What constitutes an open door? How do you know when God is saying, “This is an opportunity you can’t pass up. GO!” …?
Is clear sailing the big clue? When things just “click” into place and the wind’s at your back and people rise up with one voice and hail you God’s chosen one, when the fruit is growing on the low branches on the tree and are easy pickins? Sometimes, probably, but not so fast. Cause Satan can open doors too, and his are wide, swept clean, level, and inviting. If they weren’t they wouldn’t be tempting. Which is his goal.
The apostle Paul was arguably the greatest Spirit-led kingdom pioneer in history, so he’d have a lot to teach us about when God says “go” and when God says “no.” In I Corinthians 16:9 Paul is reflecting on his ministry plans:
“I will stay on at Ephasus until Pentecost.”
Oh yeah? Sounds good. What’s going on?
“A great door for effective work has opened to me.”
Really? That’s awesome. Are the people receptive? What is it?
Not exactly. “There are many who oppose me.”
Oh. So the door he saw or felt or sensed wasn’t just favor, at least not with everyone. It wasn’t ease of ministry, because many opposed him. In fact, another translation says that there were “many adversaries.” The literal translation is “to lie opposite.” So it was hard. Very, very hard. Cause Satan has people, people, and they dig in and resist the work of God. They resist you. But Paul had joy. And peace. And freedom. Because God had opened the door.
What did he see? How did he know? More on that next…