TITLE: Don’t Let Satan Get In Your Way
GREEK WORD WITH ENGLISH TRANSLITERATION:(egkopto)
STRONG’S CONCORDANCE #: 1465
MEANING: hindered; detained
BACKGROUND OF WORD (ETYMOLOGY): from two Greek words literally translated meaning “to cut into”; was used of “impeding” persons by breaking up the road, or by placing an obstacle sharply in the path; hence, metaphorically, of “detaining” a person unnecessarily; used to define obstacles in the way; this was also used to describe a runner in the Olympic games who would thrust their elbow into your side to get you to get out of their way;
HOW TRANSLATED IN KJV, NASB AND/OR ESV: hindered;
# OF TIMES USED IN THE GREEK NEW TESTAMENT: 4
KEY VERSE IN THE BIBLE WHERE GREEK WORD USED:
1 Thessalonians 2:18
“For we wanted to come to you — I, Paul, more than once — and yet Satan hindered (egkoptw) us.”
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK:
If you are going to do anything significant for the Kingdom of God, you must know in advance that Satan will not be delighted about it. He will try to stop you, thwart you, and dissuade you from staying on track. The last thing he wants is for you to step into the middle of God’s will for your life, because he knows the moment you do, mighty and powerful things will begin to happen that negatively affect his dark kingdom. Therefore, Satan will most definitely do all he can to keep you and hinder you from getting where God wants you to be!
Paul wrote of this when he described to the church at Thessalonica his desire to meet with them. In 1 Thessalonians 2:18 he writes, “For we wanted to come to you — I, Paul, more than once — and yet Satan hindered (engkoptoe) us.” The word “hindered” is the Greek word engkoptoe. This word was used to depict a runner who was elbowed out of the race by a fellow runner. If you have ever watched roller derby, it would be descxribed as the role of the blocker. This Greek word was also used to picture the breaking up of a road to make it impassable for travelers. This kind of impasse made it impossible for a traveler to get where he needed to go. As a result, the traveler’s trip was hindered, delayed, postponed, or temporarily put off. The traveler could still take another route to get to the same destination, but the alternate route was inconvenient, cost a lot of extra money, and took precious time that could have been used another way. It would be the image of someone blowing up a bridge to thwart folks getting across and having to find another route.
By using this word, Paul informs us that demonic attacks inconvenienced him on occasion. Satan craftily sought to abort advances of the Gospel by arranging unexpected problems that delayed, postponed, and hindered the missions God had placed on Paul’s heart. But did Paul sit down and cry because plans didn’t work out as he intended? Did he throw in the towel and quit? No!
The apostle Paul never stopped just because the devil and his demons tried to get in his way! No impasse or roadblock was going to stop him! He refused to take no for an answer! He was going to get the job done, regardless of the inconvenience, money, time, or effort involved. He was so stubborn about doing what he was called to do that he always found a way to do it.
An example of this is the time Paul left the city of Ephesus because his life was in danger (see Acts 19 and 20). Paul had given three years of his life to the believers in Ephesus. When he left, he could have cried, “Oh, I don’t understand why the Lord let this happen! He knows how much I love the leadership of Ephesus!” Paul could have bemoaned, “Now I’ll never see the Ephesian believers again. The devil has attacked me, and the door to Ephesus is permanently closed for me!”
But Paul understood that crying and lamenting don’t change a thing. So instead, he went down the road to the seaside town of Miletus and secured a facility for a meeting. Then he called for the elders of Ephesus to meet him there! Paul figured if he couldn’t go to Ephesus, why not invite the leadership to come see him? Why resign himself to defeat just because he had hit an impasse in the road? Paul knew that there is more than one way to accomplish a goal. So he put his brain to work and found a way to do what God wanted him to do.
Why should we stop just because the devil and his demons get in the way? If that were the case, we might as well stop everything we’re doing for the Lord right now! There will never be a time that the devil just lets us do what is in our hearts. We must be determined to keep doing what we’re called to do even if the devil tries to slam the door shut in our faces.
So what if Satan shut the door to Ephesus? That was a good time for Paul to look for a open window! If he couldn’t go to the elders, why not call them to him? Paul discovered an open window in Miletus. He called for the leaders, met with them, and finished his assignment, exactly as God had ordered him to do. Mission accomplished! I have heard it said “Where Satan closes a door, God opens a window.”
You see, Paul had an attitude that would not give up. It didn’t matter how much opposition was leveled against him, he had already decided he would outlive the opposition. Some how he’d find a way to do what God had called him to do.
CHALLENGE FOR THE WEEK:
You can do anything God calls you to do too! Just first be certain that it is in fact HIS calling. Then determine in your heart that you will not allow Satan to do anything to stop you, thwart you, hinder you, or dissuade you from staying on track with the assignment God has given you. God’s will for your life is where mighty and powerful things are going to happen! That is why the devil is putting up such a fuss to try to keep you from getting there. He’s afraid of what will happen if you actually do what God has put in your heart to do.
So dig in your heels, and determine that you are not giving in or giving up. Refuse to back up or relent, and keep on pressing ahead. The devil may have put an impasse in the road before you, but that doesn’t mean the show is over! If you’ll listen to the Holy Spirit, He’ll show you another route to get you where you need to be.
The Holy Spirit needs a partner who is committed. So just commit yourself to pressing ahead, regardless of the opposition. As you do, the Spirit of God will empower you to conquer every attack that comes against you. Then He will masterfully show you another and more effective way to fulfill your divine assignment. In short, Don’t Let Satan Get In YOUR way!.
PRAYER FOR THE WEEK:
Lord, I ask You to help me stay fiercely committed to fulfilling the assignment You have given to me. Forgive me for the times I’ve given in to weakness and allowed myself to complain when I should have grabbed hold of Your strength and pressed full steam ahead. I repent for allowing my flesh to talk me into moments of defeat. Forgive me for allowing Satan to hinder me in doing Your will. Today I choose to push forward to do exactly what You’ve told me to do. Holy Spirit, if the devil creates an impasse for me, please show me a better route to take so I can fulfill my divine assignment! I pray all this in Jesus’ holy name, Amen.