""Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but satan hindered us. " 1 Thessalonians 3:11
Wait a minute! What does Paul mean that satan hindered him? How could it be that satan had any influence on the Apostle Paul? Wasn't Paul immune to satan's ploys? If Paul wasn't protected against satan hindering his mission, what hope do we have? Aren't Christians protected against any power that satan might have had before we were saved?
satan is a real spiritual force in our world. And because satan has so many followers, some by choice, some by default, he uses people to perform his will. In the Christian realm it's like when we pray to God, we know that God wants us to put feet to our prayers. In other words, for us to do what we can toward the tasks at hand and relying on God to complete the task with His supernatural intervention. With satan and his followers it works much the same. satan relies on people to cause whatever havoc he can influence them to do and satan and his emissaries (demons) apply whatever spiritual initiative necessary to complete the (havoc, pain, death, sin, indescretion, turmoil, fraud, terrorism, castatrophe.)
What Christians through prayer accomplish to bring to pass the will of God, satan and his followers buffet by standing against the things of God, attempting to thwart the will of God. satan is successful where the power to overcome his influence is missing. In Paul's case it wasn't that he could not go here or there because there was some sort of invisible barrier like a forcefield keeping him from his mission, it was that satan and his emissaries had plotted and planned, using men and women to set up obstacles and barriers making it difficult and sometimes almost impossible for Paul to accomplish his goal. No matter how spiritual you are, you can only fight so many battles at one time. Mortals have a limit.
If you are a Christian you have probably been in a similar battle. You see with your spiritual eyes that you are doing the right thing, but you also see with your spiritual eyes that there is an enemy waiting, plotting and planning your demise. This is the spiritual battle that you are in. This is the battle that you need to be prepared for and tooled up to fight. This is where we are hindered. One thing to remember in the midst of the battle/s. "Submit yourselvs therefore to God, Resist the devil and he will flee from you." James 4:8. satan can't stay where he isn't invited or wanted, but don't think he can't come around on occasion to check on your progress. That's right, even for Christians. Are you tooled up?