open doors

As you look for God’s open doors in your life do not dismiss an opportunity because there are problems
(John Lathrop)

In my first article about the “ministry of the open door” we looked at the apostle Paul’s requests for prayer in Colossians 4. He asked for prayer for his ministry and for himself.

RELATED : Prayer is Supernatural Work to Open Door for Divine Involvement

Today we are looking at another text written by Paul that makes reference to a door being open for ministry. In 1 Corinthians 16:8-9 we read “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” (NIV).

In order for us to find the open doors in our own lives and ministries we need to be aware of a couple of things. The verses that were quoted above can be very helpful in this regard.

#1 The first truth that we need to grasp is that an open door for ministry is an opportunity.

There is a need for Christian ministry and you are able to help fill that need. As we look around our neighborhoods, cities, and nations we are faced with almost endless needs for different kinds of Christian ministry.

However, we may find that we not able to work in a particular area. Perhaps we do not have the necessary paperwork or the finances to get there. For example, if you have a great desire to do ministry in a particular nation but you do not have a passport or cannot secure a necessary visa you are not going to be permitted to go there.

Likewise if your chosen field of ministry is a great distance from where you live and travel costs are very high that may prevent you from going. On the positive side, be aware that God is known to take care of such hindrances so don’t immediately conclude that you will not be able to go. In our text Paul was already in the place where the door of ministry had opened. He was positioned to do something and he was going to take that opportunity.

#2 Now in addition to opportunity Paul also had something else in Ephesus: opposition.

In verse 9 of our text Paul said that there were many who opposed him. This does not seem to fit in very well with the idea of an open door; it seems to be contrary to it.

If a ministry is God’s will and His open door then everything will fall into place perfectly right? Not always. Paul’s situation in Ephesus may have caused some Christians to have a different perspective on things there than Paul did.

In such circumstances some of us would be more likely to see the obstacles than the opportunity; we may have seen the opposition and determined that this was not an open door at all!

In ministry we need to a look at all of the factors in a situation before making a decision about it. The difficulties that are evident may not be all that we need to consider. Opposition and adversity can be indications that we are exactly where we are supposed to be.

As you look for God’s open doors in your life do not dismiss an opportunity because there are problems; the problems are real, but it may truly be an open door!

 


John P. Lathrop - United States

John P. Lathrop is a graduate of Western Connecticut State University, Zion Bible Institute, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Center for Urban Ministerial Education (CUME). He is an ordained minister with the International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies and has twenty years of pastoral experience.

 

 

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