When opportunity knocks, heed God's call

Voices of Religion

Posted: Friday, July 30, 2004

An opportunity has just come your way. All you have to do is accept and the position is yours.

One phone call and a whole new world of work or service will open to you. The ball is in your court.

You're thrilled, but apprehensive; not that you wouldn't enjoy the challenge you've been praying for some kind of opening that would allow you to use your gifts, talents and abilities.

But now you're paralyzed by negatives. Unwanted questions are surfacing:

Can you handle the responsibility?

Will others accept your leadership and approve of your work?

Will you come through or prove to be a disappointment?

Might you cave in under the pressure of this position?

Do you really have what it takes to do the job?

Long ago, Joshua must have felt as you do today. Born a slave, he had been appointed leader of his people, who had arrived at the border of Canaan, the land they had longed to enter for more than a generation.

Moses, their great leader and deliverer, had died. Now Joshua had been appointed to replace him.

Some order. He was not like Moses.

No matter. God would use him in a different way. He would not be expected to do things just like Moses.

Instead, he must expect God to use him in a unique way to accomplish the task at hand.

Inadequate as Joshua felt, he must move forward. If he sits and broods over the possibility of failure, he will never lead his people into the Promised Land.

Along with Joshua's call came a wonderful promise: "Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, as I said to Moses," Joshua 1:3.

A speaker at a church building dedication service challenged the congregation with Joshua's promise. The title of his talk was, "How Big Are Your Feet?"

Most of us don't accomplish all we can because we don't expect to do so. A. B. Simpson, founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination, indicted many when he said, "Our God has boundless resources. The only limit is in us. Our asking, our thinking, our praying are too small. Our expectations are too limited."

A well-known missionary, J. Hudson Taylor, observed that most of us estimate difficult challenges in light of our own resources and therefore attempt little and often fail in the little we attempt.

Had Joshua refused his commission out of fear or feelings of inadequacy, he would have made a terrible mistake.

Turning down this opportunity would have robbed him of the greatest adventure of his life. He would have missed fulfilling the purpose for which he had been born, but he accepted and still is remembered for his great success.

Now, back to your opportunity.

Are you sure this call is from God?

Are you ready to take new steps of faith?

And one final question: "How big are your feet?"

Roger Campbell is an author, radio broadcaster and newspaper columnist from Waterford, Mich. He has written more than 20 books and has had articles published in most major Christian magazines.

He was a pastor for 22 years and has been a guest speaker in Alaska churches from Anchorage to Homer.

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