There was a time when someone suffering from a heart attack had little chance of survival because he or she didn’t know what was happening and ignored the symptoms until it was too late.
Medical advancements began identifying common warning signs such as discomfort and pressure in the center of the chest, pain on one or both arms, and shortness of breath. Spreading awareness of the warning signs has greatly increased the survival rate for heart attack victims.
In a similar manner, many Christians seem to be blindsided by spiritual attacks. When it comes to a spiritual attack, it is crucial to recognize the warning signs for survival:
1. Loss of spiritual desire. The goal of any spiritual attack is to turn you away from what God wants to do in your life. That is why the first warning sign of attack is a loss of spiritual desire. We don’t live by feelings alone, but there is a difference between doing something merely out of obligation and doing something because you delight in it. When you delight in the Lord, nothing else compares. Someone passionate for God finds pleasure in the things of God.
2. Physical fatigue. The second warning sign is physical fatigue. I know that doesn’t sound very spiritual, but keep in mind that we are created beings—spirit, soul, and body. If my body is weak, it allows things to get into my mind (soul), and that allows things to negatively affect my spirit. Many times we face our greatest attacks just before a great promotion or just after a great victory. Keep in mind when you’re going through it—an attack could very well be an indication that you are about to be promoted or just had a great victory.
3. “Lack attack.” The third sign that you are under attack is a “lack attack.” There are times when it seems that all of your resources dry up at the same time. The enemy attacks in this to get you to take your eyes off of God and put your eyes on money. If he can get you worrying rather than worshipping, you will start making decisions based on opportunity rather than anointing. Always remember there are two times in your life when you are especially vulnerable to temptation: when you have nothingand when you have everything. Stay close to God in both the good times and the bad times.
4. Weak prayer life. The fourth sign that you are under spiritual attack is a weakening prayer life. “Could you not watch with Me one hour?” Jesus asked His disciples. Then He told them, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt. 26:40-41).
5. Feeling overwhelmed and helpless. Are you feeling overwhelmed by circumstances? That could be a sign that you are under attack. The word circumstancecomes from two words: circum (encircle) and stance (stand). In other words, you are standing encircled by what’s going on. It doesn’t take long for feelings of being overwhelmed to lead to hopelessness. The Bible says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Prov. 13:12). It also tells us, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). If the enemy can get you to lose hope, he can get you to stop living by faith.
6. Old habits and lifestyles resurface. The sixth sign that you are under spiritual attack is that old iniquities begin to resurface in your life. What is an iniquity? Some consider iniquities to be those old habits that your soul wants to fall back on when things aren’t going your way—things that indulge the flesh. If this begins to happen, do not ignore the warning conviction of the Holy Spirit.
7. Pulling away from Godly relationships. When old iniquities start tempting you, the next sign of spiritual attack is sure to follow: pulling away from godly relationships. Look around. Have you pulled out of relationships with people at church or with people in your small group? Are more and more of your friends carnally minded rather than spiritually minded? If so, you are stumbling around the battleground and the enemy has a target on your head.
8. 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. God created you with storms in mind. He has equipped you and you are going to make it through in Him.
- 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.
- Do not forsake the place of power. Your church is a place of power.
- 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!