As a kid, I loved comic books. In the back, along with ads for X-Ray specs, Kryptonite Rocks, and Fake Facial Hair, was the ad that promised to transform a 97-lbs weakling into modern-day He-Man.
If you were tired of having sand kicked in your face by the bigger, more muscular bully, the Charles Atlas dynamic tension workout program promised dramatic results … in only seven days!
Although I’m pretty sure Charles Atlas was not a physiologist, he had captured a principle that is critical to success in any area of life: growth – personal or physical – doesn’t happen within our comfort zones.
Growth requires pushing through boundaries, not staying within them.
The 97-pound weakling is transformed by applying a load of stress to his muscles that is greater than what his muscles had previously adapted to. During the period of rest that follows exercise, muscle mass is added as part of the healing process.
The only way to increase muscle strength is to increase the tension. The only way to grow spiritually is to stretch beyond where you are comfortable.
Why is that? Because it is outside of our comfort zones where most spiritual opportunities reside.
Here’s the key: You must learn to magnify God instead of your fear. Excuses don’t move God to action – faith does.
The author of today’s passage was a driven, ambitious, type-A kind of person. You would expect him to talk about seizing opportunities. But before you write off this passage as not for your personality, it’s important to remember the Apostle Paul is writing to all Christians.
He starts with something we all should aspire to …
1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God … 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. – Ephesians 5:1-2, 8-10
Whether you are introverted or extroverted doesn’t matter. What matters is this … are you following God’s example? Are you walking in the way of love? Are you living as a child of light?
This is life-changing stuff. You don’t have to be God – you just have to follow his example. It is not your responsibility to create your own opportunities. That’s what God does. Your responsibility is to recognize them and take action.
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. – Ephesians 5:15-17
As Christ-followers, we should be intentional about how we live. Wisdom is applying biblical truth to real-life situations. We gain wisdom when the values, priorities, teachings of Jesus begin to inform how I treat my wife, manage employees, or spend my money.
When I’m living with a Jesus-centered mindset, every opportunity to reflect him, worship him, honor him is an important opportunity.
Nowadays, we hear about renewable sources of energy. Our time is a nonrenewable resource. I may not like to admit it, but I have less of it left than I did yesterday. The question is: Am I making the most of every opportunity? Is my use of time informed and shaped by God’s plan for my life?
This is true no matter how young or old we are.
You can’t make progress without making decisions. You can’t make godly progress without making godly decisions. Here are 4 momentum-building decisions that are crucial to seizing your God-given opportunities …
1. Start where you are. There is no other place to start from.
2. Start with what you have. Show God that you can be trusted with little and he will entrust you with more.
3. Start making small changes. Too much can be overwhelming and form the basis for excuses.
4. Start today. When is the best time to be obedient? Now!
Make the decision to wake up every day with an attitude of faith and look for ways to make the most of what God has placed in your hands.
Experience and Background
- 25+ years of senior leadership experience
- masters in management and leadership
- presenter at the WFX National Conference
- former president, Church Planters of the Rockies
- helped start 2 for-profit tech companies
To get a better feel for my style and personality, you can watch past sermons on our YouTube channel.
Need an engaging speaker for your event or conference? At the moment, I am available on a limited basis to speak for seminars, workshops, or worship services. Click here to learn more.
I’ve written a few books that might help! You’ll find books on preaching, leadership, Ephesians, as well as my first novel. Follow this link to learn more.