or not it is a God-opportunity! Here are some thoughts on getting "big decision" clarity:
  • Is it the desire of your heart? (Not just a path of least resistance)
  • Does it match your gifts?
  • Does the opportunity allow other people to "win" and benefit, not just yourself?
  • Is it a natural progression towards your ultimate goals (even if you don't think you're 100% ready)?
  • Which decision/option has peace with it?
  • In the future, would there be regrets if you didn't do it?
  • Have you heard directly from God about it?
A funny thing is, that the decision isn't always completely logical, meaning it may not always make sense on paper. Additionally, here is one important caution - don't always make decisions based on money. Just because the opportunity for more money exists in one option vs. the other, where the most money is, isn't necessarily where the right decision is.

I hope this story and information helps you. These, "is it a God-opportunity" situations are something we all face in life and business. If you are reading this and have additional thoughts about how you get clarity during this process of identifying God opportunities, please share.

By the way, my husband took the job. His first day was Monday of this week :-).

1 comment:

WSD Editor said...

Great article, very well-said. In my "Is this a God-opportunity" decisions, lately, I have had to grit my teeth and say "no" just based on an inner conviction without knowing why. In hindsight, I have ended up instead on a free trip to Europe to learn about the Reformation, an unforgettable time with a friend where God changed my heart, and my husband's grandfather's funeral, a six hour ceremony honoring the greatest human I have ever personally known. I could not have known about any of these plans on the day I had to say no, but God knew. This June there will be a trip to a retreat center in Italy (!!) that I will not be attending, because I knew God's answer was no. I look forward to finding out the reason... May we all be sensitive to God's prompting, even when there are no reasons "on paper".