Paul is completing this letter to Corinth and he is telling them about his plans. Notice how Paul has a plan. He isn’t wandering from city to city just aimlessly preaching. He is targeting major cities because he knows that is where he can have the greatest impact. He looks for a great opportunity for “effective work” to be done. Paul knows his talents and seeks work that is worth his time and energy.
“because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me.” – 1 Corinthians 16:9
Paul teaches us something here that is such an important concept to driving change. And it is this, our effectiveness is multiplied when people are open and ready to what we have to say or do. That doesn’t mean that we never drive change or pursue our goal because people aren’t yet open to the idea. But if given the choice of two equal opportunities, it often makes sense to go with the flow and to not swim upstream if not absolutely necessary. Things go better when people work together. The door may be opening for our work to begin because people are now open to change.
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Sometimes however we are called to drive change even when the people involved are not necessarily open to it. We may have just been chosen for this purpose, even if for a time or season. Sometimes we have to swim upstream, to stand against what is not popular, and to go against the flow because that is exactly what is needed. And when things are coming easily, that is when it is important to look for flow and resistance to flow. Admonish and lift up those who support the change, which will increase the flow and momentum. And look for obstacles to remove for the benefit of those resisting change. The less obstacles in the way, the easier it is for people to adopt the change. It’s all about resistance and flow, and a foot in the door or a crack in the armor is where success begins.
None of these strategies to leading change do not matter if what we are doing is not part of our God given purpose. It is important for us to be aware of what God has called us to so that we might recognize when an opportunity is presented. How would we recognize and opportunity if we are not aware of the door that is opening for us? Not sure of your calling? Take time to pray in earnest, and spend time in the quiet and in the Word of God, seeking the Lord first and foremost. And God will reveal everything to those who are faithful, especially things like clarity of purpose. And expect resistance. If it is for the glory of God, the enemy will do everything possible to try to derail you. While at times things may look difficult, let us never forget that nothing is impossible for God. He will find a way, when there is no way.
May the Lord reveal to you God’s purpose for you, and open the door for a great work in our lives. And in all things, let us do them unto the Lord. I call you blessed.
Good morning heavenly Father. I come to you this morning with an open mind. Fill me with your wisdom and understanding. Purify my heart with your goodness. Let your Holy Spirit flow freely in and through me so that I am filled with your peace and joy, love, and goodness. Help me to walk in your ways today. Help me to love everyone who you send across my path today. Help me to walk in love, and to “Do everything in love” as Paul says in 1 Cor 16:14. Thank you for sending your Son, Jesus Christ, as a sacrifice for our sins. It’s hard to believe that you would do this for me, and for us. Help our unbelief. Help us to surrender fully to your Will, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Today’s full reading: Judges 9,10; Psalms 49; 1 Corinthians 16
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