Spiritual Warfare is a reality yet many chose to ignore it or allocate cause and effect to anything else other than the enemy. This teaching is by no means exhaustive but merely provides the basic tools for Christians today to know:
- How to identify whether we are under attack
- How to overcome a spiritual attack and the “do notes” we must remember to be effective in our warfare.
- Spiritual attacks should not be confused with the results of chemical imbalances in the body which could result in similar symptoms. (It may be necessary to consult with a physician, dietician and your pastor to correctly identify the cause/effect of the symptom).
[The teaching below used as sources, The Bible, teachings by Dr. Michelle Sutherland Senior Pastor of Hope in Jesus Ministries International (HIJM), ICBC WAP modules by Dr. Wilf Kent, “The Joseph Plan”, Mary E. DeMuth’s Adaptation of “The Spirit of Python” by Jentzen Franklin.]
There are so many Christians under unnecessary demonic attack today. Christians from all parts of the world have been writing The Joseph Plan crying out for sound doctrinal teaching that is meaningful.
This world of ours is in a war. A war between good and evil. And we Christians are not exempt from it.
- Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
- Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].
- 2 Cor 10:4-6 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in G-d for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of G-d, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
Symptoms of demonic influence or attack! (The Joseph Plan Worldwide Christian Ministry. Overcome All with an Enduring Faith)
Symptoms that might indicate the presence or influence of any demonic entity. This list should be used as a general guide only. There lots of articles on this subject in the Spiritual Warfare category.
(Not possession for a Christian! A saved Christian cannot be possessed in the terms and how the secular world thinks or uses the word.)
- Thinking thoughts “that are not you.”
- Having sudden depression.
- Having suicidal thoughts.
- Having fits of anger or rage that are unusual for you.
- Feeling hopeless.
- Your pets start acting differently around you.
- Your close friends start questioning your thinking or behavior.
- Excessive fatigue.
Further Symptoms of demonic control or attack.
- Not being able to do what you know is good or right.
- Feeling like you are being pulled to do the wrong thing.
- Feeling like you are being pressured to do something you don’t want to do.
- Hearing voices or thoughts in your head that are negative, persuasive, or commanding you to do something.
- Deep or severe personality changes like fear or wanting to be isolated all the time.
- Suddenly having creepy or scary feelings.
- Recent feelings that an area, like in your house, there is something heavy, depressive or oppressive.
- Feelings of being under attack or threatened when others don’t.
- Finding it hard or impossible to pray.
- Finding it harder or impossible to spend time with Christian brothers or sisters.
- Sudden and unexplainable anxiety.
5 Steps to Overcome a Spiritual Attack
by Mary E. DeMuth (Adapted from The Spirit of Python by Jentzen Franklin)
Spiritual warfare exists. We have a very real enemy, Satan, who wants nothing more than to destroy our lives, our thoughts, our walks with Jesus (John 10:10). He, along with his hoard of demons, roams the earth, seeking ways to wreak havoc on God’s kingdom (1 Peter 5:8).
Unfortunately, we tend to live in two extremes: as though Satan doesn’t exist or as though he’s bigger than God. Neither is correct. Satan does exist. He’s a created being who used to experience the paradise of God. For one defining moment, he averted his eyes from God’s glory and rejoiced in his own (Ezekiel 28:12-15). In that, he rebelled, receiving a third of the angels in heaven (Revelation 12:4). And he’s waged war ever since.
God sent His Son for a specific purpose. Consider: “The one who commits sin is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s works” (1 John 3:8). And destroy, He did. Every encounter Jesus had with demons ended in a victory for God. And on the cross, He dealt the final blow – Jesus died for the very sin Satan incited in the Garden of Eden. With that as a backdrop, we don’t need to fear. We serve a conquering, powerful God who has destroyed Satan’s work. Because of the cross and the amazing resurrection, we have the power to defeat the enemy’s ploys.
But how? What are some practical things we can do right now when we feel attacked?
Step 1: Pray.
Our first response to a spiritual attack shouldn’t be panic, but prayer. In our own strength, we can’t fight. But when we ask God for help and seek His power, then we experience victory. After our daughter heard voices, Patrick and I prayed – for her, with her, about her. We sent a mass email to our prayer team, asking them to intercede for our daughter. During the middle of this ordeal, Patrick and I had to leave to go to a leadership summit. Two moms and a daughter from our church in Texas graciously came to watch our children. We let them know what was going on with our youngest, and they also prayed for her.
Step 2: Speak and believe the truth.
Jesus personifies truth. “I am the truth,” He said (John 14:6). But Satan is a big fat liar. Jesus said this about him: “He was a murderer from the beginning and has not stood in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). Satan’s native tongue is deceit. So one of the best ways to combat his untruth is to surround ourselves, our families, and our minds with truth.
Patrick and I shared the truth about Jesus with our daughter. Others did, too. And we reminded ourselves that our battle wasn’t against her behavior, but against the evil forces in the world. Paul reminds us, “For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens” (Ephesians 6:12). When our daughter struggled, we assured her that Jesus would defeat those voices if she gave her heart to Him.
Step 3: Choose not to fear.
The natural reaction to a spiritual attack is first fear, then worry. If we stay in that place of panic, we forget to do the first two actions: pray and speak the truth. And if we camp in fear’s tent, we shrink back from the joy and power Jesus wants to give us in the midst of the battle. Ultimately, this comes down to a question of God’s bigness. Do we believe God is bigger than our worry? Then Satan’s attack? Then the fears that keep us up at night? We have a choice to give into fearful thinking or surrender it to God. Of course, we initially feared and freaked out a bit when our daughter confessed her battle to us. It took moxie to choose to lay that fear at Jesus’ feet. A VeggieTales song has it right: God is bigger than the boogie man. If you’re facing a battle where fear rages, consider this exercise in relinquishment:
Jesus, I’m afraid. Please help me to hand my fear over to You. Give me Your perspective in this situation. Forgive me for running first to fear and not to You. Please rescue us from this situation. Enlarge my faith. I choose to rest my fear in Your capable arms, and I promise, with the strength You provide, not to snatch it back.
Step 4: Let go of control.
When we encounter a spiritual battle, we tend to want to make everything right in our own strength. We want the battle to stop, so we try to fix the situation or make a person behave a certain way. Unfortunately, we can’t control others. We can’t micromanage difficult situations. We can’t orchestrate outcomes. We are not God.
And that’s the crux. God is bigger than the situation. He’s the Sovereign One who runs the universe without our help. The fact that we sleep every night, and the world keeps running sans us, testifies to this.
When our daughter heard voices, we realized how little control we had. We couldn’t make her become a Christian, though we shared Jesus with her. Patrick and I had to entrust her to Jesus, knowing that He loves her more than we do, and He was quite aware of the situation. Giving up control isn’t something that comes naturally to us, but it was the only thing we could do to find peace.
Step 5: Watch God work.
Spiritual warfare exists. Just look around this crazy world for evidence. But we don’t need to fret and wring our hands, even if it’s our loved ones in the middle of the mire. Remember, we can pray. Remind ourselves of the truth. Refuse to let fear have its way. Relinquish control and rest in God’s creative work.
The Most Common Attack: Who God Is
If Satan can get you to believe God is punishing, demanding, harsh, and altogether an abusive grump, he wins. Sure, you still believe statements that God is love, that He created everything, and that He sent His Son to die because of His love for us. But when hard times come, do you see Him as sad for your pain in the struggle, tenderly holding you in His arms, weeping with you as He wept for Lazarus’ siblings, red up over the poison sin leaks over the world? Or do you see Him as a distant observer, telling you that this horrible ordeal is making you more Christlike, so toughen up?
You may have the right theology in your head (God is good and loving), but your heart may dread His notice in your life. If so, flood your mind and heart with the truth:
“Therefore the LORD is waiting to show you mercy and is rising up to show you compassion” (Isaiah 30:18).
“He protects His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them in the fold of His garment. He gently leads those that are nursing” (Isaiah 40:11).
“So he got up and went to his father. But while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was lled with compassion. He ran, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him” (Luke 15:20).
“The LORD is good to everyone; His compassion rests on all He has made” (Psalm 145:9).
Five “Do Nots” to Break the Enemy’s Attack.
Once you’ve taken a stand against the enemy’s attack, here are five “do nots” you must remember.
- Do not forget who made you and whose you are. God created you with storms in mind. He has equipped you and you are going to make it through in Him. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. If God is for you, who/what can stand against.
- Do not forsake the time and place of prayer. Two things that are vital to a successful prayer life: a time of prayer and a place of prayer. War Room. 03:00 in the morning?
- Do not forsake the place of power. Your church is a place of power. Where two or more are gathered.
- Do not forsake the power of partnership. It is good to be around people who have lived longer, done more than you have and can give wise counsel.
- Do not disconnect from pastoral protection. I have often seen people under attack whom I wanted to pull close and help, but they refused. Don’t wait until the enemy is tearing you to pieces to seek the aid of those in a pastoral role in your life.
If you are under attack, you can arm yourself against the enemy’s schemes, equip yourself to fight and win!
Adapted from “The Spirit of Python—Exposing Satan’s Plan to Squeeze the Life Out of You” by Jentzen Franklin
Prayer Power for the Week:
Blessed are You Lord our God, King of the Universe.
We thank you, Lord, that for exposing the strategies of the enemy who have planned to attack and destroy us this past week. We pray that You have, and continue, to provide the means to recognize and defeat them this coming week. Lord, we thank You for deliverance and restoration in every area of our lives. I totally surrender to You Father and bow to Your perfect will for our lives. We ask for divine connections with those of like mind so that we can unite, agree and defeat the enemy together. Lord we pray for those persecuted for their faith in our Saviour Jesus Christ and continue to ask for revival and more laborers for Your ripe fields. Abba Father we pray for Israel and for it to fulfill Your purpose on earth. We lift up our leaders, pastors, police, military and their families. Let us remember those suffering loss due to the natural disasters of wildfires, tornadoes, floods, and other inclement weather patterns and ask that they are provided as their need requires. We pray and ask this in Jesus name. Amen.
Heb. 11:1; 2 Chron. 7:14; 1 Tim. 2:1-4