This quote from Evangelist John Ramirez provides an excellent clue as to what this episode will cover.
This episode is focusing on hindrance and delay. I previously recorded an episode about distractions, How to Overcome Distractions to Your Purpose.
I have a disdain for hindrance and undue delay. Sometimes the delay is from God. I’m not talking about that. I’m specifically referring to undue delay that is caused by the enemy.
I know this episode is going to bless you because I was experiencing so many blocks and delays with outlining and recording this episode. Email me and let me know how this episode hit for you after you listen.
We’re gonna start with defining our terms. Some of these definitions have some overlap.
Stagnation is not advancing or developing.
Hindrance is the state of being interfered with, held back, or slowed down.
Delay is the act of postponing, hindering, or causing something to occur more slowly than normal.
A common Biblical example of hindrance and delay is when an angel of the Lord was held up from delivering a message to Daniel. I feel like I talk about this part of Daniel’s story a lot but that’s because there’s so much in it. This part of his story shows just how important certain spiritual disciplines and practices are and it teaches us something very important about satan.
In the event you have never heard me talk about this particular part of Daniel’s story, I’m going to start from the top. I encourage you to read it for yourself too. You can find it in Daniel 10, but for now here’s the cliff notes version.
Daniel had a vision from God one day and based on his interpretation and understanding of the vision, Daniel knew that there was going to be a great conflict and probably calamity coming to the people of Jerusalem. He gets pretty sad about it, I mean, imagine knowing that violence and likely death is coming to your people and your land.
He went into a period of deep sadness and mourning.
Although he sees the vision, he doesn’t really know any of the details like when, how, and what exactly. And what does someone do when they need divine revelation from God, and they need it relatively quickly? They go on a fast. So Daniel starts a partial fast and this is where the Daniel Fast originated.
Contrary to popular belief, Daniel wasn’t doing a 21 day fast. He was fasting until he received a word from the Lord. The word just so happened to come after the third week; 21 days.
While Daniel was fasting, an angel appeared to give him revelation about his vision, but the angel also gave him the scoop on what happened during his journey.
The angel says to Daniel...
…listen from the first day you decided to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your prayers were heard. So the angel is letting Daniel know, hey God heard you 21 days ago. Then the angel goes on to say, “I have come because of your prayers. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for twenty-one days.”
For you to really grasp what’s being relayed here you have to know what the angel is referring to when the angel says the prince of persia held him up. Prince is short for principality.
A demonic principality is the highest rank of the kingdom of darkness, which is the kingdom ruled by satan. The structure of his kingdom is revealed in Ephesians when the Apostle Paul says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” My pastor described satan’s kingdom as being highly organized, committed, and disciplined and I could not agree with him more. Their entire structure and focus is set against humanity…us.
This is what delayed...
…Daniel receiving the message God had for him that was the answer to his prayers. The message from God was delayed for 21 whole days. God sent the answer to Daniel’s prayer the same day Daniel asked but satan and his imps held up the delivery for 21 days.
Talk about delay!
Why Do We Experience This?
Remember the agenda of satan is to steal, kill, and destroy.
The plan of the enemy when it comes to hindrance and delay is to discourage you and eventually separate you from God’s purpose and plan for your life, which leaves you outside of God’s will.
Stagnation, hindrance, and delay are evil. I think it’s important for us to see them as such because it helps us attack them accordingly.
How to Achieve Victory
So how do we get victory in this area when so much is against us? How can we succeed? I want to first say that we already have the victory through the finished work of Christ. We receive victory in this area by standing in that truth. Here is how we can do that.
1. Shift Your Perspective
If you have been experiencing hindrance and undue delay; if you feel like you have been stuck and you haven’t been able to “catch a break” or “get ahead,” I need you to understand that you are at war! This is a spiritual attack. That is why it is so hard for you to do the simplest, most common sense thing when it comes to accomplishing your goals or doing what you know you need to do to progress in an area like your job or your purpose. Life is spiritual and the spiritual controls the physical, tangible elements we see and experience, which is why the spiritual is where our focus should be.
“So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18.
Before anything, and I do mean anything, happens on this earth, know that it has already been sanctioned in the spirit realm. A great way to think of the connection between the spirit realm and the natural realm is that the spirit realm is where everything on this earth is conceived and manufactured. The natural, physical realm, earth, is the distribution center of those things that are already in existence in the spiritual realm.
The reason you must shift your perspective is because if you don’t understand you are under attack, you will completely miss the enemy and what ends up happening is you lay down and just take it.
But you do have an enemy fighting you in this area, and he is fighting you HARD.
The Bible tells us that when it comes to this enemy, we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Then it says, “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day.”
So what does all of that mean?
It means that there is an entire spiritual system, with an organized hierarchy fighting against us. That system is fighting against our progress, purpose, our destiny.
This is so important to grasp. I have many clients and people connected to my ministry who experience stagnation and delay. When I first started coaching on purpose years ago, I didn’t fully understand the block people would have when they wouldn’t get simple things done. I thought it was just a matter of them needing to decide to do the work and then do it. Then God gave me a revelation of what was really going on. There are supernatural forces hindering them. These things have to be addressed if you are going to be successful in your purpose.
2. Engage in Warfare.
Once you have shifted your perspective from thinking you are solely to blame for being stuck and realize that the kingdom of darkness has unleashed stagnation, hindrance, and delay on us, you’re ready for the next step. You have to fight! The enemy is throwing missiles at you expecting you to get down or lay down. He wants you to fold. Matthew 11:12 tells us that, “from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”
We are not exempt. So we have to fight back. And I’m not talking about fist fighting. That isn’t going to help. This is spiritual warfare. Remember, “though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God. This is spiritual.
a. Know Your Enemy.
In order to successfully engage in warfare, we need to know our enemy.
The Bible tells us...
…that we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day.
The enemy’s kingdom is well organized and effective. I know there is a tendency to feel like I’m giving him too much credit but the reality is that he has deceived millions of people and continues to deceive millions into believing that he doesn’t exist, that hell isn’t a real place, and that all the demons left the earth when Jesus ascended to heaven. All of which is a lie.
I’m going to break down each part of the structure of the kingdom of darkness but I need you to know 1) this isn’t glorifying the devil. You need to know the structure and nature of what you are fighting against because if you know the enemy and know yourself, then you need not fear the result of 1000 battles, and I need you to know that 2) greater is he that is in YOU than he who is in the world!
The Greek word for principalities is the word archē. That word when used refers to those who have held the highest seats of power since ancient times. These are the leaders.
he Greek word for power is the word exousia which means those who have the license to do whatever they want, wherever they want. They have been delegated authority from principalities and they work hand in hand with principalities. Powers have their own hierarchy and roam around doing whatever, wherever.
Rulers of the darkness of this age
The Greek word used here is kosmokrator which means world ruler. It speaks to someone who is well-trained and disciplined.
Spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Wickedness describes those who don’t just want to hurt you, they want to destroy you. These spirits are said to have their base in the air.
Each level of the kingdom of darkness reveals how organized, committed, and disciplined the enemy and his camp is.
Remember, he is powerless against you. Yes he has power, but it is nothing when in relation to the power you wield. He has no authority to operate in the life of a follower of Christ who does not give him access and who doesn’t resist him. Greater is he that is in me, than he who is in the world. Period
b. Put on your armor
When standing firm against the enemy, we’re instructed in Ephesians 6:10 to put on the armor of God. It says “[p]ut on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Later in the text it lays out exactly what our armor consists of—the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace, shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the spirit, and the lance of prayer. These are our weapons.
3. Be Persistent
First was to shift your perspective, then engage in warfare, and finally be persistent. A lot of people give up when they don’t see immediate victory but we have to stand until what we say becomes what we see. This requires us to press forward and complete tasks even when we don’t feel like it. Progress is a weapon.
This is how we see victory in this area.
Stagnation, hindrance and delay are powerful and effective tools of the enemy but don’t get it twisted.
God is a restorer. He will restore the years that the locusts, cankerworm, the caterpillar, and the palmerworm have eaten. And when God restores, he restores with speed.
If you enjoyed this episode, then you may also enjoy the episode of the show about the fear of success and how it hinders purpose or this episode detailing what to expect when operating in your purpose.
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