It’s a story you’ll hear too often… I’ve been offered this great opportunity; It must be God. They’ve offered me a promotion; It must be God. They’ve asked me to go overseas for a contract; It must be God.
How do you get from “opportunity to do x” to “God wants me to do x”?
Sometimes, people look at the probability of x ever happening. “It’s so rare they’d offer this to a graduate”, “It’s so unlikely they’d offer this to me”… and since it’s so rare, it must be a miracle-type thing, right? So that’s God?
Sometimes, people look at how much they’ve wanted it. “It’s exactly the type of thing I was praying for”, “It’s like God knew just what I wanted”. And so because they were coveting this thing, and now it’s within their grasp… it must be God saying “yes”, right?
But what always seems to get lost in these views are the responsibilities that God has ALREADY called the person to; The guy who gets offered an “amazing opportunity” 600 miles away from his wife. The integral youth leader who gets offered a position that means they can’t keep that team running and loving all those kids. The pastor who feels called to another church where there’s less grumbling and feels more exciting.
I have a suggestion… before you claim that opportunity is from God, ask yourself if God might have allowed Satan to offer it to you. Because remember the great opportunity Jesus got given…
“Again, the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour. ‘All this I will give you'” (Matt 4:8-9)
It’s a great offer, a once in a lifetime chance, it’s the almost the exact thing that Jesus came for (all creation under one head; Jesus). It’s just not God’s way.
A great opportunity is not necessarily God’s calling for your life.