As followers of Jesus Christ we are on Satan’s radar. I believe he is always plotting against us and looking for an opportunity to attack. What we need to realize is that through faith in Jesus Christ we have authority and power to fight back and win. Spiritual warfare is very real and is not something to be ignored. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ you are a direct threat to the devil and he has plans to utterly destroy you. In this post I will introduce this topic as simply as I can with the hope that it leads those reading to learn to understand, recognize, and resist these attacks of the devil and gain victory. Read the following passage out loud and let this truth sink in for a minute.
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
1 Peter 5:8-11
This was written to Christians, confirming the truth that we have an enemy who wants to devour us. He is looking for ways to do so, and as he puts those plans into action we need to actively resist him, firm in our faith. Demonic spiritual attacks are forms of suffering for Christ, and they do not last forever. How long they last and how it goes is partly up to how well you resist. I say partly because there are times when these attacks are allowed for our own testing and strengthening, and last as long as they need to.
Don’t believe the lie that demonic attacks of the devil only come against you if you are engaging in dark practices or living in unrepentant sin. Of course, those things can invite evil into your life, creating strongholds, giving the enemy power over you and making it harder to resist him, but the devil seeks to devour every single one of us. He wants us to be fruitless and in despair, and will use his evil forces to make it happen, regardless of whether you invite him in. This passage shows us that its not just about what we do, but also about who we are as children of God and warriors for the kingdom of heaven.
We are told to be watchful and alert because these attacks are coming and we must be able to recognize them and ready to fight back. Merriam Webster defines resist as to withstand the force or effect of and to exert oneself so as to counteract or defeat. The spiritual battle is very real and takes hard work. It’s not just something we say that doesn’t actually happen.
The devil will attack you with lies and feelings. His goal is to produce doubt, to lead you to sin, and to ultimately get you to reject God. He wants to devour and destroy your life. He attacks through temptation, using lies and your own weaknesses against you. He will tell you that you’re too weak to resist the urges within you. He will play off of your emotions and fears. If you are worried, he will speak lies to feed your fear and intensify the anxiety within you. He will tell you the worst is going to happen, and when it does it will be too much for you to handle.
Let me be very clear here. When a believer is being attacked spiritually there are evil spirits speaking into their minds. For me, and most people I talk to who are able to discern spiritual attacks, this voice is heard and recognized as a voice in the mind that is not your own. I do not recommend attempting to converse with evil spirits, but to command them to leave, out loud, with authority in Jesus Christ. Many times I have seen evil spirits flee, some quickly, and some after a long fight. this might sound scary, but it is the reality of the spiritual battle for a christian and cannot be avoided. I have personally seen individuals who had been unknowingly tormented by evil spirits in the form of anxiety, depression, and intrusive thoughts, get free after submitting to God and fighting the enemy. When a believer truly surrenders and submits to God with all their heart the evil oppressing him often makes itself known. Is this happening to you? If you are a follower of Jesus Christ this has happened to you and will happen again. Remember the truth of God’s word that says ”submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7).
The devil will also use your past pain and sin against you if he can. He will try to convince you that you are too broken and too condemned to be loved by God and to hold any value. He will seek to depress and discourage you in order to keep you from living out your faith. He will use his demons to plant all kinds of imaginations in your mind in order to distract and devour you. If the devil can’t get to you directly he will try to get to you through others. This includes your partner, your friends, your co workers, your children, your enemies. He will use any and all means necessary to shoot flaming arrows at you in order to leave you beat down, in despair, and ineffective for the kingdom.
Look at what we are told in scripture regarding the war we are facing as Christians.
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6
Take every thought captive. We have the divine power to destroy the lies that the devil speaks to our minds. The devil and his evil forces literally speak into your mind with voices that are not your own. Have you ever stopped to consider whether the lies and distorted thoughts in your mind are even your own or not? Once you take time to think about this you will begin to recognize the voice of your enemy. This is an incredible truth and one Christians MUST know and believe. Once you recognize this and learn how to fight back everything changes.
In order to resist the devil and win we have to be prepared for battle. We have to be wearing the armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-18 says,
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For 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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints”
Belt of truth: Do you know and believe the truth of who God is? Of who you are as God’s child? Do you know the truth of scripture? Knowing truth holds all of our armor together. What are you believing about God right now? About yourself? Check those beliefs with the truth of God’s Word, identify the lies, and reject them. Without truth we can’t resist the devil. As Christians we also have to make studying and knowing scripture a number one priority. God said we don’t live on bread alone, but also on the Words of God. we will starve spiritually without God’s Word and we will be incapable of defending ourselves. So study the Bible as if your life depends on it.
Knowing the truth requires that you truly value what is true over what you have been taught. If you don’t challenge every single belief you hold about God and Christianity, and ensure it lines up with scripture, you will be highly vulnerable to the Devil. Sadly, many people have a hard time letting go of lies in favor of the truth. If you want to win the spiritual battles you are sure to face you cannot let this be you.
Breastplate of righteousness: “for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” Ephesians 5:8-11 ESV
We are children of light, not darkness. We are called to live a life of righteousness that is pleasing to the Lord. If we are choosing to continue in darkness we are not wearing the breastplate of righteousness and we are vulnerable to the devil. This does not mean we don’t sin. This means we actively pursue living in the light, we seek to change patterns of sin and behavior that are displeasing to God, and we repent when we do sin.
2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us the truth that ‘For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” The Devil, and even other Christians, wants you to believe that you can’t have freedom from sin and live in righteousness. The truth is you can only do this by the blood and power of Jesus Christ. When we make our goal to live each day according to the spirit and not our flesh we have victory, not only over our sin, but also over the devil. The Christian life is a life of grace and forgiveness, but it also a life of daily sacrifice and dying to yourself. If you aren’t interested in making this your desire and goal I’m afraid the Devil is already winning his battle against you. Make this change now. Choose to stand in the righteousness of Christ and stop allowing the devil to have victory over you. You CAN make the decision to wear the breastplate of righteousness and live victoriously over sin and the Devil.
The shoes of the gospel of peace: We are called to live at peace as best as we can with others (Romans 12:18) and to seek and pursue peace daily. One way we do this is by bringing the gospel of peace and salvation to the world. 1 Peter 3:11-12 says “let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” Notice how this verse tells us to turn away from evil and to seek peace. Turning and seeking requires movement with our feet. And bringing the gospel to the world requires the same. True peace comes only through the blood and redemption of Jesus Christ. Peace is the opposite of evil. The opposite of bitterness. The opposite of internal chaos. When we are at peace we are ready for the fight. How do you know you are putting on the shoes of the gospel of peace? Are you seeking to do good and to proclaim the gospel, even to those who you disagree with? Are you seeking to forgive and have compassion for your enemies? Are you allowing worry and fear to control you, or are you being controlled by the supernatural peace of God?
Every piece of armor we miss gives Satan an opening to attack us. We don’t need to make his job any easier. He will use your bitterness, evil intentions, and fear to destroy you if you let him. When you are living outside of God’s peace it’s hard to even want to bring the gospel to others. Remember Jonah? He ran from God because he did not want to see the people of Nineveh repent and receive redemption. He hated them with a deep bitter hatred. Repent and surrender those things to God and ask him for his peace. This will close the door that was open to your enemy and enable you to be ready to stand firm.
Shield of Faith: This piece of armor literally enables us to extinguish the flaming darts of the evil one and we are told to take it up in every circumstance. What does this mean for us? If our faith is not secure we will have nothing to block the attack of the devil. Every lie of Satan seeks to produce doubt within us. Doubts about who God is, what He said, His promises, who we are as God’s children, our ability to overcome, and what our futures hold. If our faith is weak we don’t stand a chance. This is why knowing truth is critical to wining spiritual battles. How can you have faith in something you don’t really know? Something you’ve not experienced as truth? If you don’t learn the truth, believe the truth, and live based on that truth, you will not experience the truth of God in your life. Your faith will not grow and develop. It will be built on sand and will crumble from the first flaming dart.
How do we grow our faith and ensure that we are carrying the shield in every circumstance? Make drawing near to God and seeking His face your daily goal. Hebrews 11:6 tells us “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” If you believe in God you will draw near to Him and he will make himself known to you. The more you do this the more you will know and trust Him. Faith in God is not blind. It is not something you hope is true. It is something you KNOW is true because your life with God is real and powerful. This is how we walk in faith that moves mountains and extinguishes the weapons of the devil.
You can’t do this with blind hope and weak faith. Why do you think Jesus performed miracles and signs and wonders? He did this to confirm the truth of who he was. He will do the same right now in your life if you choose by faith to take up your cross daily and follow him. James 4:8 says “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” I am telling you right now that when I draw near to God and seek His face it is miraculous. When you have experienced the truth of God your faith cannot be shaken. Remember also that trials strengthen our faith. Why? It’s not simply because you’ve gone through something difficult. It’s Relying on God’s power and strength during those trials that does it. God’s faithfulness is seen and experienced in powerful ways and your faith is proven. When you through faith follow him daily and rely on him in trials you will experience God in real and powerful ways and your faith will increase.
Helmet of salvation: Without salvation in Christ Jesus we have no ability at all to defend against Satan. This piece of armor is critical. This piece of armor lets our enemy know that when he attacks us he is attacking a child of the living God, it lets him know his attacks are pointless. He knows that, but if we forget that truth we become weakened and won’t fight back from our place as children of God. When we forget our salvation we forget our authority. When we forget our authority we will not use it and we will be temporarily defeated by our enemy. The only reason I have any authority over darkness at all and any ability to fight is because of my salvation in Christ Jesus. When I stand firm on this I fight hard without fear because I know without a doubt that I will win. Don’t forget your source of strength when the heat is on, stand firm in it and fight hard.
Sword of the spirit: the Word of God: Knowing the truth is where we begin the fight. Using the truth is where the fight ends. When we speak the truth of God’s holy word to the devil he HAS to obey. His evil demons cannot stand against the word of God when spoken to them with the truth and authority of a servant of the living God. When Satan tempted Jesus in the desert he used scripture taken out of context to do so. Jesus knew the truth and could not be deceived. Do you?
“Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Matthew 4:5-7
Clearly the devil knows scripture and he also knows how to use it against us. If we do not know the truth and how to use it we will not have a weapon to use against our enemy. Satan spoke a lie to Jesus using scripture, Jesus was able to discern that what was spoken was a lie, and then he spoke the truth of scripture back to the devil, striking with a supernatural blow of his sword. Look at what happened next,
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him. Matthew 4:8-11
Jesus directly told Satan to leave, using the words of God, and he left.
Another incredible truth brought to life in this passage is that angels literally minister to and serve the children of God. You might not see them, but they are there. Hebrews 1:14 says regarding angels, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” Just as angels went to Jesus and ministered to him they will do the same for you. What’s interesting is that Satan tried to pervert this truth, as he still does today. Many people either worship angels or pretend that they are not active in the lives of Christians. Neither is Biblical, and both give our enemy an advantage.
This is what God says about those who make the Lord God their dwelling place, “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.” While your enemy is coming against you, God is sending hosts of heavenly angels to serve you and minister to you. There are several accounts in scripture in which God speaks to his children through his angels. I believe this is something that God leads, and not something we should seek out. God sends, we receive. I do not pray to angels, as I don’t see this demonstrated in scripture, but I certainly pray and ask God to send his angels to fight for me, to support me in battle, and to guard me and my family. Many times doing so has brought strength and victory.
Constant prayer: This passage concludes by reminding us to pray at all times in the spirit, not only for ourselves, but for all of the saints. Our prayers are powerful out effective and enable us to not only battle the devil when he comes after us, but to also intercede on behalf of others in the spiritual realm. I have experienced this many times.
When you are under attack, tell someone else you trust and ask that person to pray for you as well. Prayer is real and powerful.
A few months ago my daughter was acting up and hit her sister. I sent her to her room to take a break and think about what had happened. I went about my business when I suddenly felt in my spirit that the devil was attacking her that very moment with lies. I stopped what I was doing and prayed, asking the Holy Spirit to guard her mind and speak truth to her, I commanded the devil to leave her alone, and I prayed that she would be convicted and go to God herself for help (something she had never really done on her own before). A few minutes later she came back outside and told me that she talked to God and told him she was sorry for everything she did and said. I asked her what she said and she told she was yelling out that her whole family hated her. She then told me that she told God that she was sorry for what she said and that she wanted to live for him. What a moment of incredible victory! I was blown away! I regularly experience things like this in my life with God.
The topic of spiritual warfare is one that needs to be handled with great care and truth. One that, if twisted or manipulated in any way, can do harm. I choose to approach this based on the simple truths taught to me in scripture. I have fought spiritually using these simple truths for all my life and I have always had victory. Never have I been unable to resist, sometimes it takes longer, and sometimes the attacks persist on and off for many days and I need to ask others for help, but I have always been able to resist and the devil and his evil has always fled.
I have never engaged in any ritualistic behaviors, I have never sought to discover my families history in order to break any curses, I have never engaged in any conversations with demonic beings who have been attacking me. some people engage in conversing in order to figure out why the evil is there and how it got there in an attempt to get rid of it. I don’t believe we are ever told that this is necessary. Not only that, the devil is a liar, he will lie to you in order to distract you from the true means of getting rid of him. I personally believe we should not attempt to communicate with the devil or his demons, other than speaking truth to them concerning their lies and commanding them to leave by the blood and authority of Jesus Christ. You are new in Christ, what your grandmother did no longer applies to you unless you yourself are engaging in the same practices. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”2 Corinthians 5:17
If you have a lot of past trauma that is not resolved and healed, hidden sin you have not repented of, weaknesses you have accepted and chosen not to work through, this can give the enemy power over you and he will use these things against you. The more healing you get, the more you learn and apply God’s Word, the more your mind is renewed, strengthened and restored, the less the enemy has to use against you. This is why Jesus said “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
He wants us to let go of our heavy burdens, to learn a new way and have our minds transformed. Stop avoiding your pain, your sin, your struggles. What is left in the dark can be used by your enemy to keep you in bondage to the dark. When you bring those things to the light and get help, healing happens. Satan’s power over you is diminished. What pain, sin, and weaknesses have you been avoiding and keeping hidden? Bring them to the light and get victory over those things.
I believe the devil often attacks subtly and discreetly when we aren’t doing much for the kingdom, trying to slowly drive us to a fruitless life far from God. He wants us to believe what’s going on in our minds is actually due to ourselves. Our own fears, failures, and weaknesses. The truth? It seems that way because he strategically attacks us using the specific details and struggles of our personal lives. If it looks like it’s just me then why would I fight back spiritually? I believe we all need to prioritize the truth on this topic, not to distract or scare us, but to prepare us for the fight. When we are working hard for the kingdom of God all bets are off. Subtlety often goes out the window and Satan comes after us hard. He does this in order to get us to quit rather than resist him, fight, and continue in our calling. Yes, it’s easy to recognize, but it still takes diligent effort to fight back. It is exhausting, and without the power of the Spirit and Biblical truth we will buckle under the weight of the attack.
When we are being attacked by Satan and his evil we are partaking in the sufferings of Christ. I used to think I wasn’t suffering for Christ because I don’t live in a country where Christians are severely persecuted and I have a safe and comfortable life with an amazing family. The truth is, when we are faithfully following Jesus and doing what he asks of us and Satan seeks to devour us and attacks us, we are partaking in the suffering of Jesus Christ. This suffering strengthens us and tries our faith like gold in fire. This is truly something to rejoice in. The demonic attacks I have faced in the last year or so have been persistent, overwhelming, intense, and painful. It has taken great effort to resist and stand firm. It has truly been a time of suffering and it is happening because God is allowing it. I will tell you that my faith is stronger than it was before every time I get through one of these attacks.
1 Peter 4:12-13 says “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” In my experience, these types of fiery trials bring me to my knees and remind me of my weak state and desperate need for Christ. I end up broken before the throne of God, which leads to me experiencing his love and presence in the most incredible ways. It’s like I’m in this shadowy valley of suffering, yet surrounded on every side with overwhelming love and grace. It’s amazing and brings me to a place of gratitude and rejoicing. If I need a fiery trial to bring me back to this place I welcome it. I recently laughed so hard at the devil after he attacked me hard because it brought me to a place of such amazing surrender to God and I felt more loved than ever before. His weapons do not prosper, and when we resist him, firm in our faith, God truly does himself restore, strengthen, confirm, and establish us.
Let me be clear on something, often, intrusive lies are a result from our own unhealed hurts and traumas. I am not saying the only way to overcome lies and negative feelings, thoughts, and behaviors is to fight spiritually. I am saying that sometimes these things are a result of the Devil and his attacks and these attacks specifically can only be fought spiritually. My personal rule is if I am doing everything I can clinically to address my problem and it is persisting and not improving, it is likely spiritual. The more we heal, the less the devil has to use against us. Just a few days ago this happened to me and I was convinced my struggles were from past trauma. I didn’t realize until later that it was spiritual.
We must face our difficulties both spiritually and clinically, as spiritual warfare ALWAYS appears to be a clinical problem. However, clinical problems are definitely not always spiritual. I hope that clarifies some things before I continue. I will be posting another article soon on how to heal trauma and intrusive negative thoughts/emotions from a clinical standpoint. For now, this post addresses the spiritual aspect of our struggles as Christians only.
So how do I stand firm in the power of God and resist the devil during these attacks? Regardless of how I feel, I choose to speak truth to the lies, I pray continually, I worship God, I directly rebuke the devil and his evil spirits, I speak the truth of scripture over the enemy in the authority I’ve been given as a child of God. When under attack it is common for me to not feel like doing these things, but I choose to do it anyway. I tell the devil “no weapon you form against me will prosper because I am a servant of the living God and my righteousness comes from him, you must leave me in the name of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 54:17).” I command the devil to leave in the name of Jesus and remind him that he cannot have my life and that I will never stop following Jesus. I remind my enemy the truth that his attack will not prevail and that God will deliver me, as I am told in Psalm 91 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.” Psalm 91:14-15
A few weeks ago I was having an argument with my husband and I was feeling really irritated with him and not very loving toward him. I got up and walked away. I started realizing I was being attacked spiritually and began to pray and rebuke the evil coming against me. As I prayed I suddenly heard laughing and taunting in my mind. It is hard to share something so personal, but I hope this helps someone reading. I immediately recognized the voice for what it was, and commanded my enemy to leave me alone in the name of Jesus, reminding him that his weapons against me will never prosper. As soon as I prayed this out loud a verse that I hadn’t read in a long time came into my mind replacing the laughter of my enemy. Psalm 34:7. “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and delivers them.” I spoke that truth out loud, and everything changed. Instantly I felt love and kindness toward my husband and the rest of our night was great. I share this very real example in hopes that my vulnerability helps even just one person.
The morning I decided to write this post I didn’t realize the spiritual attack it would bring on. Satan and his demons came after me with full force, and not subtly either. I fought hard to combat the attack and eventually, after many days, had victory, but it was a tough and exhausting fight. It often left me feeling drained of energy, frustrated by the enemies constant plots against me, and even caused me to question whether writing this was worth the effort it would take me to stand firm against the evil hard at work against me. A week ago after helping someone handle demonic oppression and teaching that person what to do with it, I told God I knew this would result in a target on my back, but that it was worth it to help people get free. In the heat of the battle I often regret statements like that. Reminding myself I will get through and it will not last forever gives me strength to push through. Reminding myself of the privilege of suffering for Christ also gives me strength. The devil likes to lie and tell us that if we walk in God’s calling and live for him we will be worse off. Yes, the devil attacks you more, but you quickly learn that his attacks are fruitless and don’t last forever. The joy that comes makes it all worth it. There is nothing in this life that compares to living every day to love and please God and walk in his purposes.
I have heard many people talk about spiritual warfare and discuss the fact that we do not have to fear Satan because we are children of God. I have told many people the same thing. This is true of course. The truth goes deeper, however. For those Christians not seeking to live to please God, who also don’t know how to defensively fight back, satanic demonic attack is quite terrifying and can do a great deal of damage. It can leave these people enslaved to fear, evil, and bondage. No, Satan cannot steal your salvation, but he can destroy you while here on earth and render you useless to the kingdom of heaven. Trust me, I have seen this many times. I have even had periods of time in my own life where I was unprepared and weak, and highly impacted by these attacks. This is Biblical truth and needs to be openly talked about so the body of Christ can be prepared for the battle.
When a believer is not armored up and is vulnerable, Satan and his demonic forces have easy access and will strategically lie to manipulate and push the believer toward darkness and despair, further away from God and his will. They will also use their lies to influence your behavior toward others in a negative way. Not only that, demonic spirits bring with them negative and distressing feelings and imaginations as well. If there is peace and freedom in the presence of God I can assure you there is torment in the presence of Satan and his demons. To have a demon attacking you is to feel it’s presence. Maybe you have never noticed this experience, but if you are a believer you have absolutely felt it. Once you understand this and learn to recognize it, trust me, you will feel what I am talking about and you will be more able to fight.
Without acknowledging my very real enemy and preparing myself for battle I can’t resist the attack. Paul told Timothy, “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him” (2 Timothy 2:3). I believe Christians who choose to faithfully follow Jesus and answer his call are soldiers for the kingdom of heaven. This brings suffering and intense warfare, but the rewards both in this life and for all eternity are worth it. The promises of God are real and beautiful. This spiritual suffering is not unending, but lasts for a time. When we are prepared to resist, these attacks make us stronger on the other side.
Because of the work I do and the fact that I have chosen to follow Jesus whatever the cost, I experience these things regularly. Maybe that sounds scary? You know what else I experience regularly? The overwhelming presence of God when I get on my knees before him. I regularly feel the power of his love and grace and his loving arms around me. I’m Not just saying this. It is literally what I physically and spiritually experience. I also regularly experience seeing broken hurting people healed and delivered. People with immense pain and trauma getting free from debilitating symptoms who are able to move forward and live a life worth living. I regularly experience a marriage with incredible spiritual closeness and intimacy that many people I know don’t experience. I get to see my children experience God in real and beautiful ways. I regularly get to see God respond miraculously and powerfully. I would say the attacks I face, regardless of how horrifying they can be, are well worth it. Yes, when under attack I feel incredible fear, horribly negative feelings, and exhaustion, but that’s really all Satan is able to do to me. when the attacks come in I remind myself that this is all it is and I will get through it. because I fight hard with the power of God and his strength I win. And I always do. And it is always worth it. And I love thinking about how angry that must make Satan.
I believed in Jesus when I was 7 years old and. I loved him and he was always with me. But my family was very broken and life was hard for me to say the least. My dad left us when I was 12, but he wasn’t ever actually there for me even before that. I was broken, unprotected, and very alone. I look back and see that Satan was after me hard my entire life, beating me to a pulp with pain, trauma, horrific negative beliefs and feelings. I’m amazed I survived his beating. When I was so depressed I didn’t want to live anymore, I begged God to heal me and help me and I promised him I would always do whatever he wanted and I would love him forever. A thick veil of darkness was lifted off of me and I believe many demons who had been tormenting me were forced to leave at that moment. Everything changed. Yes, I still had sadness and pain I had to get through, and it was hard work. But the depth of despair and torment was gone, I felt the presence of God in my suffering, and he brought me through with his healing grace. You want to know why I am so obsessed with loving and living for God? Now you know. I know what it’s like to live under the torment of darkness and what it’s like to get free. It’s impossible to go from there to a dimly lit place like that of the life of a lukewarm Christian. Maybe momentarily, but it is so uncomfortable you can’t stay for long.
When my daughter was 5, after she believed in Jesus and had received the Holy Spirit, one day she told me she wanted to donate one of her favorite little stuffed animals that she had slept with every night. She was insistent. I knew in my spirit this was significant and decided not to donate it. A few weeks later I snuck it back in her bed before bedtime to see what happened. When she saw it she got very upset and threw it on the floor. I asked her why she no longer wanted the toy which led her to become extremely anxious. I decided to sit with her and wait for her to tell me what was wrong. For thirty minutes she nervously fidgeted with her hands, trembling voice repeating “it’s because I, it’s because I.” She was unable to say anything else. She must have said those same words over a hundred times. Despite the fact that I was frustrated, I somehow stayed calm and reassured her she was safe and could tell me anything. My words did not help at all. She looked terrified to tell me the reason she no longer wanted the toy. After thirty minutes I decided to put her on my lap and pray over her. I started praying, asking the Holy Spirit to open her mouth and allow her to speak, I told whatever was keeping her mouth shut and keeping her in fear to leave in the name of Jesus Christ. When I finished praying she immediately told me exactly what was going on. She was SO relieved! And so was I. Praise God. The enemy wanted my child to believe the lie that she wasn’t able to tell me difficult things. There is freedom in confession and sharing, and Satan knows that. He wants us to believe we have to keep the lies, thoughts and fears in our minds a secret, which will leave us in bondage. After that day my daughter has been able to come to me about anything. This was spiritual warfare, and because I was able to recognize that and I knew what to do I had victory. This is critically important.
I want to finish this post with an example of a prayer I might pray, not just while facing spiritual attack, but also to guard against it. Remember, fight until the enemy leaves, no matter how long it takes and how tired you are. The Lord God will strengthen you.
“Holy Spirit I pray in the name of Jesus Christ that all evil and darkness would leave me right now. That any attack of Satan that is coming against me would stop in the name of Jesus. I cast away and condemn the lies that the devil has placed in my mind and I pray that you would fill my mind with truth and peace. Lord God I ask you to send your heavenly angels right now to minister to me and guard me in all my ways. I pray that you would guard and protect my family. That your holy presence would surround us and fill our home, that no evil could even attempt to come near in the name of Jesus Christ. I command any and all evil spirits of the devil to leave me now in the name of Jesus. You may not stay. Your weapons against me and my family will not prosper and must cease. As I submit and surrender to God in heaven I command the devil to flee and you must obey. In the holy name of Jesus Christ.”