You’ve heard the phrase “Opportunity never knocks twice.” But I take issue with that phrase. Opportunity doesn’t knock on your door. If you’re waiting in your house for opportunity to knock then you’ll never meet it when it’s walking down the street. And even Jesus would agree with that.
Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force (Matthew 11:12). For a long time I did not understand what that phrase meant. I thought it meant something about violent people trying to get into Heaven. But it doesn’t mean that. To understand what it means we have to look at that phrase in context and the flow of the entire passage, and we have to look at what the individual Greek words mean. If we do that, we see that the phrase has as much to do with this life as it does with the next life—because opportunity doesn’t knock.
In that passage, Jesus was explaining who John the Baptizer was. And he told them John was the “Elijah” prophesied hundreds of years earlier: the messenger in the wilderness announcing the coming of the Lord (Matthew 11:7-14; Isaiah 40:3-5; Malachi 4:5-6). And Jesus invited whoever had “ears to hear” to listen to what he said (Matthew 11:15). He invited anyone to process what he said, but he wasn’t going to make it plain to anyone who wasn’t willing to put forth the effort. Opportunity doesn’t knock.
If we break down the phrase about the kingdom of heaven, we see that “suffering violence” comes from the Greek word biazo which means to allow to be seized. And the word “violent” comes from the Greek word biastes which refers to someone who is forceful or energetic. And “take it by force” comes from the Greek word harpazo which means to seize. So if we put all that together, it means that the kingdom of heaven is to be seized and the energetic seize it. Opportunity doesn’t knock.
This spiritual principle has application in the natural. You can’t wait around for opportunity to knock. God doesn’t work that way, and life doesn’t work that way. You have to be willing to risk stepping out in faith. Here are three ways this applies to you.
Good family relationships don’t just happen. Someone has to be willing to risk stepping out in faith to build the relationship.
If you want to have a good relationship with your kids, you have to be willing to invest in them. You need to spend time with them and be willing to listen to them. You have to risk being rejected.
If you want to have an intimate relationship with your spouse, it’s important to value that person as a fellow person made in the image of God. You can’t assume that they are there to please you. You must pursue a relationship with that person. And you have to risk being rejected.
Relationships require active involvement by both parties. And relationships take time to build by stepping out of your comfort zone to be who that person needs you to be. Opportunity doesn’t knock.
Opportunity in business doesn’t knock. You have to get out and find it. And opportunity usually dresses up like hard work.
Nothing happens in business without sales. Sales is about finding who wants what you have. It’s about finding a need and providing a product or service that fills that need. And that requires that the energetic seize the opportunity. Because opportunity doesn’t knock.
In order to find who is looking for your product or service, you have to be willing to face rejection. You have to step out in faith and believe that what you have to offer will be benefit someone else. You have to believe that the transactional relationship will benefit both parties.
Sales don’t just happen. You can’t be passive and get sales. Opportunity doesn’t knock.
Jesus honored those who took a risk and reached out to him. And he rewarded those who actively stepped out in faith.
Jesus noticed the faith of the friends of the quadriplegic man who lowered him into the room by digging a hole in the roof (Mark 2:3-5). Instead of rebuking them for making a hole in the roof, he healed the man of his infirmity (Mark 2:11-12).
Jesus applauded the woman who had hemorrhaged for twelve years for reaching out in faith to touch his garment to be healed—even though she thought he was going to rebuke her for her boldness (Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48).
In a parable, Jesus told about the man who entrusted his three servants with his goods, each according to his ability (Matthew 25:14-30). Those who took the risk to invest their talents were honored by the man upon his return, and the one who didn’t take any risks with his talent was sternly rebuked and what he had was taken from him.
Even Jesus says that opportunity doesn’t knock.
Life is an adventure to be lived. It is not a risk to be avoided.
Any relationship worth having—with a family member, in a business transaction, or in your relationship with God—should be pursued.
In fact, Jesus said if you ask, you will receive; if you seek, you will find; and if you knock, the door will be opened (Matthew 7:7-8; Luke 11:9-10). So if anyone is doing any knocking, it’s going to have to be you. Because opportunity doesn’t knock.
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