“For I do not want to see you now only in passing; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, because a great door for effective work has opened to me, even though many oppose me.”
1 Corinthians 16: 7-9
Paul had to know the voice of God and the character of God as his daily company and constant companion. He was chosen as a worker in God’s harvest field, and was called to suffer as a Christian and to face opposition from all sides.
Paul’s life was given over to the teaching and encouragement of God’s people, and his desire was to speak to them face to face and share all spiritual blessings with them. Paul’s desires was that people should be saved and find their way to a living faith in Jesus Christ. This is also our desire. Family, friends, and people we work with, all need the love of God and to hear the message of eternal life for all who believe.
But Paul cannot spend lots of time in Christian fellowship, when there has been a great opportunity for the spread of the gospel and salvation of souls in Ephesus. A door of opportunity has opened to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ and he will follow this opening according to the will of God. He says that many oppose him in this work. It is unclear who the opposition are, but it must have been very discouraging to Paul to have to face this, even though he was doing God’s work and bringing people to faith in Christ.
Nevertheless, Paul made good use of the opening of a door in Ephesus, and will come to the Corinthians at the right time. God has permitted him to suffer all these hardships, and Paul will not give up his fight to obey the calling of God.
This is very encouraging to us. Paul was a great sinner, and was rescued from his self-righteous life. Here he is, fully committed to God and wiling to do things that other people disapprove of. He loves God and lost people more than the acclaim of other people. We must follow his lead and do the work God asks us to do, whatever that might be. He has no rancour with the opposition but will carry on in obedience to his Master.
“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
Luke 7: 47
Paul understood his spiritual debt and his love for the Lord Jesus was all-consuming. I pray we all enter into that situation and prove the power of God and His love for all His people.