Self

What 'Spiritual Warfare' Means — And How To Protect Yourself Against Evil Forces

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For both spiritual and religious individuals, there may come a time when perceived evil will try to make its way into your life.

And though spiritual warfare is not a new concept, as it's commonly heard by church attendees or people that practice the Christian faith, it's a concept that can affect even the most spiritually in-tune individual.

What is spiritual warfare?

Spiritual warfare is a Christian concept that unseen forces try to undermine your integrity by tempting you to sin or separate from God, and that Christians must fight against these evil forces that try to intervene.

Though this is an "unseen" concept, meaning it cannot be proven by physical evidence, Christians and faith-devoted individuals know it's real.

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For example, if you've ever felt like the things you once enjoyed aren’t bringing you joy, and that you are inching closer to things you know aren’t good for you, you might be experiencing spiritual warfare.

From King David to the Apostle Paul, the Bible has many verses that explain how spiritual warfare works. Spiritual warfare is referenced as the torment from Satan and the temptation he puts in one’s way as they are trying to follow the path of God. And it can be hidden in plain sight.

What are the signs of a spiritual attack?

In Christianity, Satan is not just going to show up in front of you and give you an option to choose a dark path. However, religious people believe that there are certain elements that can make someone stray from their original path.

1. You're experiencing drastic changes in all areas of life.

Spiritual attacks affect all areas of life, whether it's your health, finances, or relationships. You may be encouraged to feel resentment or hate for others, as well as your own personal situations.

2. You're being tempted to sin.

Though temptation is around every corner, when you're under spiritual attack, you may feel tempted to sin more than usual. This means engaging in things you know are wrong, such as using drugs or alcohol, watching explicit videos, or being jealous of someone you know.

3. You feel held back.

Where embracing God can give you the power to move forward and accomplish your goals, a spiritual attack may have you repeating negative events. This means you are still holding on to the past, especially if the events were harmful to you or others.

4. You feel emotional pressure.

You start feeling some sort of pressure from an outside source, such as feeling like your relationships (platonic or romantic) need to be perfect, even when there isn’t anyone pushing you to prove it.

You may also feel severely discouraged from doing things that once made you happy, like hanging out with friends or doing arts and crafts projects.

5. Your self-esteem and confidence are low.

Excessive condemnation means judging yourself or others too quickly and not thinking about their side of the story.

Low confidence after a spiritual attack can also mean you feel intimidated and/or fearful, like you are never good enough, and you are always watching over your shoulder.

6. You lack good judgment.

A spiritual attack can leave you feeling confused, as if you never truly understand what is going on or know the answers to simple tasks.

Your poor judgment reflects a negative attitude as well, where you put yourself or others down, and never see the positive when normally you try your best to act with the best intentions.

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How To Fight Against Spiritual Attacks

Though evil forces will attempt to lead you astray, there are a few ways to fight back. But the best way to repel evil forces is to believe you are strong. Keep telling yourself that you are better than this and that you can find the light again.

In addition, there are other methods of spiritual warfare that can help you fight against a spiritual attack.

1. Follow the word of God.

Spiritual warfare is accomplished through the word of God, so read and re-read any uplifting religious texts or passages that speak to you.

The purpose of any religious text is to help you talk yourself into the light when things look dark. In a way, they help you focus on what is important and get you to calm your mind.

2. Regularly attend worship services.

Community helps people battling spiritual attacks. Be sure to continue to worship and attend church regularly.

It might be easy to stop going, but if you put the effort in, you'll find yourself with a peace of mind and closer connection to Him. Don’t think that because you haven’t been to church in a while, you might not get in that headspace easily; it’s just like riding a bike: you never forget.

3. Pray.

In times when you feel tempted to give into the evil forces attacking you, you can always turn to prayer. By doing this, you're allowing God to lift you up and help you overcome uncertainty.

4. Try sacred fasting.

Matthew 17:21 references fasting, saying that Jesus said that evil spirits do not leave a person unless they pray or fast: "However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."

Spiritual fasting is abstaining from something you crave and enjoy, which can be food but is not always. By abstaining from eating or having the things that bring you joy, you're "feeding" your spirit by focusing only on God, rather than satisfying your flesh.

5. Take steps to better yourself.

While using spiritual warfare to defend yourself against evil, it's essential to lead with grace. Stop beating yourself up and forgive yourself for any transgressions you've made. Everybody makes mistakes — it’s what makes us human.

Don’t feel like you have to hide while under attack. No one will judge you for what you have done, all you should care about is that you are changing for the better.

Finally, make time to clear any negative thoughts that are lingering so you can make room for better things. This will help you gain strength. It might seem hard at first, but know that this is the right answer.

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Isabell Tenorio is a writer and former contributor to YourTango who covers astrology, pop culture, love, and relationship topics.

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