Embracing Opportunities

In Genesis 14 we’re told the story of how Lot was taken captive after Sodom, the city where he lived, was defeated in battle. The city of Sodom had a bad reputation because of the lifestyle of its citizens.

Living close by, his uncle Abraham could have chosen to identify with the lifestyle of the people of Sodom, but he chose instead to honor God with his life. When Abraham heard what happened, Abraham could have chosen not to get involved. He could have reasoned that if God allowed this, who was he to interfere. Or Abraham could have been paralyzed by the thought that how could he, a mere farmer, defeat a king and army who had just conquered multiple cities. Instead Abraham chose to rescue his cousin.

Now Abraham never could have considered rescuing his cousin if he hadn’t been a good steward of the skills and talents God had given him. Knowing that he lived in a territory where conflict was common, Abraham put part of his wealth toward preparing for battle. He trained his servants in the art of war. He acquired weapons either by hiring people to make them or by buying them. He studied strategy, so that he knew what actions to take in the eventuality that he would have to enter into battle. He took the time to know the capabilities of his servants so that he knew who to place in what position for the battle. He earned the trust of his servants so that they would follow his leadership in what some would have categorized as a foolish pursuit.

Most importantly Abraham remained unwaveringly committed to God throughout his life. God had made outrageous, generous promises to Abraham. God had promised Abraham that he would have countless children, that he would possess all the land of that area, and that he would be a blessing to all people. Abraham continued to trust in God despite the fact that having a child seemed like an impossibility and he hadn’t seen God fulfill any of these promises yet. Abraham remained faithful not only to God, Abraham remained faithful to the people God placed in his life, and the place where God led him to.

Considering his choices, steering clear of temptation, being a good steward by preparing for this unforeseen event, and being wholly committed to God were the secrets that prepared Abraham to wage war against the king and his army who had defeated Sodom. Abraham’s unwavering commitment to God brought a quiet trust that Jehovah, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, would deliver these enemies into his hands.

But before he headed out, Abraham pressed the pause button. He paused to commit the entire endeavor to God. He made an oath before God that he would not use this as an opportunity to gain wealth or property. Only then was Abraham ready to go into battle with joy, and without fear.

As a result of being committed to God, of being prepared, of avoiding sin and choosing to honor God, Abraham and his servants were successful not only in rescuing Lot, but they also defeated the enemy king and his army; and restored all that had been taken from Sodom.

In your career there will arise opportunities for God to use your skills and abilities in unique ways. You can embrace these opportunities without fear and with joy if you are wholly committed to God. Prepare for them by being a wise steward of the skills and talents God has given you. Steer clear of temptation so that your heart is pure and your hands are clean when you embark on a new opportunity.

Over the next few weeks we will explore each of these principles in more detail.

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