16:8 But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. 9 For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
I count tell you how many times I have heard Christians reason out God's will for their lives based on circumstances. If everything falls in place easily they conclude it was God's plan for them. If opposition and difficulty arise they interpret it as God closing the doors. Really?
What if Jesus had taken that approach? What if Peter and Paul had? Not only is a smooth path no indication of what God's will is, it is likely an indication you are heading in a direction that Satan has no issue with. Think about it. We are in a war zone. All the books and movies made about the classic battle between good and evil are mere shadows of what we are actually living. Jesus was attacked by both enemies and friends precisely because He was fulfilling the mission for which He came. When the good guys go in to rescue someone from the bad guys does the action in the story calm right down or heat up?
Look at what Paul told the Corinthian church. He basically said "I'd like to come and stay with you but I have to go to Ephesus. Not only is there a great door of opportunity for me there but I know it's urgent because the adversaries are many." Paul correctly interpreted opposition as an indication he was headed in the right direction. The closer you get to the princess in the tower, the bigger and more numerous the arrows.
This is a truth we as Christians cannot afford to miss. When Peter confessed that Jesus was the Son of the Living God, Jesus declared that this truth was the Rock on which the church would be built and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. The church is not a bunker. We were called to action, called to go, called to storm the gates of hell. You can be sure there will be opposition. You can also be sure of victory. If there is no resistance you can be sure you are headed in the wrong direction...