Are spiritual attacks real or imaginary? I’ll answer that with a question: Is air actual or make-believe? There are things we may never touch, but the effects of the same are undeniable. I have experienced spiritual attacks and while I don’t look forward to any more, it’s not certain they won’t happen again, but should I face this another time then I’m better equipped at identifying and overcoming.
A Christian’s life is one of battles. When you become a follower of Christ, you essentially enlist in the Lord’s Army. You don’t go out looking for war, instead it just finds you. Although this happens, you can expect victory all the time.
Recently, my sister sent me a message on spiritual attacks – she was not aware that I had experienced this for a while. What is funny is that the same morning I received her text, God had just pulled me out of what I’ll call “a major despondency phase” that had been going on for a long time.
One part of the attacks I faced began after the burial of my dearest friend – a young mother who died of breast cancer in April of 2014. On several occasions she would appear to me singing or saying things – incidentally, not evil things, but the normal stuff about her life and family. (Here, I just want to tell you that if you ever see the dead appear to you, as a Christian, your responsibility is to rebuke that demon, which has taken on a familiar form.) After this, I began noticing a change in my spiritual demeanor.
The scary thing about what I was going through was that at this point in my life as a Believer, I was expected to deal with it. The longer you have been walking with the Lord, the better you’re expected to handle and overcome attacks – right? After all ‘if God brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it’ and ‘God cannot give you more than you can handle’. (By the way, have you ever tried those clichés on someone going through major stuff? Yeah, they don’t work!)
While spiritual attacks are intended by the enemy to weaken and destroy, on the contrary, these same attacks are used by God to fortify the spiritual lives of those who keep looking up to Him. They become spiritually fit and seasoned for battle. It should therefore be no surprise that such are those who triumph over the enemy, increased tempo and intensity of spiritual attacks notwithstanding.
Recognizing Spiritual Attacks
Attacks in your spiritual life can occur when you experience a traumatic event or a major victory in your life i.e. at your weakest moment or when you least expect it. Spiritual attacks do not mean that God does not care for or that He has forsaken you; He is merely revealing the enemy and trying to catch your attention.
We shouldn’t be so naive as to expect the attacks to always be very conspicuous. Sometimes they are so faint, or have been happening for an extended period of time, that the person is oblivious that they’re even attacks.
Anyway, how do you know that you’re under a spiritual attack?
1. Struggling with overwhelming feelings of helplessness or discouragement
Feelings of hopelessness, feelings of despair, feelings of despondency, feelings of depression… When you rely on feelings, you’re bound to be tossed hither and tither. Feelings cannot be trusted – and especially when they are in opposition to the Word of God. If His Word says, “we are more than conquerors through him” (Romans 8:37) then we are, regardless of feelings.
2. Struggling with worries, doubts, and fears daily
Feelings will almost always give birth to worries doubts and fears. It’s important to know the state of your heart and mind – what’s your focal point in those attacks? An everyday fear, worry, or doubt needs regular treatment of God’s word such as 2 Timothy 1:7, Philippians 4:4-8, and Matthew 21:21 for meditation and memorization.
3. Struggling with regular prayer
When fervency and regularity in prayer is lacking where it was present before, that can be a sign that you’re under attack. the enemy would love to hinder you from praying with power and consistency so that his evil work of stealing, killing and destroying can continue. We must never forget that our effectual fervent prayers will always avail much (James 5:16) – even when we don’t ‘feel’ it.
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*Dee Kyalo is the author of Crushing Invisible Barriers. Check out the book’s cool reviews and ‘like’ us on Facebook!