What is a spiritual battle? Spiritual battle is real. Battles behind the scenes of everyday life are connected to the outcomes in our physical world. Many times I had forgotten the reality of spiritual battles, and wondered why things happened the way they did.
There were times when I was confused, perplexed, agitated, and stuck. I had prayed very hard at those times, but the answers were always postponed, blurred, or blocked. Sometimes even the usual channels which I had used to reach God or other Christians were jammed.
This happened before in the Old Testament time, when a servant of God, Daniel, prayed to God about something important, but the response from God was delayed for 21 days. The messenger of the Lord explained to Daniel what had happened to him during the 21 days:
Daniel 10: 12-13
12 Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.
God allowed His angel to be delayed by some major demons (Prince/kings of Persia) while being sent to carry an important message to His servant.
Today, Satan and His forces still operate fiercely to try to make you think that God doesn’t care about or listen to your prayers. Often times, if you don’t write down your prayers and questions for God on a journal, you will forget. Satan wants you to simply forget these crucial information and win the cases by your absence.
To use an analogy, it’s like when you try to surf the Web for information, or answers to some questions, but the Internet is cut, or a website you find helpful suddenly goes down and you don’t know what happened to it! How would you feel if your Internet get cut off suddenly? If it was me, I would be worried and wondered if the service provider is fixing it!
In fact, a website I recently recommended in my article, Spiritual Cleansing, suddenly went down after I posted the article. The author of the site later informed me that his site was targeted by IRC bots, and his router and modem got fired by a lighting! All happened in about the same time. Speaking of enemy’s attack!
Spiritual Battle Make Things Unusually and Unreasonably Hard
Are you familiar with the story of Job?
8 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
9 So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”
12 And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”
So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. Job 1: 8-9
Like Job, we can encounter similar attacks from Satan. We too won’t know what is going on behind the scene.
After, Satan got permission from the Lord, he went out and wreck havoc on Job’s procession and family. Sometime Satan and his force will target us and ask permission from the Lord to do some damages to us. If we are unaware of the spiritual weapons we have, and that spiritual force is working invisibly against us, the attacks can go on and on.
Does any of the following seems familiar to you?
- There might be days when you get targeted by bullies at work or school. And the bullying occurs very frequently and seems to have no end to it. You keep asking yourself and God but couldn’t find out why you have been targeted.
- Schoolwork, landing or keeping a job, or other important tasks in life become unnaturally difficult and depressive. You encounter heavy distractions that make you doubt if you’re just lazy or dumb. You have been on your wit’s end. You ask and pray, but the situations get worst or stuck for no apparent reasons (or reasons just keep coming).
- Relationships become very tough to maintain. Casual conversation or networking is frequently destroyed by misunderstanding, or unfounded prejudice.
- Verbal abuses, physical abuses, and rebelling attitudes of family member(s) make your life a hell.
- A simple addiction such as playing the World Of Warcraft, watching Youtube, or more sinister ones such as viewing pornography, holds you in bondage for years even you sincerely prayed for deliverance and repented every time you committed it.
- One person after another comes to inform you of bad news or bad reports about one thing or another, which causes you to feel worry, upset, and even depressed. These random people just keep coming and dimming your outlook on life.
- Coincidences overlap each other to bring you to a tempting situation.
If any of the above seems familiar to you, it’s very likely that this is not natural, but is engineered by our spiritual enemies.
Demonic Attack Doesn’t Have To Be Dramatic
There are cases of heavy demonic attacks such as hearing voices, demon procession, limbs or neck twisting at impossible angles, but for us average Christians, we most likely encounter attacks that are disguised and invisible. The enemies would prefer to have us think that the evil thoughts in our minds are our own ideas, that distraction is our own lack of discipline, that the bully who is picking on us is because we lacked social grace, and etc.
The enemies like to hide and pretend they are not there, because once we realize and identify the enemies and their work, it only takes a very short time and a few steps to totally bind and defeat them and their schemes.
On the other hand, if we fail to realize what’s going on, the battles will not simply go away just because we go to church every week, and have a quiet time with God every day to read the Bible and pray.
For real case studies on spiritual attacks, click here. Like me, you may actually find some or part of the case studies that resonate with what you have personally experienced.
The Enemies Can Rob You Of Joy, Peace, Productivity, Rest, Time, Freedom, and Possibly More
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10
And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. Malachi 3:11 (Interpretation: That means if the Lord doesn’t rebuke the devourer, it can destroy the fruits of your labors)
Blessings are abundant to Christians. They flow to us by default, but Satan can rob us of blessings if we are unaware and get manipulated by him. For example, during my years in University, I used to have depressive thoughts, and they kept increasing by the year. Many time I’d tried to study but was totally disabled by the depressive thoughts. I would look for things to regret and feel bad about, and that makes me feel guilty, worry, and hopeless. There was no use to debate with my thoughts because debates only add fuel to them.
One time, God did a spiritual surgery on me and I realized how I could stop being depressive – by hearing His voice, instead of the enemies’, or mine. Since I applied what I learned, I have become freed from depressive thinking. See:
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7
In my depressive years, I had somehow sensed that those thoughts were originated from the enemies, but I found the thoughts so convincing that I allowed myself to analyze each word. It was how I got trapped.
I had lost some blessings that could have been mine due to depression (Does it sounds like the DEVOURER that the Bible talks about?): peace, joy, academic excellence, energies, health, and many opportunities that I’d failed to notice because of my grim outlook on life, and the lack of energy to pursue them due to depression.
In fact, sorrow, guilt, and worries are recipe for addictions, because they create a void that has to be filled by something, if not God. They also create so much pains that makes it tempting to use some addictions to medicate the pains.
Satan and His Force Love To Hide Behind The Stronghold Of Sins And Bad Habits
Satan works relentlessly to deceive us into sinning, and when we sin, we become it’s slave. (John 8:34) Once we are in the bondage of sin, Satan will tease us, accuse us, deceive us, and cast excessive sorrows and guilt on us to keep us from spiritual freedom.
One essential step you can’t miss if you want to be free is to receive heavy dose of truth daily.
32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32
Addiction to sin is demon’s castle. If you allow the enemies to build a base within your soul, then there is little use to fight them back, because they will come back from the stronghold very soon next time! As long as we allow certain sins in our life, they will remain strongholds for demons.
To understand more about Satan and sin, go here.
Another article I found useful is this: Deal With Sin
On the other hand, if you bind the enemies before you seek to demolish a sinful habit, it will make the healing and recovering process so much faster. In fact, the battles with addictions can drag on for years if you fail to realize that the enemies were actively working behind scenes and bind them accordingly.
Evil spirits can sometime present and resist you for no apparent reasons. They will delay answers to your prayers, blur your mind when you try to read the Bible, cause heavy distraction to you when you need to focus, and make you uncomfortable with spiritual disciplines in general. You must never be weary of praying battle prayers and verses against the enemies, especially if you are a dedicated Christian. Satan loves to target Christian who is dedicated, for example, a Christian who is involved in a ministry or obey a clear calling from God.
Usual Causes Of Defeat: Forgetfulness and Boredom
Satan and his demonic force aren’t tough to deal with, if you know what they are doing to you and follow the biblical steps to battle them. But the problem is we forget them easily.
Binding Satan everyday can be boring. When things get normal, it’s very hard to stay alert. (Looking back, things had rarely been normal for me, the enemies came back every now and then, but often times I was ignorant of it)
It’s also pretty boring to speak the truth out loud often as instructed by many Christian leaders and teachers. But really, the power of words is indeed amazing! I wish there is CG effect every time we declare God’s words, and that it will shows demons withering, heaven and earth shaking, a beam of light shining from a crack in the sky, and the whole nine yards, but this isn’t how it works.
God’s word can indeed make a huge difference: from death to life, poverty to prosperity, illness to health, sorrow to joy, addiction to freedom, failure to triumph and etc. However, most of the time we don’t feel a thing when we speak God’s words. Many times, the reality can be quite the opposite of what God promised in the Bible.
Nevertheless, God’s words will deliver. It will change the reality in time. Maybe God is just testing your faith and see if you really believe in His word.
I don’t think I can put it better than Paul Cook, the author of porn-free.org, a website that I recommend to Christian who is under bondage of any sin and bad habit.
Believe that you CAN be completely free! Breaking addiction is a healing process and believing that you can be free is an important part. Jesus said, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes” ( Mark 9:23 NKJV). We exercise our faith when we believe in God’s word and confess it with our mouth (Romans 10:10). It could be as simple as saying to ourselves each day when we get out of bed, “I believe that in Christ I can be and will be free of my struggle.” Often our natural circumstances may not appear to be lining up with God’s word. The challenge is to not allow our circumstances (or past failures) to steal our hope. Faith believes in what is yet unseen (Hebrews 11:1-3). It releases God’s power in us to perform the impossible and bring the unseen into reality! Paul Cook
The above quote from Paul Cook doesn’t just apply to breaking addiction, but to everything that God has promised in the Bible.
The Rewards Of Making Spiritual Battle A Habit
11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For 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 …18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Ephesians 6:11,12,18
29“Or again, how can anyone (i.e. you) enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man (i.e. the enemy)? Then he can rob his house. Matthew 12:29
The rewards of constant spiritual victories are freedom, success, peace, more success, and joy. These blessings are ours by default, but for many reasons Satan can come to destroy them. We must stay alert and never get tired or bored with waging frequent spiritual battles on his theftdom.
I can’t emphasis enough how important is to capture every sinful thought at the first second it arises.( 2 Corinthians 10:5) If it takes more than 2-3 second for you to reject the thought before God – and then replace it with godly ones (Philippians 4:8) – you will be much more likely to fall flat into temptation and commit the act.
If it takes you 50 times a day to bind Satan and capture sinful thoughts, then do it 50 times a day! My experience is that the enemies and sinful thoughts can seem overwhelming when you engage in spiritual battles with them, but if you stay focus and do what must be done, the temptations will lose the grips on you, every time! The more you win, the stronger your spiritual muscle will become, and Satan will eventually flee.