But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries (1 Corinthians 16:8-9).
The Apostle Paul, in the scripture above acknowledged that a great and effectual window of opportunity was open to him for ministry in Ephesus. Howbeit, it was an opportunity in the midst of adversities. He was sensitive enough in his spirit not to see the opportunity alone; he saw the many adversaries as well. It’s like finding a treasure amongst thorns and thistles; and in a sense, that’s a trap. If you must take that treasure, you must then know what to do with the adversaries.
The adversaries that Paul referred to weren’t just negligible enemies; they were ferocious! When he recounted his experience later, he said, “For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life” (2 Corinthians 1:8). Then in 1 Corinthians 15:32, he said he fought with beasts in Ephesus: “If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus….”
The experience was life-threatening, but by yielding to the leading and guidance of the Spirit, he prevailed. Paul preached and taught the Word with such intensity and passion in Ephesus, and the Bible records specifically that the Word of God grew mightily in Ephesus, and prevailed (Acts 19:20). There’s much for us to learn in our Christian walk to help us achieve the things God has planned for us, and to live the life of glory and victory that He’s given us. But you’ve got to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit at all times. He gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us in all of life’s affairs.
Before you take up that job, or go into that business, or take that major step, let Him guide you and show you the future of whatever you’re getting into. Pray in tongues fervently, because lurking around that treasure could be adversities. But as you fellowship with the Spirit, He’ll guide you to identify possible adversities—pitfalls, barricades, or troubles—and navigate you through them triumphantly.
The Lord is my refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble! He lives in me and guides me to overcome all the way. Irrespective of the adversaries, adversities, challenges and contrary winds, my heart is stayed on the Lord who is my rock and fortress, my protection, and salvation. I walk in victory, and in the dominion of the Word today. Hallelujah!
2 Corinthians 4:17-18
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