Satanic Strategies

“But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, because we wanted to come to you… but Satan hindered us.”  1 Thessalonians 2:17-20
As I mentioned when I began this weekly devo in 1 Thessalonians, you will find many insights into a pastors’s life with his people in this particular epistle. We see here that Paul (a “Pastor’s Pastor”) was joined to his people “in heart” and they to him. This was more than a professional relationship; it was more than a job for Paul and he was more than someone to fill a position to the people. Paul was deeply committed to his flock at Thessalonica because he had introduced them to Jesus and felt a call to care for them that was deeply personal. When such a bond between pastor and people exists, you can bet that the Enemy will do whatever he can to damage it. Here we read that Satan attempted to do this by causing Paul to be geographically separated from this church during a period when they deeply needed theological guidance, which was Paul’s specialty. Satan has many other ways to separate a pastor and people such as physical illness, economic needs that cause many pastors to have to work for part of their support outside the church, or other strains. But Paul kept pressing back against these Satanic strategies as much as  he could, by repeated attempts to visit the Thessalonians and, as here, multiple efforts to counsel and comfort them by letter. Why would Paul stay this committed against almost constant opposition? Because, as he tells us in 2:20, a pastor's deepest eternal  joy is the welfare of his flock. That’s worth remembering.
Heavenly Father, thank You for designing the church the way You have, as a flock, and pastors the way You have, as shepherds. Bring comfort and guidance to all those who labor in pastoral ministry today, wherever they are. Help them to be strong in the battle, even as they may be supernaturally hindered. Be the Victor in everything related to Your churches today, until we all see the Great Shepherd in heaven.  In The Name of that Chief Shepherd. Amen.

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