Don't Be An Opportunist!
An opportunist is defined as "a person who exploits circumstances to gain immediate advantage rather than being guided by consistent principles or plans." Many would think this type of person would never exist in the church and I’m sure that’s how things should be, but certain worldly habits have often seeped into the church causing the saints to be divided. One of the greatest opportunist who happened to be in the body was Judas Iscariot. He sat under Jesus and absorbed his word, but when an opportunity to get a few nickels and dimes arose, he took it.
Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him. ~Matthew 26:14-16
I’ve seen this behavior amongst many believers. Some willing to sell their soul to take advantage of an opportunity that they believe will make their name great. What many people don’t realize is that every opportunity doesn’t glorify the kingdom. We must ask ourselves, “Will this bring glory to God or glory to me?” Judas Iscariot shows us the dangers of self-gratification. He was a believer whose mind became consumed with self. He took advantage of the chief priests and elders’ desire to see Jesus dead. He betrayed the one person who could grant him all the riches of the world for chump change. How many times have we neglected Jesus, a family member, or a friend with hopes of gratifying ourselves?
When operating as an opportunist, you may feel as if you are on Cloud 9. Everything is great in your world, but then the Holy Spirit’s reality check kicks in and conviction begins to eat away at you.
Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself.
Matthew 27:3-5 shows us how Judas was convicted for betraying Jesus, but what’s interesting is how he didn’t seek redemption. Instead, he considered himself too lowly of a servant and unworthy of living. Being an opportunist comes with a price. To pretend to be someone you aren’t or to deceive and manipulate people to get what you want, can lead you into a dark place where you begin to lose your identity in Christ. Judas sat under the teachings of Jesus, yet he hadn’t received them in his heart which resulted in his death.
Although, you may not die physically, being an opportunist can lead to you dying spiritually. You can forget who you are in Christ and begin to seek the things of your flesh rather than the spirit of God. You become numb to the direction of the Holy Spirit only seeing what you want to see and trying to achieve dreams out of your own strength.
In Psalm 37:4 David said, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” As you spend time with God and worship him, he will reveal the steps that should be taken to reach the destination he has for you. Psalm 32:8 states, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you [who are willing to learn] with My eye upon you.” The more you allow God to fill you will his Spirit, the more you won’t have to look outward for opportunities to advance. Instead, you will simply look inward and listen for the Lord’s voice to guide you into the positions and relationships he has for you.