“Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.”
I Thessalonians 2:18
We found our dog, Ferny, at a park where other kids were throwing rocks at him. Rebekah and the kids rescued him, although Rebekah removed the thorn out of his paw and put him on her lap as she brought him home. Rebekah made quite the impression that day on Ferny, and he has yet to forget it. Ferny loves Rebekah and she is the one he greets first when we all get home. He will run right past me until he locates her and she acknowledges his presence. My first meeting with Ferny did not go as well. I came home not knowing he was at the house, and noticed him hiding behind the trash cans. I tried to approach him, but he bared his teeth and growled as if he was a lion in the jungle. Ferny's first impression of me was not positive, but I figured things would get better.
Ferny did not warm up to me, which is not uncommon for people, but I typically fare well with the canine species. The next morning, I woke up early to go to work and went over to kiss Rebekah goodbye, but Ferny was not having it. He growled at me and bared his teeth, and even though he is only a ten pound dog, I simply patted her on the arm and left without incident. This continued to happen every morning. He hindered me at every opportunity, and would not even allow me to even sit close to her. Everywhere I went, he followed like in a live-in chaperone, even though we were married with kids.
I started to call him "Paw Patrol" as he roamed the house and attempted to block me from ever kissing or getting close to Rebekah again. One morning, I finally had enough of this dog, and I was not going to tolerate his nonsense any longer. I got in his face and told him I was not leaving and that he had better get used to it. I told him this was my house and like John Wayne once said, “There is not enough room in this town for the both of us.” I would like to say Ferny grew to love me, but the truth is he has only learned to tolerate me. He sits on my lap while I do my devotions, but he does not give the time of day besides that. He still serves as "Paw Patrol" when I go to kiss Rebekah, but he no longer growls or shows his teeth. His hindrance is relegated to crying or trying to jump between us, but he no longer tries to bite me or scratch my eyes out.
Although Ferny hinders me at home, I have a bigger enemy in Satan who does everything in his power to destroy my life. I Peter 5:8 states, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” Satan will do anything to hinder us from God’s work, much like he did to the Apostle Paul when he wrote this letter to the Thessalonians. Satan desires to hinder the works of God, but we are able to have victory over him. James 4:7 states, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Satan will hinder you at times, but he cannot have ultimate victory over the Christian. Satan will hinder you all the time if you choose not to submit to God, and if you don’t resist Satan.
Do you realize you are in a battle with Satan? Do you allow him to hinder you, or are you taking measures to resist and fight? Just as I was being hindered by my ten pound dog, we allow ourselves to be hindered by an opponent who is inferior to our almighty God. Will you continue to fight Satan's hindrances, or will you succumb to defeat when God has already given you the victory? May we claim the victory God has given us through Himself. As I John 4:4 tells us, "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."
Stay in the fight!