Adversaries Arise When We Intend to Serve the Lord (Wed. August 17

The word of the day is “adversaries. We usually expect that when we intend to serve the Lord that He would remove any obstacles in our way. But today’s reading of 1 Corinthians 16:4-12, Paul refers to many opponents that stand in the way of his plans to preach the Gospel. Today we will use Paul’s example to learn why some put roadblocks in our work for the Lord. And we will discuss how we can overcome these barriers.

In today’s reading of 1 Corinthians 16:4-12, Paul closes his letter with a summary of his plans for his ministry. He writes that he is eager to visit the Corinthians and to deal with matters that he could not address in writing (11:34). Yet, he announces that he is staying in Ephesus.

Opportunities Come with Obstacles

Paul explains, “But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost for a great and effective door has opened for me, and there are many adversaries” (OSB vs. 9). This statement seems contradictory.  A door has opened for “effective,” that is,  productive ministry. And yet, there are many “adversaries,” that is, opponents who will obstruct him.

Still, if we think about it, we recognize that the forces that present an opportunity and the forces that hinder us from taking advantage of it go together. Success in any enterprise comes primarily from overcoming the project’s roadblocks. Accordingly, Paul was committed to staying in Ephesus and eager to realize the potential of the situation. But that meant overcoming his foes in the city.

The More Vital the Service the More Demons Undermine It

So it is with everything that the Lord asks us to do in His Name. Wherever there is the call to serve, there will also be challenges to overcome. When anyone goes about serving the Lord, the devil sets about making that work difficult. And the more vital the service, the more demons he sends to undermine it.

For Reflection

How then should we respond to these countervailing forces? If we concentrate solely on the possibilities before us, we will fail to recognize and deal with the obstructions against us. On the other hand, if we focus solely on our adversaries, we will lose the courage to fight them. The solution is to focus on Christ. He is the one who calls us to serve Him.  When we look to Him, he will guide and empower us for the work that He gives us. In Him and according to His will, we will be victorious over our adversaries.

 

One comment:

  1. Bless you, Fr Basil, how true this is.

    I have noticed, that when things and people around me are getting me down, it is because I have lowered my eyes and I am looking at what is around me. It can feel like drowning, or walking in mud, and any hope of relief is evaporating.

    It can take quite some time before I realise what is happening, and then, I remember that Christ is my best Friend and I ask Him for help to lift me up.

    The best way to recover my sight is to open a book, and usually something different from the Daily Readings, because when my eyes are lowered I tend to skim through the daily Readings and therefore not digesting the spiritual food which can be found in the Psalms, Prophets and Gospels etc.

    My favourite pick-me-up book is “Wounded by Love” , it is amazing how quickly it can work, not always, but when it does it sweeps away the cobweb of lies that the enemy had been blocking my sight with. I love it when you use this book as your reference for your “Word of the Day”, as it speaks directly to my soul.

    I thank God for your ministry

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