Every day, we can see, feel, touch, smell, and hear things around us. These are things visible to the eyes, audible to the ears, and tangible by touch. But, every day, there is a corrupt force prying and plotting evil against our souls. These kinds of attacks know us very well in every way. The enemy knows where and how to get us to fall from sin and God’s grace. He knows how to make us lose our faith in God, and in others. But of course, God will not let us fight a battle empty-handed. Here’s what a spiritual attack is, what it feels like, and how we can fight against it.
What Is A “Spiritual Attack”?
Ephesians 6:12 defines what a spiritual attack is in the perfect sense. In this verse, it says that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. Instead, we are fighting against the spiritual forces of evil; the Devil and fallen angels. See, the enemy and his evil forces are desperate for our souls. It wants our attention so much so that in 1 Peter 5:8, these forces are said to “prowl” around us like a roaring lion. This lion is ready to devour anyone who is defenseless, weak in faith, and cut off from other believers. The enemy watches over us, observing all our weaknesses, ready to take advantage whenever and wherever he can. But of course, our weaknesses are also known by God who is our strength and shield (Psalms 28:7). He is our refuge, our help in times on need (Psalms 46).
The Signs of a Spiritual Attack
Along with fallen angels, Satan will spiritually attack us the moment we are vulnerable. The Bible tells us that the Devil plots and schemes to turn us away from God. However, the Lord provides us with an armor of defense; He wants us to wear the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:11). He gives us instructions through His Word, and what we need to enable us to stand strong in this life. With his strength and instructions, we will have victory over the battlefields of our mind, heart, and soul. What happens when the enemy wins over us? Below are ten signs to recognize and identify when or how we are being spiritually attacked.
- People justifying and normalizing their sins daily.
- Doubtful thoughts questioning God.
- Slowly losing their identity in Christ.
- Feeling the loss of purpose in their lives.
- Being easily angered or annoyed.
- Failing to recognize or acknowledging blessings.
- Feeling constantly drained.
- Constantly being under a pattern of addiction (ex: alcohol, substance, acts of immorality).
- Devoid of character.
- Lack of motivation, happiness, and clarity.
The idea behind what happens when we lose a spiritual attack is that it makes us lose track of God’s presence. God is always there, and He will never leave. However, spiritual attacks are illusions making us question ourselves, our faith, and worse, we question God. As a result, we become prisoners of our sins. And the more we sin, the more we separate ourselves from God.
This cycle goes on; we cannot see our purpose and genuine happiness from sources that are not from God. So, it is a given that we’ll feel drained, disgusted, unmotivated, angry, and depressed. A spiritual attack may sound like it hits only on a spiritual surface, but unfortunately, it’s going to affect us in every aspect of life.
The Reason Behind Spiritual Attacks
Going back to 1 Peter 5:8, why are we constantly being under spiritual attacks? Why are evil forces so desperate to corrupt us and what do they gain from our fall? The answer is very simple – God loves and treasures us unconditionally. We are priceless gems to the eyes of the enemy that wants to steal us away from God.
Think of this, God gave us His Only Son so that we may be saved and inherit His Kingdom (John 3:16). Not only that, He made us in His image to create, feel, and love. His love is unconditional and timeless that He describes us as “His chosen people” and “His treasured possession” (Deuteronomy 7:6). God opens His arms to us the moment we ask Him for forgiveness. He thinks of us with compassion and care although He sees every single sin we commit and every single word we utter against Him.
We are so worthy and loved in the eyes of God that the enemy sees us as an advantage to be robbed from our Creator. A thief would not steal something that does not have any price or value. Wars would not exist without an important cause to shed blood for. To God, we are priceless. That alone is enough to motivate the evil forces to do whatever it can to blind us away from God’s Grace. The Devil has come to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). But don’t be afraid, God did not put His strength and presence in our hearts for nothing! With God, we can overcome the enemy’s spiritual attacks with ease.
How to Fight a Spiritual Attack
It’s true that all of us handle stress or sadness differently. However, spiritual attacks are not made by humans like stress or anger. These are attempts from the forces of evil, so we can’t just “cope” with it. We need God to win over a spiritual attack. As mortals, we can’t even see nor touch the enemies whom are attacking us day and night. And we don’t have a need to for God can. With this being said, here’s how one can fight and claim victory over a spiritual attack.
Know the Answer
All forms of spiritual warfare only have one answer-God. Although it is us being attacked, only God can truly defeat the enemy. All we have to do is pray and ask for His help. It is not wise to blame and hate ourselves for feeling weak every time we are in a spiritual battle. Of course, we’ll feel weak and helpless because fighting a spiritual attack is fighting a battle that is not ours. This applies to life; let God take over and He will win it for us. Let goa and let God.
James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Did you know that before “resisting the devil”, we first need to “submit ourselves to God”? Taking triumph over the devil and his works is a given after our submission to God. It’s the required prerequisite before we can do anything about these attacks. No matter how severe it can get, God will be the constant answer and He is the answer that never fails to prove correctness.
Know the Problem
Spiritual attacks are traps that will make a believer fall deeper and deeper into the hands of the enemy through sin. The offenses we commit against God separates us from Him. And if we are growing apart from our answer, we are separating ourselves from the solution.
If you are facing a spiritual attack, you should be open and willing to be transformed and corrected by God’s grace. Once you allow Him to set His plan before you, the enemy cannot touch you. Sin is the strength of the enemy. So no matter how challenging it gets, you should try to resist it. You can do this by breaking away from negative situations, or people who encourage or trigger you to stray away from God.
Come As You Are
Coming as you are is a significant part of submitting your worries to God. Isaiah 1:18 shows how God invites us to come to Him regardless of our sins. Whenever we seek help from God, we should come fully as who we are without masking our needs and wants. It’s like how a sick person goes to a doctor to get cured. Do you think a sick person would pretend to be a healthy person when they meet their doctor? In the same way, we need to seek God with honesty and truth. So, come to God with all our weakness, burdens, and sins – He will get you through it.
Talk to God
As believers, prayer is our source of power with or without the occurrences of spiritual attacks. So the more we need strength, the more we should pray. Philippians 4:6 tells us to not be anxious but to instead pray in every situation. Spiritual attacks may trick us into thinking that the Lord doesn’t listen. However, this shouldn’t discourage us but challenge us to pray more and pray harder.
Aside from this, praying is a way to allow the Holy Spirit to dwell within us, for Him to strengthen our spirits (Romans 8:26). During times of weakness, the Holy Spirit is the One who clears our minds with negative thoughts and fills our hearts with God’s promises. If the Holy Spirit is within us, no form of evil can harm us.
When facing a spiritual battle, our faith and trust in God are being tested. Doubt is a powerful weapon the enemy can use against us. This is why spiritual attacks can make us question if God is here for us and with us. We must flee from the traps of the enemy and trust that God will get you through it. The Armor of God that He has given us allows us to have trust and obedience in His Word.
No matter how hard it gets, we as Christians should stay confident knowing that God will never fail you (Psalm 37:5). This is a terrible sight for the enemy because he cannot touch those who have God with them. Shouldn’t we fight with confidence knowing that the evil shivers just by hearing God’s Name? This is after all, what we want.
Assess the Season
Others might ask “why can’t God just defeat the enemy for me so I don’t have to suffer from spiritual attacks anymore?”. While it is true that God is the only one who can defeat the enemy and his followers, we sometimes need to assess what season of our lives we are in. Take for instance Job from the Old Testament. God allowed Satan to inflict many problems in his life. The spiritual battle Job faced includes but wasn’t limited to the death of his children, boils in his skin, and everything he had. Job did everything to worship and honor God but, the Lord did not stop these problems from entering his life. It’s not because God didn’t listen, it’s because Job was in the season of being tested.
We have to understand that God can use everything, even spiritual attacks, to transform us. Spiritual battles are never pleasant, but these are moments in our lives that we can show our devotion, trust, faith, and confidence in God.
Read God’s Word
The Bible is more than just a documentation of God’s Word, it’s also a map to life. As humans, we tend to crave assurance when we are upset or frustrated. This is why we talk to our friends for support, we listen to music that we can relate to, and this is why we pray to God. We need assurance to feel “okay”. And this is exactly where the Bible comes into play. See, the Lord knows the nature of our minds. He sees how anxious we get when we are exposed to the tactics of evil. Because of this, He gave us the Bible that has been around for decades!
So take advantage of the “map”. In the Bible, you will see the promises, miracles, breakthroughs, forgiveness, tests, and purpose God has given. You will learn a lot from the authors of the Bible who share their spiritual battles. They explain in detail how God helped them get through their difficult situations. The Bible is more alive than we think; read it and take in the Word of God. Doing so will not only claim victory over the enemy, but it will also send you off the right direction.
Know What to Listen to
Spiritual attacks are obviously wars we cannot see. But, the enemy can use instruments to blind us and drown us with sin. Let’s observe this Bible verse:
1 John 4:4 “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
Notice that “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” implies that God and the enemy come from different places. God is in His Kingdom and if we allow Him, He will be within us, mind, body, and soul. On the other hand, the enemy is “in the world”. So if he resides in the world, he can use worldly things to attack us. Be careful and always assess the way you live. If it doesn’t glorify God and instead mocks Him, stay away from it as it can weaken you. Seek the renewal of strength from God and don’t find answers in the world. It can’t give you anything.
The Name of Jesus
“In the Name of Jesus” is a statement loved by many believers from all around the world. We hear this in prayers, songs, and poems honoring God. But, His Name is also a weapon we can use during a spiritual battle. In Philippians 2:10-11, we hear that in the Name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is God.
There is immeasurable and invincible power behind the Name of Jesus. Take notice that the verse includes the word “every”. The enemy is not exempted from this. When you fight your battles in the Name of Jesus, you are covering your spirit with His blood. In His Name alone, we are saved. The enemy repels the One who defeats him, so take refuge in His Name!
Spiritual attacks will happen to us. But just like any bad situation in our lives, how we choose to handle it will determine the result. Above all, who we choose to handle it with is the main factor that will indicate our win or loss. So, choose God. Don’t rely on anything or anyone only God can fill and answer. Spiritual battles are heavy on us but, nothing is heavier than the power of the Rock that roots for us.