Sandra, the leader of Jennifer’s home Bible Study, informed the women of her job promotion with Key Bank. As a result, she would be moving to another state. While the women cheered her good fortune, immediately they wondered what would happen to their group when she left. At first, there was quite a bit of discouragement. Jennifer was personally going through a rough time in her life as a parent and Sandra’s advice was often invaluable and encouraging.
1 Corinthians 16:7-9--I don't want to see you now just in passing, for I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord allows. But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, because a wide door for effective ministry has opened for me—yet many oppose me.
The Apostle Paul changed his travel plans because God presented him with significant opportunity to extend his ministry in the city of Ephesus. From the passage above, we can see that Paul recognized that how he spent his time was subject to God’s permissive will. He further understood this required an open mind to observe what God was doing in his life and around him and a sensitivity to maximize divine providence.
Paul’s letters reveal personal frustration he sometimes felt in trying to be an effective minister of the gospel. Even while God opened a wide door for him to minister in Ephesus, people opposed him. Why? Perhaps some felt he should not spend as much time there. Maybe, his presence threatened leaders with their own agendas. Possibly, Paul faced purely secular threats—people purposely opposed to his sharing about Christ.
Often, God allows change or adversity to open our hearts to other options and opportunities, or, to test our resolve in proving faithful in what He provides. Sandra called Jennifer and asked to meet with her a week before moving. To Jennifer’s surprise, Sandra shared that she saw God’s hand at work in her friend’s life and sensed that the Spirit was orchestrating events so that Jennifer could exercise leadership. Sandra separately prayed with the other women and they collectively agreed Jennifer was the right one to teach the study. What looked initially discouraging to all of them turned into a blessing.
God allows or arranges circumstances to lead us to a different place. He brings us to a door we are to walk through by faith. If we miss His handiwork, we see only walls. If we take counsel of our fears, we fail to turn the knob. If the door is before you, and the Spirit beckons, walk through it and experience the joy of knowing your journey is a sanctioned adventure!
We discover the doors our Lord opens by watching the things unsaved human nature reacts against.—Oswald Chambers inIf You Will Be Perfect
©2010 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)