“Opportunity abounds.” Those were the words I heard in my spirit shortly after awakening one morning many years ago. But, it was not just any morning. My life had seemingly been turned upside down.
Most of my employees were gone due to a sudden downturn in the economy, business revenue had dried up, and I was facing the overwhelming task of liquidating a considerable amount of overhead; not the least of which was an office lease. The pressures were almost unbearable. My circumstances (and subsequent despair) dominated nearly every thought. At the time, it looked like there was no way out of this desperate situation.
How in the world could the Lord be saying, “Opportunity abounds” when everything was so dark? Would I believe or would I doubt?
I wish I could say I chose the former. But I didn’t. Instead, my thoughts raced out of control as I considered every option in search of a solution. Anything to relieve the pressure.
“Opportunity abounds,” was not the only encouragement the Lord offered then. Shortly after that morning, I read a section of Scripture which arrested my attention—Isaiah 43.
Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Is. 43:18-19.
There’s a reason it’s called hindsight—perspective changes everything. The Lord was speaking; I just wasn’t listening. I had not been abandoned and left to fail as I had thought. He had the perfect solution; I just didn’t see it.
Get your FREE copy of the eBook “Opportunity Abounds. That Was Then, This Is Now.”
For the last few months, I’ve been perceiving a spiritual parallel and seeing similarities to conditions that mark the end of a difficult season.
As we begin a new year, these are the words I’ve been hearing the Lord say, “That was then, this is now.”
That was then; this is now
I am reminded of the Israelites’ captivity in Egypt. It was not by happenstance that God’s people were afflicted, persecuted, and oppressed. Neither was the timing a coincidence nor the fact that they came out with great possessions.
When God spoke to Abram, He prophesied of the Israelites’ future four hundred years before it took place.
Let’s pick up the story when God appeared to Abram in Genesis 15.
“After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.’” (v. 1). Abram replied, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!” (v. 3).
God pointed Abram to the heavens where the number of stars represented the number of seed that would come from Abram’s body.
Abram believed God and it was “credited” to Abram for righteousness—virture or “rightness” with God.
God made a covenant with Abram and sealed it with a sacrifice. When a deep sleep fell upon Abram, God said, “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions” (Gen. 15:13-14, emphasis added).
The cycle: Seedtime and harvest.
After the flood, God made a promise in Genesis 8. He said He would never again curse the ground for man’s sake. “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease” (v. 22).
In this verse, God reveals something about His very nature, the manner in which He does things. He marks times and seasons and reveals a “process.” Everything on earth was created to grow and the process begins with a seed.
The word “seedtime” in the original is zera. It is the same word used above for Abram’s descendants.
When God spoke to Abram about the heir he so desperately desired, God revealed the process by which Abram’s legacy would come to pass.
Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years—on that very same day—it came to pass that all the armies of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. Exodus 12:40-41
The Israelites were delivered from bondage on the very day God prophesied to Abram, hundreds of years earlier. This monumental and historical event serves as just one example of God’s faithfulness. It also demonstrates how He works in time—with perfection, precision, and accuracy.
It’s time for the newness of life
The sacrifice of a seed makes way for the newness of life. Likewise, so it is with us. From birth to death, our growth takes place through a series of “seed, plant, harvest” cycles. It happens in our bodies, our souls, and in our spirits.
We are in a season where the newness of life has begun. The Lord is saying, “It’s imperative the old be shed for the new. For the past is finished and cannot be changed. But the future is without limit.”
It’s the way God does things; it’s part of His master plan—a process, defined by various trials, temptations, difficulties, and disappointments. Each designed to teach, train, strengthen, and perfect us.
As we submit to Him, our former nature dies. We must endure the cold of winter, the heat of summer, and the light of day, and darkness of night.
Our greatest transformation, however, takes place in private, where things seem their darkest when provision is scarce, and the heaviness overhead is upon us. When we trust God in the midst of circumstances, a brighter day awaits just overhead.
When we look to Him with reverence and awe, we’ll encounter the power and beauty of His glory. And when we trust the process and do not quit, there’ll come a day when our breakthrough arrives, and we behold our miracle in manifestation because Opportunity Abounds.