3 Things That Bring On Spiritual Attacks

3 Things That Bring On Spiritual Attacks December 3, 2018

What 3 things can the believer do that may bring on spiritual attacks from the enemy?


Why do demons attack? What does the Bible say the reason is? May I suggest these 3 reasons that spiritual warfare happens. Demonic or spiritual attacks come from studying the Word of God, from teaching the Word, from obeying the Word of God, from sharing the Word of God, and from growing in the Word of God. Satan and his minions don’t waste their time on those who are not making a difference in the kingdom, so if you’re under spiritual attack, that’s good! That shows you are doing something right, and that you’re on the right side. The enemy doesn’t attack those who are headed down the broad path of destruction. To be sure, we’re not battling an enemy that we can see with our eyes, because “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” (Eph 6:12).

The Tempation of Christ (1854) by Ary Scheffer.

The demons of darkness are opposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ and will do anything in their power to prevent people from being saved. They’ve gone so far as to have their own ministers (2 Cor 11:4), but they will do anything they can to make you lose your testimony or not share your faith. It should also be noted that demons may work through unbelievers to attack, insult, degrade, and persecute those who do believe, but that’s good because the truth is, “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim 3:12). Of course, not everyone that persecutes you is under demonic influence, but no doubt, some are. The surprising thing is if someone claims to be a believer but has never suffered persecution. Something’s very wrong there, but if you receive verbal abuse for sharing Christ, then I say, “Good!” This too is a blessing (Matt 5:10-12; 1 Pet 4:14). I am not saying we should cram the gospel down people’s throat. No! Jesus never forced Himself on anyone, but if you are hated for your faith, or despised for what you write for Christ, then you must understand that they’re reading someone else’s mail. They cannot understand the Word of God without the Spirit of God (Rom 8:5, 7-9; 1 Cor 2:14, 2 Cor 4:3-4) like the children of God can (Rom 8:5-9). All we can do…no, all we must do is to love them…pray for them, and return good for evil (Luke 6:28). Be sure of this; grow in the Word of God and you’ll experience more spiritual warfare. Obey it, and look out!

Making a Difference

We know from Scripture that only God can take or give life. Satan has no power to kill, but sometimes we fear him and give him too much credit, but God limited what Satan could do to Job, telling him, “the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord” (Job 1:12). Sometimes we think that Satan is omnipresent. Especially when people have told me that Satan is attacking them. I am leery of that because Satan is a created being, and he can only be in one place at a time, so if 10 people claim they are being attacked by Satan, and all at the same time, we know it’s not Satan because he’s not omnipresent. As a created being, he can only be in one place at a time. More likely, it’s demonic influence. We give him too much credit. First of all, He is God’s Devil.

Satan doesn’t waste his time on individual members of the church as much as he does in influencing world leaders and inspiring false teachers, prophets, and pastors to proclaim a gospel without repentance and faith. I’m not big enough of a problem for Satan to waste his time on me, but he’ll likely delegate some of his demons to harass me, but again, that’s good. They don’t waste their time on those headed down the broad path of destruction, or on those who are lukewarm believers. They make no difference in the kingdom, so the Devil most likely spends his time attacking the most effective evangelists, teachers, preachers, or missionaries, but he also spends his time on world leaders and influential people that are financing evil practices. I’m small peanuts to him, but rather, He is the prince of the power of the air (2 Cor 4:4), influencing or controlling those who are the most influential in human affairs. Demons don’t waste their time on those who are wasting their time. They go after those who are making a difference.

Prayer Time

When I am praying to God, it seems as though all kinds of unwholesome thoughts start to enter my mind. It’s almost like a full frontal attack. It becomes hard to concentrate, and my mind begins to think on things that are anything but godly, so I double down and ask God’s Spirit to protect my mind while I pray, and it does help, but it seems the more I pray, the more I struggle with thoughts that are not from God. When the enemy tries to break the lines of communication, you are under spiritual warfare. If demons can keep us from praying, then we’ve lost our most important contact in the universe. We can get too busy to pray. At other times when I pray, it seems I’m flooded with thoughts of worthlessness, feeling unworthy to even talk to God. The enemy may even send me thoughts where I doubt my own salvation, but then I return to the Word and to prayer. It is warfare my friends. Like the movie War Room, there’s an invisible war going on, and what makes it most deadly is that the enemy is invisible. We don’t think about what we don’t see…and that’s just what they want. To unbelievers, an enemy that doesn’t exist is no enemy at all, but for believers, they are all too real.

If they can make you feel like you’ve never really been saved, then you’ll feel it’s useless to pray to God. The enemy hates the idea that believers are cleansed by the blood of the Lamb forever, and that Satan and his demon’s fate is sealed forever, so when you’re under spiritual attack, do what Dr. Irwin Lutzer said: “When the enemy reminds you of your past, remind him of his future” (Rev 20:9-10). Quote that Scripture if necessary. We know the end…but so does He! They cannot rob anyone’s salvation, but they can rob the joy of your salvation. This happened to King David, but for a very good reason (Psalm 51:12-14). When a believer feels condemned and has lost their joy, they’re less likely to witness for Christ, but they are also less likely to pray to God. That vicious cycle repeats itself until the lukewarm believer makes no difference at all. That kind of believer will experience fewer spiritual attacks because they live the Christian life in a way that makes little or no difference to God. They may lose their assurance and their joy. If that happens, you can be sure there will be less witnessing, and there will be less prayer. All of these things will keep you from spiritual attacks, but being under spiritual attacks is good. It shows you’re making a difference, and being in the battle, you know you’re on the right side, so when you feel least like praying, is the very time you need it most!


The Bible speaks about leavening as representing sin because it puffs up and grows, and leavening works best in lukewarm water, so the more a believer sins, the more lukewarm they become…and they may reach a point where even the demon’s won’t waste their time because they’re no longer effective for Christ. The way to stop spiritual attacks is to stop obeying Christ, stop making a difference for Christ, and stop praying to God through Christ, but if you do these things, then you will be under spiritual attack…and contrary to how we might think, that’s actually a good thing. As Paul Chappell once said, “The devil doesn’t persecute those who aren’t making a godly difference in the world.”

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

"To those who are color blind, I am color blind, but just because we cannot ..."

Do Colors Have Special Meaning In ..."

The Assurance of Jesus Christ’s Return
"Color doesn't mean much to the colorblind."

Do Colors Have Special Meaning In ..."
"yet more puerile stupidity, Jack."

Do Colors Have Special Meaning In ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Theodore A. Jones

    “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.” Rom. 2:13

  • Maine_Skeptic

    “…if you are hated for your faith, or despised for what you write for Christ, then you must understand that they’re reading someone else’s mail…”

    This article seems to have America-dwelling Christians as its audience. What “persecution” are Evangelicals undergoing here? Are there actual examples, or is it consider persecution whenever Evangelicals don’t get their way in the public arena?

    • Theodore A. Jones

      Pointedly the “Christians” here would be aghast if they were persecuted. The reason they are not is because of alleging that the sin of murdering Jesus Christ is not an accountable sin by law.

  • Matthew 22:37

    Below is a chart which contrasts the plans of the devil with the plans of God.

    Devil’s Plan God’s Plan Reference

    Anger Patience James 1:19-20
    Anxiety Peace John 16:33
    Bitterness, revenge. Forgiveness Matt. 6:14-15; Col. 3:12-13
    Complaining Contentment. Phil. 2:14
    Cursing Blessing Luke 6:28
    Death Life John 5:24
    Discouragemen Courage. Deut. 31:8; Ps. 27:14
    Doubt Faith Heb. 11:6
    Empowerment by alcohol Empowerment by Holy Spirit Ephesians 5:18
    Fear. God’s love I John 4:18
    Gossip Confidentiality. Prov. 20:19
    Greed Generosity Lk. 12:15; Acts 20:35
    Grief Joy Isa. 29:19
    Hateful talk Pleasant words Proverbs 16:24; Eph. 4:29
    Irresponsibility. Dependability Prov. 25:13
    Jealousy, envy Abundant heart James 3:16-17
    Laziness. Diligence Prov. 12:24
    Lies Truth Prov. 14:25
    Me first God first. Matt. 6:33
    My way God’s way Prov. 16:25
    My power God’s power Eph. 3:16
    Pride Humility James 4:6
    Rage Self-control Col. 3:8-10
    Regret, shame God’s forgiveness Acts 3:19
    Rudeness Consideration of others Philippians 2:3-4
    Self-pity Songs of praise Ephesians 5:19-20
    Sexual immorality Sexual purity I Thes. 4:3
    Suicide Life purpose John 10:10
    Unfaithfulness Loyalty Matt. 25:41
    Using others Sacrificing for others I Cor. 13:4-7
    Worry Rest. Matthew 11:28-29

    • Myles

      How many verses in your bible show your god declaring that not only is it the creator of good but also of evil? Your god is your satan and your sanity is borderline.

  • Matthew 22:37

    quote from I.D. Williamson’s The Nature of Salvation:

    “For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God,
    who is the Savior of all men, especially those that believe”
    (1 Tim. 4:10)
    It is a lamentable truth, that in all ages and countries, those who have embraced opinions differing from the popular doctrines of the day, have suffered reproach in the consequence of their faith. Man has forgotten the great truth that his fellow-man has the same right to think as himself, and that every one is accountable for himself, and to God alone. For this reason he has persecuted his fellow for his opinion’s sake, and pointed to the man whose faith did not exactly square with the popular standard, as a proper object of reproach, and a mark at which bigotry might hurl her arrows of wrath with impunity.-end quote

    Where do all these evil attacks start? In the mind and heart of man.

    So what do evil people do? Attempt to silence God instead of learn from Him so that He can keep their hearts, mind and souls stayed on Him in perfect spiritual peace.

    Don’t let the peace stealers in this comments section steal your peace, Christians.

    Refuse to read their attacks on Jesus and put your emails on silence so you don’t have to read the evilly inspired opinions of men.

    Put God first as Jesus says to do. That way you set your own temple (life) in order.

    Matthew 22:36-40 English Standard Version (ESV)

    36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.

    Then go to the Book of Ephesians and learn how to put on the whole Armor of God to defeat spiritual attacks and keep the peace that Christ purchased for you at great cost to Himself.

    • Theodore A. Jones

      Whom is the author of the above statement?

    • So will “the evilly inspired words of men” lead non-repentant “sinners” to burn in hell forever if we don’t repent of our so-called “sins”?

      • Elephile

        Your answer is in the opening quote:

        “the living God,
        who is the Savior of all humans” (my note: and that’s just for starters)

    • pud

      “god” seems to be able to be silent all on his own…invisible and undetectable as well.

  • Mary Hanna

    If God is omni-present, omni-benevolent, and omni-potent, how can Satan do anything to you and why would God let him? I’m confused.

    • pud

      It’s all a dysfunctional fairytale for gullible grown ups.

  • pud

    Have you seen a doctor for dementia jack? Seriously.

    Why not write an essay on something practical like how to cast spells? Since you’re convinced that the universe is populated by a host of invisible, undetectable agents that can act in human affairs…why not tap that and do something with it?

    ARE YOU REALLY THIS DELUSIONAL? THIS INFANTILE? Where are the unicorns jack?

    How about some voodoo? Don’t witch doctors cast out demons too?

    You are a sick man jack…a grown man that professes devils, possession, demons is a sick man.

    What a sick and perverted universe you mindlessly “believe” in where humans are just pathetic tools at the mercy of make believe agents and a celestial dictator.

    Get help jack…you are so unwell

  • pud

    For something to be true, the proposition MUST be demonstrable. “Truth” cannot be “claimed” or “asserted” it must be shown via evidence. It must be falsifiable in that there must be a test that is able to prove the proposition wrong. No claim to the invisible and undetectable can be falsified therefore it CANNOT be claimed as a truth. This is how REASON works.

    Now jack….Since you are a wellspring of unfalsifiable claims and ridiculous assertions…demonstrate the following..

    Spirit…define and demonstrate that such a thing exists
    Possession…define and demonstrate that such a thing exists
    Demons…define and demonstrate that such agents exist
    Devils….define and demonstrate that such agents exist
    God…define and demonstrate that such a thing exists
    Jesus…demonstrate that any such individual existed/exists
    Sin…define and demonstrate that any such thing exists


    Since you will FAIL 100% at this task (assuming you weren’t so cowardly as to HIDE from the challenge)…we can assume that NOTHING you babble meets the requirements for truth so therefore EVERYTHING you babble is either false making you either a liar or delusional….which is it jack?

  • Miranda

    Some good advice I would only add that we must also be cautious of focusing too much on being under the attack or influence of the Enemy as the reason for our sin. The Enemy has no power over us but what we give them, they tempt us to indulge in our own sinful natures – i.e. they bring out the sinful nature by making it seem like the best path, its not the devil that is making you do it, its you that is making that choice, too often some people just say ‘the devil made me do it’ and write off their own culpability. In the Words of Saint Anthony, who was beaten, tempted starved and abused physically by the devil in the form of wild beasts “If any of you have any authority over me, only one would have been sufficient to fight me.”. Increasingly we are faced with temptations, as the good Pastor says “When I am praying to God, it seems as though all kinds of unwholesome thoughts start to enter my mind.” the response must be like Our Saviour in the desert, fight the enemy with Scripture and hope in our Father to deliver us in time rather than let our despair at our own sinful nature overcome us.

    • Jack Wellman

      Good point. That’s why I only write about this subject in 1 in 100 articles so we are to focus on Christ and not the Enemy, but to at least be equippped for these attacks and to know where to find help in the Word, it has at least served a purpose (I hope) for that.

  • Some Christian theologians do not believe in the existence of a literal, invisible being called Satan or the Devil nor in the existence of literal demons. The “principalities and powers”, Satan, and demons are interpreted to be mythological language used by the ancient biblical writers to express the influence of evil powers on human behaviour personally and in the patterned or structured human relationships that influence our personal behaviour.

    Your whole argument is based on a historical-grammatical interpretation of the bible being its true understanding. Jesus is said to have cast out demons, so Conservative Evangelicals therefore say that literal demons exist. But what if Jesus, being fully human, was a product of his times and accepted the prevalent ideas of the times about Satan and demons as being literally true? This would not necessarily be an argument against Jesus deity, since the Jesus of the synoptic Gospels did not know everything. For example, he did not know the day nor the hour of his personal return in power and glory. He grew in knowledge and favour with other human beings. Yet many theologians believe that Jesus was also God.

    You make a good point that Christians should not blame the devil and demons for their own personal moral failings. We are all meant to be responsible human beings, unless we are suffering from certain mental illnesses. Yet, it is ridiculous to hear Christians blame the devil or demon attacks for their failure to love other human beings.

    Christians and non-Christians would be far better off if we all focused our minds and hearts on compassion, healing-mercy, loving-kindness and understanding of others. Too much focus on spiritual warfare is dangerous. This is not to deny that there is evil in the social, political and economic structures that do influence our human behaviour, but if we prioritise kindness we will begin to love others more today and tomorrow than we did yesterday. Kindness will help us overcome much evil.

  • Guestie

    Experienced exorcists say there are the two major “doorways” for demons (having suffered sexual abuse and interest in the occult). See a recent article in “The Atlantic” for more details. Nothing about the three things the most reverend Jack mentioned. I wonder if Jack has any data he can cite.

    • Jack Wellman

      I would rather rely on the Bible than on “The Atlantic” as one is of human source and one is from God. Its a no-brainer to know which to trust more.

      • Guestie

        Do you have any data that supports your claims and counters the data of actual exorcists?

        • Jack Wellman

          I have preached in a state mental hospital and worked with prisoners for many years. I am not intersted in exocrisms. I am interested in preaching the gospel of repentance and faith as Jesus taught (Mark 1:15) because when a person is saved, the Spirit of God kicks out the demons of hell and that’s all it takes. Why has you asked about acutal exorcists data? That’s something that I could care less about.

          • Guestie

            The OP was about “demonic attacks”. I had thought demonic possession would be included within the broader category of demonic attacks. Exorcism is a standard technique for casting out demons. Based on their experience, exorcists have identified certain situations that, if mitigated, might prevent some demonic possessions. I’m more than a little surprised that you would ignore data that might be useful to you whilst insisting upon alternative hypotheses for which you, apparently, have no data.

            ETA: It’s a “know so” kind of thing. Evidence helps you know stuff. Like the story of Thomas who wanted some evidence from Jesus so Jesus provided it.

          • Rational Human

            Jack, Jesus supposedly performed many exorcisms, and Jesus also said his followers would perform the same works as him, and greater works. Why are you not obeying and emulating Jesus the Exorcist??

          • Myles

            What generated your release or did you escape?

      • Rational Human

        Wow, I’ve never heard anyone claim that The Atlantic is authored by God! That’s awesome, and makes sense, since the writing on The Atlantic is better than in any of those manmade holy books. But that’s not enough for me, do you have more evidence for the divine origin of The Atlantic magazine?

        • Jack Wellman

          Please re-read my comment. “I’ve never heard anyone claim that The Atlantic is authored by God!” How you twisted that original statement is amazing. Please be “rational” at least in your reading of this & you won’t get confused.

        • Rational Human

          You said “one is of human source and one is from God. Its a no-brainer to know which to trust more.” , and we both know very well that the bible is of a ( actually many different) human sources, so I naturally assumed you were claiming The Atlantic to be “from God”.

  • Eliza

    Thank you for taking the time to write about the spiritual warfare believers face during prayer. The recent missionary mishap and its tragic consequence to the world has influenced a myriad of spiritual thoughts that have entered believers’ minds. For some people, spirits have influenced people to remain apathetic of sharing the gospel. I would also add that we’re to stay vigilant, focusing on scripture while we’re living in the world and facing reality as well.

    • Tiny J

      I missed it:
      What was the missionary mishap?

      • Eliza

        Oh, sorry about that. I was trying to tie in the news event (the overly eager missionary who died/got killed) to the spiritual warfare that Christians might face after hearing about the news. I noticed the online reactions and feelings from both Christians and non believing people. Some people were affected spiritually or cope in different ways in their prayer life.

        • Tiny J

          I missed the “news event.” Who was this missionary? Where did this happen? What happened?

    • Jack Wellman

      Amen. I do agree. Sharing Christ will certainly bring on the attacks, but that should not surprise us. Thank you.

  • Matthew 22:37

    What one Christian group has to say on the meaning of taking every thought captive:


    Question: “What does it mean to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5)?”

    Answer: In speaking of our spiritual warfare, Paul says that we take every thought captive and subject all thinking to Christ Jesus. Here are the apostle’s words: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

    The primary point in this section of 2 Corinthians is that we are in a spiritual warfare. What leads up to the statement that we take every thought captive is important. In verse 3 Paul states that though we walk in the flesh we do not war after the flesh. That is, we do not rely on human ingenuity or manmade plans to bring the victory. The flesh is powerless against the wiles of the devil. In verse 4 Paul mentions the “strongholds” or the “fortresses” that are destroyed by God’s power. These strongholds are the philosophies, arguments, and “proud opinions” mentioned in verse 5.

    Without question, there are many human thoughts that need to be taken captive. Numerous ungodly philosophies hold people in bondage, and those spiritual “fortresses” need to be demolished. The systems of thought that war against us are “arrogant obstacles” (NET), “lofty opinions” (ESV), and “sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing” (AMP) that prevent people from knowing God. In our day, these systems of human thought include the theory of evolution, secular humanism, existentialism, the cults, the occult, and false religions. How many people are held captive by the idea that they are the products of chance in a godless universe? How many spiritual prisoners labor under the requirements of Allah and await freedom in Christ? We must take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ. “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).

    False religion and secular philosophy have created thinking that has imprisoned the minds of millions. It is a true spiritual battle: “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Any idea, opinion, or worldview that asserts that Christ is unnecessary is reflective of the devil’s pride. Such thoughts must be taken captive and made obedient to Christ. Those who know the truth must confront error with the weapon we’ve been given, the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17).

    Our weapons in the spiritual battle are not carnal but mighty through God. As we are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2), we engage the battle against pretense and arrogant philosophy in the world. Trusting Christ and rightly dividing the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15), we take every thought captive, pull down the strongholds, and, by the grace of God, set the captives free.-end quote

    Peace is accepted. It is never forced by argumentation or force of arms on anyone.

    Christians don’t really walk in the flesh any more. Instead we walk in the Spirit and that spirit is love.

    So while there is some good info in the above by gotquestions.org it is simply better never to argue with anyone on religion.

    A Christian already accepted Jesus and His Word as better than any reasoning coming from an ignoble world that likes to set up reason as a false idol.

    So don’t argue with people. Don’t give people that are boundary violators any chance to disrupt God’s peace at all by trying to overturn God’s teachings.

    Just believe God. He says some people suppress a knowledge of Him in Romans 1 and God’s explanation is always superior to objections from the evil minds of men.

    Simply accept God’s Word and ignore the evil arguments. That way you can focus on Jesus and defeat this world by obtaining a more incorruptible life.

    There is no argument that supersedes or defeats an incorruptible life so focus on Jesus and go after that.

    That is partly what following Jesus means.

    Don’t get caught up in the world’s excuses for not following Him.

    You only have control of yourself so don’t let the boundary violators even have access to you. Why should they have access to you ahead of a holy God in your thoughtlife. Best set your priorities straight in your own mind right now.

    Dedicate your whole self to God and gain His approval.

    There are many examples of people that God changed to live incorruptible lives so don’t let the men serving fallible reason fool you.

    Serve the great and infallible God instead.

    • If you are going to take every thought captive to the Word of God (the words of barbaric, bloodthirsty and very ignorant ancient savages who created a god called Yahweh in their own likeness), aren’t you in danger of becoming a violent savage yourself?

      Perhaps you do need to check your ideas against reason and empirical evidence, not some mumbo jumbo contained in a so-called Holy book that is full of myths and presents a god who is plainly immoral. Fallible reason will serve you far better than the rantings and ravings of an ancient book.

  • Myles

    Worthless tripe.

  • tovlogos

    Perfect, Jack, notwithstanding Ephesians 6:16… Such attacks can be intense and could be better characterized as
    “flaming missiles” instead of “flaming arrows” — the world’s condition actually makes sense.

  • Carlos Santiago

    Thank you Jack. And. a blessed Easter. Good article. Anytime you are a serious threat to the kingdom( not Gods Kingdom; the other kingdom), forces may be riled up. Those that are spiritually dead usually are no threat. Thank God these physical manifestations are rare. He is risen!