As a Christian, it is easy to make two big mistakes when it comes to spiritual warfare. On one hand we can be tempted to ignore it and shrug it off as too spiritual and odd. But on the other hand, we can focus so much on the devil, we can begin to blame him for everything bad that ever happens in life.
As Christians we must not blame the devil for all the sins in our lives. Even when we are tempted by the enemy, we are still responsible for choosing to indulge in that temptation or not. However, we must not ignore the schemes of the devil either, for as 1 Peter 5:8 commands, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
That is the goal of this article – to be watchful and clear minded. We don’t want to blame Satan for our bad choices, but we also need to be aware of the schemes of the devil. So here are 3 signs you might be under an attack from Satan according to the Bible.
1. Satan May Be Attacking You If You Are Falling to Sin Because of Fear
God draws his people towards him with everlasting love and unfailing kindness as Jeremiah 31:3 explains. The devil, however tries to take control over our lives through fear. Only through Jesus Christ can we break free, for as Hebrews 2:14-15 (NIV) states:
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”
Satan keeps people in slavery through the fear of death. When we fear dying socially and getting rejected by our peers, we give into temptation just to be accepted by others. When we fear financial death, we begin to worship the god of money and do everything to get more material possessions. When we fear dying to our own selfish desires, we choose quick pleasures based in this lifetime rather than in the next.
Only when we die to the fear of death because we are made alive through the power of our resurrected Lord will we be able to resist Satan’s attacks and overcome the schemes of the enemy.
2. If You Are Getting Hit with All Kinds of Doubts About God, This Could Be an Attack of the Enemy
One of the best places to study spiritual warfare in the Bible is Ephesians 6:10-20. In this Bible passage we are told that our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:11-12). To combat this spiritual warfare, we are then told to stand firm in the Lord with the full armor of God.
Each piece of armor is extremely important, but when it comes to the shield of faith, we are given deep insight into how the devil will try to attack us. Ephesians 6:16 states, “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” The flaming darts of the evil one are extinguished through the shield of faith because the devil will try to attack you through lies and doubts about God.
Faith is believing the truth even when you can’t see it. If Satan is trying to pull you away from Christ through doubts, remember to put on the shield of faith so you do not fall for the enemy’s lies.
3. If You Are Being Tempted to Gratify the Desires of Your Flesh, Spiritual Warfare Is Probably Involved as Well
As I said in the beginning, we can never place the blame for our sins onto the devil or anyone else. However, the Bible is clear that the Christian has at least three primary enemies in their life: The world, the sinful nature, and the devil.
Usually at least two of the three are involved when sin occurs, and sometimes all three are involved. If sin occurs we know our sinful nature is involved because only we can make the choice to sin. But the sinful nature can be tempted by the world and the devil. If the sinful nature is like a flame, the devil is often the one trying to throw fuel onto that flame to make it a raging fire that will kill us. Notice the link in Ephesians 2:1-3 (NIV) between gratifying the flesh and following the devil. It states:
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.”
It says we “followed the ways of this world” and we followed “the ruler of the kingdom of the air” as we gave in to “gratifying the cravings of our flesh.” Here we have evidence of how the world, the sin nature, and the devil work together to destroy people. 1 John 3:8-10 also states:
Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.”
Notice the emphasis on the phrase “a practice of sinning.” All Christians still sin (1 John 1:8-10), however, a true Christian will not live in sin and make a practice of sin for the rest of their lives. This is why Satan wants you to sin so bad. He wants to get you stuck in sin and to make you practice it every day because this would be evidence that you are not truly a Christian.
The way to ultimately find victory over the attacks of the devil is not to focus more on the enemy or more on your sin. The key to victory is to focus more on Christ, for only in Christ do we have true victory, for as John 15:5 states, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”