[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h4″ looks_like=”h4″]Have you ever faced a barrier or a stumbling block in your life, just as things were going good? If you are anything like me, you’ve no doubt set out to obey the Lord in a particular area, or have initiated a particular faith project, when all of a sudden you are slammed with something that seems entirely out of the blue.[/x_custom_headline]
I can assure you, that you and I are not alone in this. In fact, everybody who is doing anything for God will face hindrances that are invented by the kingdom of darkness, and are designed to hold you back, or at least to slow down your progress. And if you’ve ever read through the book of Acts, you will discover this happened to the Apostle Paul on numerous occasions.
For example, while Paul and his ministry team were pioneering a new church in the city of Thessalonica, the devil began throwing up all sorts of opposition, so severe in fact, that Paul would have to leave the area. Paul and his missionary team did not want to leave the Thessalonians but they were literally torn away from them by the circumstances that forced them out of Thessalonica.
When we read the book of 1 Thessalonians, we see that Paul expressed his love and concern for these believers. He loved them like a parent loves his own children. So he didn’t want to leave them to begin with, but once he was forced to do so, he was doing everything possible to return to them.
[x_blockquote cite=”1 Thessalonians 2:18 KJV” type=”left”]“Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.”[/x_blockquote]
The Thessalonians were out of Paul’s sight but they were by no means out of his heart or mind. In fact, he tried desperately to get back to these believers over and over again. But to get where he wanted to be, he would have to overcome the hindrances of the enemy, just like you and I will.
Now let’s take a moment to define this word “hindered.” [highlight]W. E. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words defines this word “hindered” as: “…breaking up the road, or placing an obstacle sharply in the path.”[/highlight]
The meaning is that even though Paul deeply desired to return to the Thessalonians, the devil kept breaking up the road and placing sharp obstacles in the path that prevented him from doing so.
This is often what the enemy does to each of us when we step out in faith to obey God. He tries to make the road impassable.
In addition to the definition above, the word “hindered” also means: “to impede; to render fruitless; to cut into.” Has that ever happened to you? It has to me, more times than I can count.
One writer I read after defined hindered with this example: It would be like running a clean and fair race only to have another runner come along side you and elbow you out of the way, completely shoving you off course.
People who are under the inspiration of the devil, and sadly this includes church people who are carnal and prone to get into strife and cause trouble, can be very vicious folks. You may be running the race with the purest heart, yet people like this who either want your position or something you have, do not hesitate to shove you out of the way, and completely off the course.
Still at other times, it isn’t people necessarily that are the hindrances, it the circumstances that are orchestrated by the wicked one and his minions.
And I would like to interject here something that is important to realize, which is that many pastors and ministers have set out to fulfill the plan of God and announced that plan to their congregation, only to have these unforeseen obstacles arise that break up the road and hinder the project. Believers who have little biblical understanding of these things will often criticize their pastor as though these hindrances are a failing on his part in some way. But this is most often not the case at all.
Don’t be an insensitive believer such as this. Because every single believer who truly desires and sets out to do the will of God in their own lives, will also experiences these demonic hindrances. So be merciful, and stand in the gap in prayer for your pastor and fellow believers when they are facing these types of hang ups that the devil brought into their pathway.
[x_blockquote cite=”1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 KJV” type=”left”]“19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? 20 For ye are our glory and joy.”[/x_blockquote]
Paul didn’t look at the trouble the devil was causing and determine that his ministry was ineffective, or that what he had already invested in the Thessalonians was pointless. Instead he kept his focus always on the future. You will get discouraged if you never look beyond today and your current circumstances. [highlight]You must look towards the future, for today is not the end.[/highlight]
These two verses express Paul’s great love for these believers and the high value he places on them. And no doubt Paul was pointing this church to look past the current circumstances and to the eternal reward that awaited them, and that they all would be together forever and ever. And certainly they were encouraged to not jump ship, and to never give up no matter what.
Just like the Thessalonian believers, it is important that you and I determine to never quit and cave in to the enemy’s pressures. Instead we must gain a firm grip on all of the spiritual resources that we have through our Lord Jesus Christ!
Decide by faith today that God is going to empower you, and give you His wisdom to get you through every obstacle, and get you where he wants you to go. And if you will be determined not to quit, you will win over every single one of Satan’s hindrances.