The Spiritual Struggle is Real

The Spiritual Struggle is Real | Millennials with Meaning

Over the past few months, I’ve been under probably the greatest level of spiritual attack in my life.

I’m not a stranger to spiritual attacks. I’ve dealt with them since I was little, although I didn’t recognize them as such then, and I’ve written before about the worst year of my life. When I look back at my journal from that year, it says it right there, over and over: “I think I’m under spiritual attack.” “I feel like I’m under intense spiritual warfare.” “The enemy is attacking me and my family.” “I’m under attack, and all I want is for God to intervene and stop it.”

What do I mean, exactly, when I talk about spiritual attack or spiritual warfare?

A spiritual attack is an assault from the enemy with the goal of oppressing you or sabotaging you in some way. Satan tries to steal your hope, faith, peace, and joy. He aims to keep you from your God-given purpose and dreams or the pursuit of them. He wants to confuse you or outright convince you to turn your back on God.

And he’s pretty good at it! He is cunning and observant. He tends to know how to push your buttons, what your weak spots are, and how to discourage you.

For many of us, discouragement itself is a primary way the devil attacks. He convinces us we’re not making any progress. That we’re never going to see what God has promised. That we’re forgotten. That it’s too late or that we’ve made too many mistakes for God to redeem the story.

I used to confuse satan’s voice with my own or even with God’s, and sometimes I still do. This is why discernment is so important.

Do any of these thoughts sound familiar?

“You’ll never be good enough for them.”

“What have you DONE?!”

“You’re so stupid!”

“Did I actually hear God right? Maybe I don’t hear from him, after all.”

“Give it up. It’s never going to happen.”

“You’re not attractive enough.”

“This is so embarrassing. I just want to disappear.”

“What if they misunderstood what I was saying?”

“I can’t believe you did that!”

“You have no one. You’re in this all alone.”

“I’m so exhausted. I just want to quit.”

“You’ll never fit in here.”

“What were you thinking?!”

“Those people are so infuriating! You don’t need them in your life.”

“You can’t be honest about that! NO ONE CAN EVER KNOW.”

“You’re wasting your time.

“Oh my gosh, they probably think you’re crazy.”

“I feel like I fail at everything I try.”

“They’d never want to be friends with you.”

“Rejected again! Why even bother? It never pays off.”

“They’re probably talking about you.”

“God’s not going to come through for you.”

Can anyone relate? 🙋🏼

The devil knows our weaknesses and tendencies all too well. For me, fear usually tops the list. Rejection is also a recurring theme. And satan is way too skilled at discouraging me, especially when something really good has just happened.

But God is more powerful, and he gets the final word!

Here’s the thing I’ve learned about spiritual attack: the devil attacks you most when you’re closest to the victory. To the breakthrough. To the very thing you’ve prayed for, worked for, hoped for.

But seeing the breakthrough does require continued obedience, faith, and perseverance.

It’s hard. I know. But here are a few things that can help you emerge victorious when you’re under a spiritual attack:

  1. Pray. To yourself, out loud, with others, about anything you can think of, any way you know how. Pray whether it feels good or not (When I’m under attack, it often doesn’t). Keep praying until you get relief.
  2. Worship. Turn on a Christian radio station or worship playlist, and sing along if you really want to scare off the enemy.
  3. Bind up whatever’s tormenting you and loose the opposite thing over you. For example, say, “I bind up the spirit of fear in the name of Jesus, and I loose the spirit of peace over my life in Jesus’ name.” Both parts are important because the Bible says if you cast out one demon, he will return with seven more if he finds his former dwelling empty (Matthew 12:43-45). You don’t just want to bind up what oppresses you, but you also want to loose the godly alternative.
  4. Read the Bible. Search for topics in the back or use Google if you need help finding relevant verses. Read slowly and meditate on the Scriptures that speak to you and your situation.
  5. Declare God’s word and his promises to you. Speak aloud Bible verses that relate to the situation you’re facing. Write them down. Recite them over and over until you start filling your mind with and believing the truth over any lies of the enemy.
  6. Persevere in what God has called you to do. Even when the enemy tries to confuse or deter you, cling to God’s commands and the last word he gave you. Act in faith even through the moments of unbelief or confusion.
  7. Remember that God may correct, but he doesn’t condemn. If you’re hearing a critical voice in your head, it’s not God! Learn to discern the enemy’s voice so you can refute it with the truth when he tries to assault you.
  8. Stop doing things you know are wrong. Get rid of any sin in your life. Confess it to God, ask for forgiveness, and make the needed changes. You may need to throw some things out, stop hanging around bad influences, or quit watching trash on TV – do what it takes to help you honor God!
  9. Fast. This one’s not easy and it’s not something I’ve ever been great at. But this year I’ve resorted to fasting on a few occasions when nothing else has helped, and fasting has gotten me results nothing else could. I know a number of people who say every big breakthrough they’ve ever had has come as a result of fasting, and my own experiences support that claim. Don’t be afraid to try a fast – even for one day! – if you want to see breakthrough.

In case you’re in the middle of a spiritual battle right now and nobody else is telling you:

  1. YOU CAN DO THIS. You are more than a conqueror in Christ (Romans 8:37).
  2. God has good plans for your life (Jeremiah 29:11).
  3. You are loved (John 3:16).
  4. You are chosen (1 Peter 2:9).
  5. You are not alone (Matthew 28:20).
  6. You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).
  7. You are capable of hearing from God – anyone can (John 10:27)!
  8. God works all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28).
  9. God’s opinion is the only one that matters (Proverbs 29:25).
  10. You have a unique purpose (Ephesians 2:10).
  11. God’s mercies are new every morning. If you made a mistake yesterday, get back up and try again (Lamentations 3:23)!
  12. The truth will set you free (John 8:32).
  13. It’s never too late (Genesis 21:1-2).
  14. God keeps every promise he makes (2 Peter 3:9).

Keep persevering! God is fighting for you and in him, you have the victory.

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