When I first re-dedicated my life to Jesus, I didn’t think much about the topic of spiritual warfare. To be honest, I’m not sure I even knew what it was. “I don’t think that’s applicable to me”, I thought. “I’m saved.”
As a “new” Christian in my early twenties, I was interested in meditation, the power of the mind + visualization, and I was 100% in a relationship with an eating disorder, which I didn’t even realize was sinful, harmful, or detrimental to my health at the time.
I was caught in a web of the enemy’s lies, even though I knew and accepted the truth. I’m not saying meditation is wrong or from the enemy, nor am I implying I don’t believe in the power of the mind. I believe God created and wired our brains with perfect intentionality and expertise, and a positive attitude can most certainly go a long way. Meditation, as I now view as a synonym to prayer, is also something I believe in, as long as you’re praying to Jesus. However, at that point in my life, I was dabbling in new-age beliefs and trying to combine them with my newfound Christian faith.
What I’m saying is this: The enemy loves to take Biblical truths and twist them, turning them into lies.
And just as true as the Bible, just as true as our salvation, just as true as the fact that Jesus died on a cross and rose again for our sins is the truth that spiritual warfare is alive and well in this world. And not only are we as believers not exempt, we’re under the most attack.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:11-12
Here are four times spiritual attack can enter your life when you least expect it.
1 . When things are going particularly well
…and you begin to feel you have it together. Work is enjoyable, kids are behaving, vacations are abundant, money is plentiful, and social activities are booming.
I fall victim to this time and time again. Things are going well, so naturally I lose the feeling I “need” Jesus. But it doesn’t take long for things to suddenly go awry. I’m not spending as much time in the word or in prayer, and before I know it, I’m in a spiritual drought and I can’t seem to figure out why, when things were going so “well”.
Learning to stay thankful through the good times is a discipline I’m constantly trying to form into a habit in my daily walk. When I don’t feel like praying, when I don’t have a particularly pressing prayer request, coming to God in thanks is rejuvenating for the heart and food for the soul, and in turn creates humble hearts and grateful souls.
2 . When the weight of your sin seems small
The good news is this: we’re all human, and we all overlook our sins at some point. We just do. But wait, there’s more: GRACE.
Sometimes, however, I take grace for granted, and my heart loses conviction over my sin. This never ends well. It typically becomes more of a snowball effect: the buildup of all of my sins hit me at once.
But then the floodgates open, and GRACE.
When our sin isn’t convicting, when we’re not overcome by His holiness and our sinfulness, when we’re in a slump and stuck in a particular sin, our walk with the Lord is weak. And we’re susceptible to attack.
Fight it in prayer. And bury yourself in the word.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart… Psalm 91:1-4
3 . When the voice in your head has become perpetually negative
I battled this for most of my life without realizing it. It wasn’t until I was in recovery for my eating disorder that I realized the perpetual negative soundtrack I had playing in my head was not only inaccurate, but it was poisonous blasphemy.
You guys, the, “You’re not pretty enough”, “you aren’t smart enough”, “you’ll never be good at anything”, “you’re a terrible parent”, “you’re a failure”, “she’s a better writer than you”… this soundtrack that sounds like grumbling and complaining, it’s not of the Lord.
Those quiet whispers breathe breath into the lies that fuel jealousy, comparison, and self-loathing. The ugly lies that bring out our flawed, sinful hearts that we so fiercely desire to beat wildly for Jesus through and through, 24/7, for all the days of our lives.
And with a negative mindset, it leaves little room for humility, kindness, gentleness, compassion and patience to flourish.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12
4 . When you’re too busy for community
This is a particularly tricky one. Because the first thing to go in my life when I feel out-of-control busy is social events. Including church, Bible study, and the like.
And usually when I’m too busy for community, I’m too busy for Jesus, too. But the Devil still finds room in my schedule. Funny how that works out, isn’t it?
Being surrounded by like-minded, spiritually on-fire-for-the-Lord people is crucial to your faith life. We need each other, and we were given each other for a reason. For friendships and community; to cry, laugh and celebrate with one another; to build one another up and encourage each other. What a gift that we don’t have to go through this life alone.
No matter how busy we get, we should always leave room for Jesus, and all that comes with Him.
As believers, we must stay on-guard against the spiritual warfare we know will try us. But when we belong to Christ, the enemy never has the final say in our lives, and we can rest assured knowing our security is in the hands of Jesus.
Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:13-17