By Arch Hoercher
How can I know if I am under a spiritual attack? It is important to understand the difference between an actual spiritual attack or if the attack is a battle with your own sin nature. One thing is for sure. If you are trying to advance the kingdom of God in some capacity, you can bet you will come under some type of spiritual attack.
What is a spiritual attack? A spiritual attack is a series of events coordinated by the demonic realm in order to abort promises, shipwreck faith, oppress a believer and stall out destiny. Demonic or spiritual attacks come from studying the Word, teaching the Word, obeying the Word, sharing the Word, and growing in the Word. Satan and all his minions (demons) hate the Word because the Word is Jesus Christ and it is He who has defeated them. We must understand clearly that we battle an enemy that we cannot see with our eyes; “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” – Ephesians 6:12. Satan and his demons are opposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They will do whatever they can to prevent anyone from accepting Jesus Christ as their savior. Demonic forces will do whatever they can to lose or weaken your testimony. They do not want you to share your faith. The demonic realm will use whatever tactic or person (especially non-believers) to weaken or derail the sharing of your faith or testimony.
It is important to understand who Satan is. He is a fallen angel and a created being. Satan and other angels rebelled against God. They lost that battle and were cast out of heaven. Satan was a very powerful angel, but He is not God, although that is who He wished to usurp. Satan is not omnipresent. He is not in all places at the same time. So the likelihood of Satan attacking you is not likely. Your attack will be carried out by one of the other fallen angels (demons) who are Satan’s minions and carry out his wishes. Satan, I am sure, attacks much bigger fish in his eyes, missionaries, evangelists, and government leaders.
Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 2:11 – “lest Satan should take advantage of us. For we are not ignorant of his devices.” We should know and understand how Satan and his minions will attack us. How can we fight or withstand these attacks? Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:10-18 that we need to be strong in His (God’s) power. This power is not our own power. Our own power is no match for the devil and his forces. We are also to put on the entire (not just one or two pieces) armor of God. The only way we can stand to demonic forces is to put on this full armor of God. We can only be strong in the Lord’s power; it is God’s armor that protects us, and our battle is against spiritual forces. The only offensive weapon is the Word of God. Satan and all his minions cannot stand against it. As Jesus defeated Satan in the wilderness, He began each response with, “It is written” and quoted scripture. The Word of God is the most powerful weapon anyone can use against the devil. If Jesus used the Word to counter Satan, why would we want to use anything else? Dr. Irwin Lutzer once said, “When Satan reminds you of your past, remind him of his future.” Satan and all his demons are already defeated. When we are under attack there are two very important facts that we should always use and remember. We are to rest in the fact that we are declared righteous because of Christ’s sacrifice and work in us. Our ultimate defense is the assurance we have of salvation. There is no spiritual force that can take that away from us.
What are some possible symptoms of a spiritual attack?
1. Lack of spiritual passion
2. Extreme frustration
3. Confusion about purpose
4. Lack of peace
5. Unusual sluggishness
6. Strong urge to quit assignment
7. Being drawn back to old bondages
8. Questioning your call
How can one break away from the grip of a spiritual attack?
1. Break it with faith: “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6)
2. Break it with prayer: “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel.” (Ephesians 6:18-19)
3. Break it with resistance: “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
Spiritual attacks are real. Satan and his demons are real. Attacks will occur when we are being obedient to God’s will in our lives. Especially when we are working to advance God’s kingdom on this earth. He will attack us when we witness to others. He will attack us when we share our testimony. We should not forget that He who dwells within us is much more powerful than Satan could ever hope to be. Understand the devils attacks and why he is attacking. Use the defense that we have at our disposal. Do not become discouraged, with the armor of God and His Word, Satan can be defeated. And remember, He has already lost the big fight.