God doesn’t have arm-chair generals.
You cannot be a Christian – and not be involved in spiritual warfare.
If you are not experiencing attacks (or resistance) from the enemy, it is one of the following:
(1) You Are Part Of The Kingdom Of Darkness. The devil will not fight his own. “A kingdom divided against itself will not stand.” (Mark 3:24)
(2) You Are Not Growing Spiritually. When you decide to take reading the Word more seriously, or increase your prayer life from thirty minutes to one hour, do you think the enemy will passively sit and watch you build your spiritual muscles, slowly become a terror to him – and not fight back?
(3) You Are Not Advancing The Kingdom. The gates of hell will always try to resist the building of the Church. When you get serious with doing your part in Kingdom advancement – especially spreading the gospel – you will be attacked.
(4) You Are Not Aware You Are Under Attack – and this is where many Christians fall into.
When people think of spiritual attack, they think of wizards and witches pressing you in the night. While this can be part of it, the attacks of the enemy are usually more dangerously subtle. How can you recognise if/when you are under spiritual attack?
(1) You Find It Difficult To Pray Or Read The Word.
The first thing the enemy does to weaken you is dispossess you of your weapons. Without prayer and the Word, You. Are. Finished. Those are your weapons.
-When you have no interest in prayer or the Word, you are under attack – or spiritually sick.
-When you feel heaviness in prayer, and sleep off during the reading of the Word – but you can spend hours on social media or Netflix, you are under attack.
-When you are too ‘busy’ to pray or read the word, you are under attack.
Anything that negatively affects your prayer and Word life is an attack. Don’t believe the lie of the enemy that it is ‘normal’ to be sometimes prayerless – or too busy for prayer.
(2) A Separation From Fellow ‘Burning’ Believers.
When you find yourself being separated from godly association who build you up and challenge you – and find yourself gradually surrounded by people who water down or outrightly quench your desire for God, who have no interest in spiritual things, but instead kindle a desire for things you once considered unholy – you are being set up by the enemy. Big time.
(3) Unexplainable Negative Emotions
While they can sometimes be biological or psychological, heavy depression or unexplainable irritation are usually signs of an attack. That’s why being in the presence of God is so important – whether alone or with other believers. There have been many times I felt deeply depressed or irritable for no reason, but as I spent time with God, my praise and worship turned into warfare prayers – and the emotions disappeared.
(4) When You Are Suddenly Attacked By Lustful Thoughts.
Lustful thoughts are not ‘normal’ for a Christian. Don’t buy into that lie. Strong, consistent, lustful thoughts are usually a precursor to a major attack. They are meant to weaken you spiritually – and make you unable to withstand the real attack of the enemy when it comes. (I explained more in The Spirit Of Lust).
(5) When Your God-Given Assignment Suddenly Seems To Be a Struggle.
The enemy will do anything to foil kingdom advancement. When you begin to experience a sudden struggle in carrying out your assignment – especially when lives are being impacted – nine out of ten times, you are under attack.
(6) When You Feel Suddenly, Unaccountably Overwhelmed – and Distracted.
Remember Daniel 7:25? Yes.
One thing the Holy Spirit taught me years ago is that the devil is the master of the red-herring tactic. What do I mean?
A man suddenly started to face a lot of pressure at work. During that period, his wife fell sick with a mild illness. The children started to act up. Other external pressures began to bombard him. The responsibilities at work increased so much, he left home as early as he could and got back late, exhausted. He could barely take time out to pray or read the Word.
Suddenly his wife died from the ‘very mild illness’.
Immediately she died, all the pressure and issues stopped. Just like that.
It was then he realised that the attack had really being aimed at the wife – and all the pressures were meant to distract him from praying for her. True story.
Red-herring means the enemy hides a time-bomb in your bedroom upstairs, then starts a fire in your kitchen downstairs. So you run downstairs – deceived, distracted, spending all your energy and time on a spiritually false alarm – while the real damage is going on somewhere else.
The enemy’s plan is to really stop the assignment God has given you for kingdom advancement, so he offers you a mouth-watering job with a myriad of responsibilities that would take away your prayer, fellowship and Word time.
He plans on planting a strange friend into your child’s life, so he causes you and your wife to start fighting over money…
…and it goes on and on.
That’s why it is so important to pray in the Spirit extensively. I cannot count the number of times something seems to be a major issue, then as I begin to pray in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit zooms me in into the real issue – and that first issue fades away.
(1) Pray About Your Spiritual/Prayer Life. You need to pray to be strong, but you also need to pray that you keep praying. Understand?
(2) Force Yourself To Eat. When you are sick, the last thing you feel like doing is eating. But that is exactly when you should eat. Pray about your Word life – then deliberately force yourself to eat. Constantly.
(3) Surround Yourself With Gasoline Carriers who would strengthen you in the battle.
(4) Take Time Off To Wait On God – especially when you are overwhelmed and feel like you can’t. That’s when you should.
(5) Be Sensitive To The Holy Spirit and Pray In The Spirit.
“In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” Romans 8:37