Paul wrote to the good folks in Thessaloniki: “For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan blocked our way”.
Hmmm, if Satan can block the work of someone like Paul, one commissioned by God to take the gospels to the nations, can he (Satan) not also block my way? Has he not done just that and is he not far superior to me in all regards! How am I to get anything done with him on the loose! Good grief, how can I possibly succeed when I am up against, “The Prince of Darkness”?
Do you think that this really happens? Is the Devil able to thwart our good efforts at times? (And I am not talking about a little red figure with a pointed tail and horns, but a spiritual being that wants to undo all things good). Obviously he has a lot more power that we ascribe to him can, and does, intend to stop us!
So how should I respond to all of this? I must soberly admit that the best and most noble plans I could be blocked by the enemy—-it’s a sober truth, but it also helps explain part of our struggle. Sometimes bad things happen, and sometimes it’s his fault.
What can I do about it? Surrender it to God! I am no match for Satan, but God, who loves me dearly, needs to merely speak a word and He can bring about whatever result He wants. Satan is far mightier than me, but He is does measure up to God’s power and imagination!
This isn’t a battle between two equal super powers. This isn’t about Satan winning and stopping God. If anything, all of Satan’s seeming victories are things that our God is permitting. So in a sense, He is using Satan for His ultimate purposes—-even if that purpose includes some disappointments and postponements for me at times.
Paul went on to say in another letter, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”. Paul’s struggles, just like mine, are temporal and permitted by the One that can deliver us in a split second. But it is nice to remember that the enemy, Satan, will do all he can to stop any good we are attempting from starting. If he’s not attempting to stop me, or discourage me, or block my path, I must not be much of a threat to his purposes.
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