Reading through 1 Corinthians this morning, I ran across a passage that caught my attention: “I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.” (16: 8 – 9) Paul saw an opportunities that had appeared (open doors for effective work). He also recognized opposition that came with the opportunity, a lesson I need to remember.
Does this sound familiar? We see what looks to be an opportunity, but as soon as we start to tell others about it or try to enlist partners for it, opposition begins. Sometimes it’s well-meaning people who provide opposition (I do value friends who encourage me to examine different scenarios). Other times, opposition comes from those who cannot see the opportunities we see. I look at these verses from Paul and realize that when opportunities arise, potential opposition should not catch me by surprise. In fact, opposition will almost be guaranteed, for we are taking part in a battle against an enemy who does not want to see open doors used effectively.
I want to live actively watching for open doors of opportunity (I believe God provides them all the time!). At the same time, I will stay on the lookout for opposition and deal with it properly. I don’t want to be blindsided when trying to do effective work for the Lord.