1 Corinthians 16:9 "For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries."
When I think about God opening doors for effective ministry, adversaries are not the first thing that pop into my mind. I mean, wouldn't it seem like the verse should read, "A wide door for effective work has opened to me, and when God opens it all goes smoothly?" But we just read the verse and of course it doesn't say that.
My wife and I are coming off a season of ministry when we had no clue what God was up to in our lives. We were in a very unhealthy situation and it seemed as if we had no way out or way forward. I was in a very low spot and had begun to doubt if I was even called into ministry at all. I mean if God called me to this it should all be working out right?
Wrong. I had a false belief that if God had opened the door for me to be where I was then there would not be any adversaries. I don't really know where I picked up this false assumption, but I did.
In God's providence, he actually removed me and my family from that unhealthy situation and had opened a wide new door of effective work for us to step into. I love how Paul put it: "A wide door," not just a "Door" but a "Wide" door. This is what God often does, he answers prayers, clarifies direction, clears the way, kicks the door open, kicks you through the door, provides miraculously, and then it is smooth sailing from there! Wait............
Here is what we have learned: God has opened the door very wide for us.
We are planting a church and he is miraculously providing people and resources and facilities and everything else we need. And there are going to be many adversaries.
This is how God works. He leads us into dangerous callings filled with incredible victories and wonderful church family, and Satanic attacks and unhealthy mean people. Adversaries come with false accusations or the lies about why you left the previous church. There will be many adversaries. This is all a part of that effective work. God leads us by opening doors and he grows us through adversity.
Friends, if you want God to open that door be prepared for many adversaries. Secure in His grip and His love, he will let adversaries come that we may let go of false assumptions and cling to him.