"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes." Ephesians 6:10-11
During Tornado season, the National Weather Service is particularly on alert, and it issues a warning if a tornado is forming or has already touched down. A tornado warning tells everyone in the affected area to act as though a tornado is coming and immediately get to safety. That warning can be the difference between life and death for many people.
Tornadoes are indiscriminate in their destructive fury. They can destroy lives and properties. Despite weather science, Tornadoes are unpredictable and uncontrollable. The only defense we have against tornadoes is an early warning when they are detected.
Jesus describes the devil as a thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Like a tornado, the devil is indiscriminate in his destruction and unpredictable in his attacks. Unfortunately, many Christians are ill-prepared for the spiritual attacks they have to contend with, whether they want to or not. They do not know when they are under spiritual attack so they can fight accordingly. Yet there are visible warning signs that tell us when we are under spiritual attack.
One of the signs that a believer is under spiritual is spiritual apathy. As spiritual beings, our relationship with God is vital to our physical and spiritual wellbeing. The enemy’s attack is designed to undermine our relationship with God so we can walk in obedience to the Almighty’s will. Spiritual apathy is a warning sign that the enemy is weakening our spiritual defenses and interfering with our spiritual walk.
The remedy for spiritual apathy is prayer and Bible study. When we feel a sense of disinterest in spiritual things or a loss of spiritual desire, we should become more fervent in our prayer life and more involved in Bible study. Unfortunately, many believers stop praying or study the Bible or become haphazard in their church attendance when they experience spiritual apathy. Thus, they become so weak that the enemy moves in for the kill.
Another sign that a believer is under spiritual attack is mental and physical stress. It is not a coincidence that there is a high rate of depression and even suicide in the church. Let us not forget even the great prophet Elijah struggled with depression and wanted God to kill him. Depression is not only a mental disease; it is also part of spiritual malaise that believers have to contend with like everyone else.
Many Christian not only struggle with depression, but they also get physically fatigued. That is why rest is such a vital ministry. It is when we are fatigued, the mind becomes complacent, and careless mistakes become imminent. Physical stress can hinder our effectiveness and prevent us from serving God effectively. It is difficult to pray fervently when we are fatigued. Our worship becomes dull and ineffective when we are physically stressed.
Alternatively, when the sinful habits and practices of the past begin to resurface in our lives, we should know that we are under spiritual attack. The enemy is a tempter and an accuser. He knows our weaknesses and will try to take advantage of them as much as possible. When we find ourselves gravitating toward the things that God has delivered us from, we should ask other brothers and sisters to pray for us and hold us accountable as we resist the enemy’s temptations.
Our spiritual enemy is a master manipulator, a con artist, a deceiver, and a determined foe. We should not underestimate his power and resolve to lead us astray from God. Believers need to put on God's full armor so that we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes. We also need to walk in the knowledge that the enemy is a defeated foe, and no weapon formed against us will prosper.
Prayer- Blessed Lord, thank you for revealing to us the warning signs of spiritual attacks. Please give us the wisdom and authority to rebuke the enemy when he comes against us, our families, and our brothers and sisters in Christ.