"Don't miss an opportunity!"
By: Joyce Picker
When you have moved as many times as we have, you may start to think, what is the purpose of this move, Lord? Sometimes, the answer is more obvious than other times but it’s ultimately God who directs and levels our path so we can move forward. What's important is to be alert to the new and exciting opportunities presented in front of us on the way to the move, during the move and after the move!
Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will direct your path.
The Hebrew says: He will LEVEL your path! I love this translation from the Complete Jewish Bible because it would indicate that the Lord is not only directing our path but also making sure we can walk in the directed way on a level path. It’s easy to walk on a level path. There aren't too many hidden dangers on a level path.
There are multiple reasons for the many changes in our lives, so the best we can do is have a good attitude and embrace the changes that lie ahead. Change is not always bad! Why do we oppose it so much? We never know who we are going to meet along the way.
Speaking of meeting someone on the way…. Yeshua mirrors this for us many times during his ministry here on earth. Here’s one situation I love!
Luke 8:43-48: “Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years; and though she had spent all she had on physicians, no one could cure her. She came up behind Jesus and touched the fringe of his clothes, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped."
This important incident and meeting took place WHILE Yeshua was on his way to raise Jarius' daughter from the dead. Apparently, this woman was bleeding for twelve years. She must have tried everything she could think of to be healed. She spent all her money. She was indeed desperate. But because Yeshua was on the direct or leveled path on that particular day, it was destined for her to be on the same path and receive the healing touch from our Lord. This was no small miracle. I especially love the faith of this woman. In a crowd of people, she sought out to touch the fringe of his garment. This would be called tzit-tzit. The actual knots tied on the tzit-tzit spell out God’s name. So, she literally touched God in the flesh. All of this happened on the way to the scheduled assignment. Don’t be in a hurry! Stay on the path and look for all the opportunities God has for you! This is a valuable lesson for us. Let's not be so focused on the destination at hand but instead lets outwardly look for the opportunities along the way. Be open to what the Lord would have you do or say. Let's look at another example from this story:
Luke 8:40-42: Now when Yeshua returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Yeshuas’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.
This was the assignment for Yeshua that day. Much like you and I have assignments every day. We just need to be spiritually aware. Yeshua was to raise the little girl. In the midst of family members and friends wailing outside because they were distraught, Yeshua kept them at bay. He only wanted a few people in the room with Him when he performed the miracle. This is a valuable lesson for us. We must surround ourselves with people who have no doubt about Yeshua’s miracles. We, too, must keep ourselves in check when we pray for people. No matter what our eyes see, we must see with our hearts and faith! Can you imagine being a parent and witnessing your daughter being raised from the dead? Quite overwhelming! Yeshua paid no attention to the crowd or the wailings of the people, instead he called in the three, shut the door and focused on the miracle he was about to do. He was about his Father's business.
Let's look at another example:
Luke 8:22-25 "One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they put out, and while they were sailing he fell asleep. A windstorm swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in danger. They went to him and woke him up, shouting, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And waking up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was a calm. Then he said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were terrified and amazed and said to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water and they obey him?”
This time they were on their way to the region of the Gerasenes. They were on their way to another powerful miracle. The disciples were anxious at best because a storm was rocking the boat. They thought they were going to die! But when they woke up Yeshua, He rebuked the storm and there was calm! Wow! What a sight that must have been! Again, this happened on the way to ministry! Let's read further:
Luke 8: 26-39: Then they arrived at the region of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. As he stepped out on shore, a man from the city who had demons met him. For a long time he had not worn any clothes, and he did not live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Yeshua, he cried out and fell down before him, shouting, “What have you to do with me, Yeshua, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me,” for Yeshua had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many times it had seized him; he was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the wilds.) Yeshua then asked him, “What is your name?” He said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. They begged him not to order them to go back into the abyss. Now there on the hillside a large herd of swine was feeding, and the demons begged Yeshua to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd stampede down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.
When the swineherds saw what had happened, they ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came out to see what had happened, and when they came to Yeshua, they found the man from whom the demons had gone sitting at the feet of Yeshua, clothed and in his right mind. And they became frightened. Those who had seen it told them how the one who had been possessed by demons had been healed. Then the whole throng of people of the surrounding region of the Gerasenes asked Yeshua to leave them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. The man from whom the demons had gone out begged that he might be with him, but Yeshua sent him away, saying, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Yeshua had done for him.
I actually went to this particular region when I was in Israel some years ago. It was so exciting to be in the general area of where this was documented in the Bible. I saw the steep hill where the herd of pigs ran down to the water. There is so much to recap in these verses but let me start by saying that we have an excellent example of how Yeshua handled the demon plagued man. He was not afraid or freaked out. He simply questioned the man who had demons. Amazingly, the demons recognized the Son of God at once. Demons recognize God but sometimes humans can't. Yeshua showed his power and authority in how he handled this situation. He is a model for us. Again, he was open to ministry along the way.
The longer I am on this earth, the more I learn. One thing I have learned is to slow down. The many opportunities we have in this life should not be missed! Let's see what God has in store for us along the way! Happy Travels.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the people we meet along the way. thank you that we are of the mindset that no meeting is a waste of time. There are seasons of people in our lives, but the purpose always remains the same. That is to minister, to pray, to be a brother or sister and to gain a valuable experience from the encounter. Thank you for providing the opportunities for us and thank you that we don't miss any.
Just a P.S. for everyone, over the past years I have written numerous teachings on the Biblical Feasts and Festivals and some of them are Blog’s. The Feasts are sprinkled throughout the calendar. If you want to read about them, please feel free to do so on the HHH website under blogs. Thanks!
[i] The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. [ii] Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.