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 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.
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.