Paul wrote to the Romans saying-


“For this reason I have often been prevented from coming to you”

Romans 15: 22


Then to the Thessalonians he said-


“Hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved…”

1 Thessalonians 2: 16




“For we wanted to come to you- I, Paul, more than once- and yet Satan hindered us.”

1 Thessalonians 2: 18


The Greek word used for “hindered” is “kopto” and it means:- to cut off, to smite, to strike,  and to beat one’s breast for grief.” The word “hinder” as we can see, fails to fully convey fully all that Paul was experiencing and expressing here. We have an enemy who seeks to kill, steal and destroy. This enemy does not want us to be successful. If we look carefully at the context in which Paul was being hindered, we gain more insight-


“And thus I aspire to preach the Gospel, not where Christ was already named, so that I would not build on another man’s foundation; but as it is written, ‘They who had no news of Him shall see, and they who had not heard shall understand.”

Romans 15: 20-21


Paul was seeking to fulfill the high call of Heaven, and it was for this reason the enemy did everything to “hinder” him. But remember that when we say hinder, we mean so much more. At the same time, the truths for which we stand for we are and will be tested.


Smith Wiggleswiorth said-


If one thing is permitted outside the will of God, it hinders us in our standing against the powers of Satan. We must allow the Word of God to judge us, lest we stand condemned with the world (1 Cor. 11:32).


As we look at Paul, we see how he remained in the will of the Lord, and the enemy still sought to hinder him. The key to victory is to stay in His perfect will. Smith explained-


May the Lord cleanse us from outward sin and from inbred sin and take away all that hinders the power of God to work through us.


David was a powerful man of God who endured many attacks from the enemy, and he learned the importance of waiting on the Lord. He said-


“To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in You I trust, Do not let me be ashamed; Do not let my enemies exult over me. Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.”

Psalm 25: 1-3


The word used for ashamed also means hindered or delayed. It may look initially like the enemy is winning, but our help comes from the Lord and not ourselves. We have to get out of the way by waiting on Him. We will fail as long as we think we can overcome in our ability.


Smith explained-


One thing that can hinder our faith is a conscience that is seared. In contrast, there is a conscience that is so open to the presence of God that the smallest thing in the world will drive it to God. When we can come into the presence of God with clear consciences and genuine faith, our hearts not condemning us, then we have confidence toward God (1 John 3:21), “and whatever we ask we receive from Him” (v. 22).


In the time of battle, we must stand before Him with a clear conscience. David understood that the battle could be won or lost in the soul arena. If we allow our emotions to take control, they will cause us to act out of the flesh arena and not the spirit. David said he lifted up his soul to the Lord. Smith explained-


The soul, covered with the blood. Until that hour, all people lived only to die, but the moment the sacrifice was made, it was not the end but only the beginning. The soul, covered with the blood, has moved from a natural to an eternal union with the Lord. Instead of death will be the fullness of life divine.


We must bring our whole being and place it under the blood. What comes under the blood has been consecrated to Him. Until we come to the place of consecration to Him, we remain ours. Smith explained-


Follow Him in constant regeneration. Every day is a regeneration; every day is a day of advancement; every day is a place of choice. Every day you find yourself in need of fresh consecration.


We must be sanctified from and consecrated to Him; spirit, soul, and body. Smith added-


It does not take a cultured or an educated man to fill a position in God’s church. What God requires is a yielded, consecrated, holy life, and He can make it a flame of fire.


Let’s go back to the book of Romans to understand better what Paul said-


“And thus I aspired to preach the Gospel, not where Christ was already named, so that I would not build on another man’s foundation; but as it is written, ‘They who had no news of Him shall see, and they who have not heard shall understand.’ For this reason I have often been prevented from coming to you.”

Romans 15: 20-22


What was the reason for the enemy’s attack? Paul’s consecration unto the Lord. Smith explained-


“Power in action. God wants everybody, without exception, to begin on the Word of God, and to act. It will be the most surprising thing that ever came. As you stand on the Word it will be an amazing thing.”


Now let’s look at the armor we have been given to overcome-


“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having dine everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all the times in the Spirit, and with this view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.”

Ephesians 6: 10-18


We can’t take the armor until we first are strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Smith said-


Anything that hinders me from dying to self, separating from the world, cleaning my life up, or entering through the narrow gate, anything that interferes with that is Satan’s power. “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains mains alone” (John 12:24).


In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus, Our Role Model, demonstrated that victory is won through consecration by coming and waiting in holy surrender to Him. Jesus understood the power of being proactive because He knew that we can’t take up the armor until we are first strong in the Lord. Anything that would hinder us from falling before Him, must be brought down before Him. Our opinions, dreams, demands, rights, etc., must be humbled before Him. For it is not until we have died can we be found strong in Him.


Smith explained-


Strive to enter in. Seek to be worthy to enter in. Let God be honored by your leaving behind the things that you know are taking your life, hindering your progress, blighting your prospects, and ruining your mind-for nothing will dull the mind’s perceptions like touching earthly things that are not clean.


In this upside-down Kingdom, our strength is found in our weakness and our death. Look at this-


“Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me- to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12: 7-10


Here we see that Paul was given powerful revelations that would have enabled Paul to exalt himself. Many prophets today boast in their great revelations and use them to build their kingdoms. Paul had to come to the place of weakness in which he had to fully trust in the Lord. This means learning to wait on Him by looking to Him and not circumstances. Out strength to endure these difficult times comes from the depth of our time surrendered to waiting on Him Smith explained


The man who wants to work the works of God must never look at conditions but at Jesus, in whom everything is complete.


Smith further added-


if we do it for ourselves, it will be a failure. We will be able to succeed only as we do the work in the name of Jesus. Oh, the love that God’s Son can put into us if we are only humble enough, weak enough, and helpless enough to know that unless He does it, it will not be done!


The challenges and attacks of the enemy can expose in us any area that has not been surrendered. Further, it reveals any dependence we still hold in our flesh. Smith explained


God will sift the believer. Get away from the chaff. Chaff is judgment; chaff is unbelief; chaff is fear; chaff is failing. It is the covering of the weak, and as long as it covers the weak, it hinders them from coming for bread. So God has to deal with the chaff; He has to remove it so that you might be the pure bread, the pure life, the pure word, and so that there will be no strange thing in you, no misunderstanding.


Are we willing to come before Him and wait? Do we understand that we must become strong in Him? And in the power of His might? Smith explained


His grace is for your weakness so that you might be sustained in the trial, in the fire, passing through it, coming out more like the Lord.


We must learn to be proactive in coming and daily waiting on Him. We must follow Jesus and make it our custom to get alone with the Lord. We must understand that the victory only comes from learning to wait so we can hear and receive all He has for us (Psalm 119: 114)