For a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

In his first letter to the Corinthian church, Paul informed believers there that he deeply wanted to return to them in person. He was writing from Ephesus and decided to stay longer than planned because of how favorably people were responding to the gospel there. Large numbers of unbelievers were converting to the Way and committing to follow Christ. As is often the case, as the gospel advanced, adversaries multiplied.

Trying to discern God’s will and the direction He is leading us can often leave us crippled or fearful about the right choice to make. Where is He leading us? What direction will lead to effectiveness in the kingdom? What door should we take? As we are asking these and many more questions, we might be tempted to believe that open doors will lead to the path of least resistance, and if we are effectively serving the Lord as He desires, then there won’t be hurdles to overcome. But that simply isn’t true. Paul reminded us that just because God opens the door and leads us to walk through it in obedience doesn’t mean there won’t be opposition.

Obedience in the kingdom of God will always bring opposition because we have an enemy. His name is Satan. As long as God is using us effectively to advance His kingdom of light, we will be opposed by darkness. But that shouldn’t keep us from being obedient. Paul encountered enemies in Ephesus because he was seeing great growth there. But he stayed anyway because the work wasn’t done. Our lives will be full of opportunities to serve effectively in the kingdom—wide doors that the Lord alone opens for us. These may be in our jobs, families, churches, and communities. But with those open doors will also come adversaries who will tempt us to turn back or doubt our decision to walk through those doors. However, where God is at work, we can be confident to follow where He leads.

● What doors has God opened for you to serve effectively? As you have been obedient, how have you experienced opposition (either internally or externally)?

● Are there any doors that God is leading you toward but you are scared to walk through? What is keeping you from being obedient?

● Ask the Lord to continue to make you effective for Him wherever you are. Ask Him for the willingness to be obedient to whatever opportunities He provides for kingdom work.