Are You Under Attack
Without Realizing it?
Spiritual warfare can be insidious. Prayer is one of our offensive weapons to fight the battle. The other is the Bible. We need both to avoid being taken out by attacks.
We are to be identified by the fruit of our lives: the way we act. (Luke 6:44 and Matthew 7:16) The Holy Spirit has graciously given us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) But all too often our fruit—the way we act—is anger, sorrow, conflict, impatience, harshness, rudeness. Anything and everything BUT self-control. No wonder people say things like “I don’t have a problem with Christ, it’s Christians that worry me. Why is that?
Now, we can’t dump all our bad behavior onto Satan’s lap, but we can’t ignore his influence on us either. The Great Deceiver can use our wounds from the past, lies we’ve bought into, agreements we’ve made, fleshly weaknesses to help keep us locked in that cycle of sinful behavior. Secular counseling and healing prayer ministry can help. So can involvement in a larger Christian community. But for quick results over the short term, nothing beats prayer.
We can assume that Satan himself is not personally involved in our lives. He uses a hierarchy of fallen angels for his purposes because he doesn’t have the power, authority, and abilities of God. Satan cannot be omnipresent, for example. His minions do his bidding. Saved Christians can’t be possessed, but we can be harassed, oppressed, and even afflicted.
So what can we do when it’s obvious that we’re acting in ways that are not in our Christian character—when we’re under attack. Drop to our knees and pray.
There’s some disagreement as to whether we are supposed to rebuke Satan or his evil spirits directly, or whether we’re only to call on God and ask for His help and protection. There’s also disagreement over praying out loud or silently when it comes to spiritual warfare.
While these debates may be interesting, most of us are more interested in what works while maintaining scriptural support. (Just because something works, doesn’t mean it’s from God. Satan, the father of lies, is clever.) And there is strong scriptural support for praying directly to God, asking for His protection and asking for His intervention if necessary. Saying these prayers silently seems to be just as effective as saying them out loud.
What else can we do? Put on the complete armor of God. (Ephesians 6:11-18) Shields, helmets, body armor, shoes and belts are defensive weapons. The Word of God is an offensive weapon. We need to stay close to the Word, to read and study the Bible on a daily basis. Our other offensive weapon is prayer. (verse 18) Cultivate an active prayer life that goes far beyond thanks for meals and the occasional request for help with spiritual warfare.
Those two things—the Bible and prayer—will do more to help show the true fruit of who we are than anything else we can do. We can ask God to help us cast aside the rotten fruit of Satan and enjoy the precious fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives.