"...because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me." 1 Cor. 16:9
I recently spent some time in reflection after celebrating twelve years of pastoral ministry. One of the greatest joys of ministry has been watching Christians answer God's call on their lives. The greatest sorrow has been when they don't.
As a pastor, I’ve lost count the number of Christians I have witnessed ALMOST answer their call, ALMOST use their gifts and talents to build the Kingdom, and ALMOST fulfill their destiny. Watching this play out is truly one of the heartbreaks of ministry, and for the person that falls into the enemy's trap, the pain and regret are unbearable.
Satan hates when believers are about to step into their destiny. He will use anything to try to stop it: fear, condemnation, insecurity, temptation, doubt, sin, comfort, etc.
Here is the typical scenario:
- God opens a huge door of ministry opportunity in a believer's life.
- As the believer’s foot is about to cross the ministry threshold, right on cue, the enemy attacks.
- The believer succumbs to the attack by believing the lies of the enemy.
- SABOTAGE! – door blocked and call successfully thwarted!
It is no surprise that the enemy will try to steal a believer's destiny - it is guaranteed. It’s part of Satan's job description (John 10:10). The real surprise for me, however, is how many believers fall prey to it.
Here are four steps to foil Satan's plan to steal your destiny:
1. Don't be caught unaware and think the enemy will leave you alone. He won't. Be on the offense, knowing the enemy will attack God's purposes for your life. Expect it.
2. Think what you are thinking about. The enemy will inject lies into your mind about why you can't run through the door of opportunity. Cast down these lies and speak God's Word. Pick up your weapons and fight!
4. Determine to step through the door of opportunity with confidence in the Lord. Get alone with the Lord, empty yourself of pride, fear, doubt, condemnation, sin, etc., and ask God to fill you to overflowing with His Spirit.
3. RUN through the door God has opened for you! Don't tiptoe, stagger, or hold onto the doorpost for dear life. But RUN through with everything in you, as if souls depend upon it, because they do!