Here are 4 signs that often mean there is an open portal to spiritual warfare that is hindering you from walking in God’s best for you. By God’s power and grace, you can close these portals once you identify them.
1. If a Particular Sin Has Grown Roots in Your Life, This Can Be Used as an Open Portal for Spiritual Warfare
What do I mean by this phrase, “an open portal to spiritual warfare”? I’m talking to Christians in this article; therefore, I am not referring to demon possession. If you are a Christian because you are saved by grace and through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9), this means the Spirit of God is within you (Ephesians 1:13-14). Since where the Spirit of the Lord there is liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17) and since the Spirit in us is greater than the spirit in the world (1 John 4:4), it’s not possible for a demon to literally possess us as Christians.
But it is possible for Christians to be “oppressed.” An evil spirit cannot be in you if you are a Christian, but an evil spirit or an evil influence can be in your life if you have opened a portal to the enemy. I’m using this word “portal” to mean an opening, a door, or a “foothold.” When submitting to God and resisting the devil, James 4:7 states the enemy must flee from you. But this also means if you are not submitting to God and not resisting the devil then the enemy does not have to flee from you.
One sign you are not submitting to God fully is when a sin has grown roots in your life. We all sin, but that is different than walking in sin (1 John 1:6-8). Christians are called to quickly repent whenever we sin, and when we do we are forgiven (1 John 1:9). But when we don’t, even though we are still justified completely in Christ (Hebrews 10:14), we are backsliding and giving access to the enemy into our lives. Notice how this plays out in Ephesians 4:25-28 (NIV), which states:
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. ‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.”
Notice the emphasis on the dangers of continuing in sin. All sin is dangerous, but when we allow sin to continue on and on in our lives, that is when the devil gets a foothold.
If you are struggling with a chronic sin issue, don’t stop fighting. Keep repenting, keep depending on God’s grace, and keep seeking help from other mature Christians (Galatians 6:1-10). Sanctification is a process. Never give up and God will help you grow and mature out of this sin.
2. If You Are Receiving from Those Living in “the World,” This Can Be Used as an Open Portal for Spiritual Warfare
Many Christians open a portal to spiritual warfare in their lives because they are trying to love others in an unwise way. Christians often oversimplify love. We often boil it down to being nice or kind or sacrificing for others no matter what. But that is not the only way love is to be expressed according to the Bible (Hebrews 12:6).
Even though Jesus came because “God so loved the world” (John 3:16), it states in John 2:23-25 that Jesus did not trust those in the world:
Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.”
It wasn’t until John 15:15 that we see Jesus opening up to people in a deeper way, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”
As Christians, we can serve and give to anyone. But that is different than being yoked with people through friendship or dating. You can give and offer love to the evilest people on earth. But that is different than opening your heart and receiving from people (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Notice how clear the command is in James 4:4, “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” It says we are “adulterous people” when we are friends with the world. This means you are cheating on God if you are unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
According to 1 John 5:19 and Ephesians 2:1-3, those who are not in Christ are actually controlled by the devil. When we open ourselves up to people controlled by Satan, we are opening a portal to Satan in our lives.
3. If You Are Resisting God and Submitting to Pride, This Can Be Used as an Open Portal for Spiritual Warfare
If you do a biblical study on pride, you will simultaneously be doing a biblical study on spiritual warfare. If you do a biblical study on spiritual warfare, you will simultaneously be doing a biblical study on pride. The two go hand in hand. For as James 4:6-7 states, “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
God loves humility. Satan loves pride. Humility opens you up to God. Pride opens you up to Satan. 1 Peter 5:5-9 also says:
Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”
If you are resisting God in pride rather than submitting to God in humility, you are opening a portal for Satan’s influence in your life.
4. Turning from “a Knowledge of the Truth” Will Be Used as an Open Portal for Spiritual Warfare
Since the enemy cannot literally possess a Christian, they try to oppress us. One way they do that is by attacking us with lies that contradict God’s word. 2 Timothy 2:25-26 (NIV) states:
Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”
When we are walking in “a knowledge of the truth,” we are walking away from the devil’s attempted grasp on us. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NIV) also says:
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
If you want to fight back and close all the portals to spiritual warfare in your life, the only way you can do that is by rejecting lies, living biblically, and believing the truth (Ephesians 6:17).