For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan blocked our way. —I Thessalonians 2:18

            I wonder, are we aware of Satan’s schemes?  Paul was—

“Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” (II Corinthians 2:7-11).

            In the case above, Satan’s scheme was to encourage unforgiveness when forgiveness was in order.  Unforgiveness can lead to excessive sorrow on the part of the one unforgiven that has repented.  Instead, the Corinthians were to affirm their love for this man— apparently the man that had committed incest back in I Corinthians chapter 5.  Yes, Satan will seek to destroy and one of those ways he divides believers from one another is by unforgiveness.  Unfortunately, you don’t have to look very far to see this scheme of Satan is all too common among the body of Christ—- sad.

            Paul did not tell us how Satan was blocking their way from going to see the Thessalonians again.  But we do know that Paul faced all kinds of opposition and you can be assured it was demonically induced.  Just after Paul mentioned that “It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness” (I Corinthians 11:15), he goes on to list his sufferings—

“I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.” —II Corinthians 11:23-27

            Satan and his demonic horde schemes in many ways to oppose God’s people.  Understand this— that people need to “come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will” (II Timothy 2:26).  Lost people are manipulated by our adversary to do his will.  Look around… you can see that happening every day.  Let us beware of Satan’s schemes as Paul was.

Dear Father, please give me the wisdom and discernment to know how Satan and his demonic horde are operating.  May this be so by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son Jesus.  So may it be!

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