Christianity is a great adventure. When I taught through Acts, I called the series “The Great Adventure.” When you walk with the Lord, in the light of His Word, by the power of His Spirit, life is a great adventure. And yet there are often challenges and even adversaries. When Paul was waiting in Ephesus and he wanted to see the Corinthians, but couldn’t go to them at that time, he explained to them, “For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” (1 Cor. 16:9) Paul knew he had opportunities to disciple God’s Word in Ephesus and in the midst of adversaries, he decided to stay.
Sometimes we think, “If I’m a Christian, I shouldn’t have problems, or at least not ‘this many!'” Yet, Paul realized that in this world, there would be trials and troubles in the midst of great opportunities for the gospel message and discipling of people. If we expect that we shouldn’t face trouble, then we’ll be neutralized and not influence and not impact those around us.
In fact, John is very clear that when God opens a door, no one can shut it and when He shuts a door, no one can open it. Notice in this letter to Philadelphia that John writes in Revelation 3:8-9, “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie– indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.” When God makes a way open, no one can shut it, no matter what they do, who they talk to, or who they assemble. God will keep that way open. God opened the door for Gideon when He used 300 soldiers with Gideon to stop 120,000 enemy forces.
Does God have a problem keeping the door open? His only problem is when we don’t trust Him and we get in the way. We can miss out on the opportunity before us. If God closes a door, there is nothing we can do to open it. We can’t plot, assemble people to support our cause or work behind the scenes to get something going where God says “No.” It’s far better to keep pressing forward in the midst of adversaries and challenges and watch for God’s deliverance. He will make the deliverance in His time and He will show His ministry will prevail.
Are you married? You have an open door of living as one reflecting Jesus Christ and the Church. Be faithful and trust God to work with your spouse. Are you troubled by disobedient children? You have an open door of shooting straight arrows into the next generation with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Be faithful as a godly parent and teach your children to obey, whatever and however long it takes. Are you wondering about God’s ministry opportunities? God always gives an open door for ministry. Keep walking in the path God has opened to you and watch the mighty acts of the Lord!