In last night’s post, I shared how God has been opening many doors to preach. Because of God’s call on my life, these open doors thrill my soul. This is what I’ve believed God for. I waited longer than I wanted, but God did His work in His time. I have, however, noticed something about open doors – they come with opposition.
Notice what I Corinthians 16:9 says – “For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” In the previous verse, Paul mentioned staying in Ephesus until Pentecost. God was doing something, but Paul was not ignorant of how the devil works. Paul knew the enemy fights hard against the forward movement of the gospel. The devil hates nothing more than to see unbelievers trusting in Christ, believers growing in their faith, and churches accomplishing the Great Commission of making disciples. Because he hates it, he will do everything to hinder it. If you want to know you’re doing the right thing, look around and see if you have opposition. It’s inevitable. God never promised you “cake walk Christianity”. Jesus promised “in this world you WILL have tribulation” (John 16:33). Paul told Timothy that “the godly in Christ Jesus SHALL suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). If your growth isn’t a threat to the devil, he will leave you alone. Try to honor God, and rest assured that difficulties will come.
Prosperity teachers would try to convince you that the Christian life is easy if you’re “living right”. They somehow missed this “fine print” that assures us that there are many adversaries. Those adversaries come in different forms. The most disheartening reality is that some of these adversaries are those who claim to be your brothers and sisters in Christ, yet they rise and stand against you. These adversaries can also be little disturbances that the enemy will cause to look large in order to steal your joy and kill your momentum. Whatever you do, don’t let the adversaries cause you to lose sight of the open doors of opportunity.
As God is opening these doors of opportunity to come your way, be aware that adversaries are present. In your awareness, remember that God is greater than your adversaries. His power will cause you to triumph amidst the difficulties. Keep your eyes fixed on Him and allow Him to work in and through you. His Spirit will stir boldness within to push through the reality of adversaries. Don’t forget that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world (I John 4:4).