EVERYONE RUNS INTO OBSTACLES AND DIFFICULTIES
I’m telling you about Paul’s experiences because I want you to know that everyone runs into obstacles and difficulties — even the apostle Paul with all his God-given revelation and anointing!
Rather than wait for a perfect situation before you step out in faith, listen to the Holy Spirit for His timing. If the Holy Spirit says, “Do it now,” then you need to do it now, even if the surrounding environment seems difficult or unfavorable at the moment.
I guarantee you that if you freeze every time the devil throws a roadblock in your path, you’ll spend most of your life frozen.
You can be sure that the devil will do his best to hinder what God puts in your heart. But like the apostle Paul, you have to determine that you’re going to get the job done, regardless of the way you have to that if you freeze do it. Just because Satan hindered Paul every time the doesn’t mean he threw in the towel and devil throws a quit. He did not quit! He just found another way to get the job done!
I guarantee you that if you freeze every time the devil throws a roadblock in your path, you’ll spend most of your life frozen. Perfect circumstances are terrific if it’s possible to line them up, but don’t depend on it. Perfect circumstances or not, you have to decide to grab hold of God’s power and move full steam ahead. God will show you how to get around that impasse so you can finish the job.
When Paul wrote that Satan hindered him (1 Thessalonians 2:18), he also had another very important picture in his mind. The word “hindered” is the Greek word egkopto, which describes an impasse, as we have already seen above. But the word egkopto was also used in another way.
This word was additionally used to depict a runner who is running with all his might and energy, pressing forward toward the finish line. As the runner arches his body forward toward the goal, another competing runner runs up close alongside him and tries to elbow him out of the race.
Of course, any competing runner who behaves like this isn’t playing fairly. So by using this word, Paul warns that Satan doesn’t play fairly. He will do everything in his power to cut in on you. If he can’t cut in on you, he will do everything he can to elbow you out of the race.
If you feel the devil’s elbow poking you in the side to force you off track, just slap the wits out of him by speaking the Word of God and pleading the blood of Jesus in his face! James says, “…Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).