Open Doors and Opposition-I Corinthians 16:5-9

1 Corinthians 16:5-9 “After I go through Macedonia, I will come to you — for I will be going through Macedonia. Perhaps I will stay with you awhile, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go. I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. 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 Corinzi 16:5-9 “Io verrò da voi quando sarò passato per la Macedonia , poiché passerò per la Macedonia ; ma da voi forse mi fermerò alquanto, o ci trascorrerò addirittura l’inverno, affinché voi mi facciate proseguire per dove mi recherò. Perché questa volta non voglio vedervi di passaggio; anzi, spero di fermarmi qualche tempo da voi, se il Signore lo permette. Rimarrò a Efeso fino alla Pentecoste, perché qui una larga porta mi si è aperta a un lavoro efficace, e vi sono molti avversari.”

     Paul has written a long epistle to the Corinthians outlining many answers to their questions, correcting their erroneous beliefs, addressing misguided Christian ethics and urging them to allow Christ to heal their internal factions. He now desires to visit them again to reinforce his love and concern for their spiritual lives. After all he has written, a short visit would not do.
     A few thoughts emerge from these verses. First, Paul used the phrase, “If the Lord permits.” It is essential that our plans and purposes always be made with this awareness to remind ourselves that we are under God’s providence. James 4:15 echoes the same message stating “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.
    Second, Paul speaks of “a great door for effective work has opened to me.” Paul was currently ministering in Ephesus; this city was a center for occult activity and after reasoning with the Jews of the synagogue, God was giving Paul success in preaching the Gospel and many were receiving Jesus Christ. He had great hope that God would add more to these numbers if the Lord willed it, so he planned to stay there.
     The third phrase in these verses is “there are many who oppose me.” Great success in the work of the Gospel frequently creates many enemies. How do we react to open doors and opposing forces as we serve the Lord? For Paul, being fully aware of his adversaries, this opposition did not deter him from doing the will of God, but rather inspired him all the more! Three objectives to embrace in your life: 1) Prayer-to seek God’s will, 2) Power-to go through the doors God open and 3) Pressure-to go forward despite opposition.
Pray with me: Lord, I desire Your guidance in my life daily as I serve You. Help me to pursue the open doors You create for me and keep me strong when I am opposed.


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