What He wants, when and where He wants (part 1)
1 Corinthians 16:9 For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.
In a spiritual sense, open doors represent opportunities. A big door leads to a big opportunity. A powerful door leads to a powerful opportunity. I think we can all understand the idea behind that thought.
We face all kinds of adversaries in approaching and walking through those open doors, and especially in living within the opportunities on the other side of those open doors. Adversaries come in all forms. People oppose us for different reasons, circumstances like finances stand against us. The cycle of temptation, sin, and addiction distract us. The burdens of fear, guilt and shame hold us back. The list goes on and on because our adversaries are innumerable and they manifest themselves in innumerable ways. We can also be sure that the bigger and more powerful the opportunity is, the bigger and more powerful the adversaries will be.
But we must be obedient to God’s will if we truly belong to Him, and if we truly belong to Him we must believe that He is with us.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 16, it seems that Paul really wanted to go and be with his friends and church family in Corinth, and abide there for a while. But God had a different idea. It seems that God had “opened a big and powerful door” for Paul to live and share the gospel in another place where there would be many adversaries. Can you imagine passing up the chance to go to the place you really want to be, doing what you really want to do, with people you really want to be with? Can you imagine passing all that up for the “opportunity” specifically to serve God His way,in His perfect will, in another place of His choosing, where at least some of the people and many of the circumstances are against you?
Obedience puts us physically, emotionally, and spiritually in the place God wants us to be so He can use us for His Glory. That should be our goal.
I believe one of the lessons in the context of this tiny little verse is that every open door and every opportunity set before us by God must be connected to HIS purpose, not our own. It must be connected to HIS glory, not our own. We’re supposed to focus our lives on Him and walk in His glory and serve His will (not our own) not only by living and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, but by doing what has to be done, where and when it has to be done in order to accomplish the His purpose.
We can be confident that our faithfulness to Him is well placed because He is faithful to us. Once we belong to Him, He is with us. Period. He never leaves us. He is always with us even in circumstances we don’t understand or agree with. His faith remains even in the face of the biggest and most powerful adversaries.
(special thanks to Pastor Richard Koonz for an uplifting phone call today)