Recently I attended the commencement ceremonies for my alma matter and a friend of mine had been asked to be the keynote speaker. He talked to them about how the Bible says they should dress for success in life. In one of his points, he made the comment, “Be led by obedience to God, not by opportunity.” I stopped and wondered how many times I had confused opportunity with the will of God. It’s natural to think when a great opportunity presents itself that it’s from God. More often than not, those times are tests of our faith to see if we are going to be obedient to what God wants or to do what’s expedient for ourselves.
If you know anything about the story of David in the Bible, you know that after he was anointed King, Saul began to hunt him down to kill him in order to preserve his royal lineage. In I Samuel 24, Saul was hunting David and went into a cave to relieve himself. What he didn’t know was that David and his men were hiding in that very cave. The opportunity presented itself to David to be able to take Saul’s life and assume the throne. It appeared that God had given him the opportunity to fulfill the promise He had made to him.
David’s men saw it as such and spoke to him about it in verse 4. They said, “Now’s your opportunity! Today the Lord is telling you, ‘I will certainly put your enemy into your power, to do as you wish.” His men were led by opportunity instead of obedience and they gave him bad advice. I’m sure they were tired of living in caves and were ready to live in palaces. They saw this as their opportunity to get out of poverty. They knew David had been anointed the next King so this must have been God’s way of making it happen.
David took their suggestion that this was God’s will instead of seeking it out himself. He made a split decision that he regretted. He snuck up next to Saul and couldn’t kill him. Instead, he cut off a piece of his robe. He heard the quiet voice of God in his spirit over the overwhelming voices of his advisors. He chose to obey God instead by not killing him. His conscious bothered him for even cutting Saul’s robe. In verse 6 he said, “I shouldn’t attack the Lords anointed one, for the Lord himself has chosen him.” He knew the scriptures had said, “Don’t touch God’s anointed.”
The Word of God should overrule any opportunity that presents itself. God will not ask you to do something that is contrary to the Bible. He may allow opportunities to arise in your life, but He will not ask you to chose them over obedience to what He’s already said. It takes wisdom, patience and courage to do what God says even if opportunities present themselves as God’s will for you. Always take time to seek out God’s voice over man’s when opportunity knocks. Don’t just assume it is God giving you what you want. Be led by obedience not by opportunity.