President's Blog: Leonard Buhler
Devotional: Do Open Doors & Opposition Belong Together?
“But 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.” (1 Corinthians 16:8-9)
In our minds, open doors and opposition do not belong together. Have you ever heard that phrase, “God is opening a door?” We often take it to mean that God is putting an opportunity in front of us, lining up all the circumstances just right. All we have to do is open the door and walk through it. Whatever’s on the other side – a conversation about Jesus, a new job, an exciting project – will work out perfectly. Nothing will stand in our way.
I’m standing in front of a door of my own. My team is getting ready to launch a strategy that aims to begin a nation-wide movement of one million Christians committed to surrendering their lives and to reach their world for Jesus (see TheLife.com). Enormous amounts of time, energy, and money are being poured into this project. Many people are making the commitment while other struggle with challenge. With the potential to impact the spiritual direction of our nation the stakes are high.
My prayer partner called me up a while back. “I have some bad news,” she said. “I have a strong sense that there is great opposition heading for you.” She continued: “This is the verse that came to my mind. ‘… a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.’”
In life with God, open doors and opposition often go hand in hand. The apostle Paul could see God opening a “great door for effective work” right in front of him. But he could also see obstacles and enemies up ahead, ready to oppose him. Paul recognized that great opportunities often lead us right into fierce battles. When we venture into work that threatens our greatest Enemy, we should not be surprised when he takes notice.
If you prayerfully stepped through an open door and now you’re experiencing opposition, be encouraged. You didn’t misread the situation. You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. Remember that God never sends us into battle unprotected. He sends us with full-body spiritual armor. (Ephesians 6:10-17) When we put that on, we can walk through any open door – opposition or no.
Prayer: God, when a door from you opens up, help me to remember that I can be right in the middle of your will for my life and still be facing opposition. Help me to trust you even when circumstances aren’t perfect. Please give me the courage to fight for You, and protect me with your armor. Amen.
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