Demonic oppression and spiritual attack are two different things. I did not realize that for some time, especially when I first came into Christianity. As a new Christian I did not hear much about spiritual attack at first. As I came to see it in my own life and recognize that it was the devil trying to bring me down and undermine me in the plan God has for me, I began to do more research on spiritual attack. I did not even know about demonic oppression at that point at all. It was not until I got further on my walk that I learned that not only are demons real, but they can actually live inside of us as Christians and wreak havoc with our lives.
I had cast demons out of myself and had demons cast out of me, but I don’t think it was really real to me that I could or did have demons until my deliverance session. During that session the ministers addressed the head demon inside of me. You can’t get much more real and in your face than that! I could hear the demon in my head, answering all the questions the deliverance minister asked of it. This was an experience that would forever change my life. It took the work of the devil to a whole new level for me. All the things I had thought were spiritual attack in my life – physical pain, sickness, brain fog, confusion, depression and much more, were not attack but oppression.
Let’s take a look at the meaning of the word attack. There is not meaning of the phrase spiritual attack in the dictionary, so I would like to start with just the words attack and oppression.
Attack: 1) to set upon in a forceful, violent, hostile, or aggressive way, with or without a weapon; begin fighting with. 2) to begin hostilities against; start an offensive against. 3) to blame or abuse violently or bitterly. 4) to direct unfavorable criticism against; criticize severely; argue with strongly. 5) to try to destroy, especially with verbal abuse.
Does that sound familiar to you? The devil is our enemy, and he is the accuser and the father of lies. He tries to destroy us in an aggressive way, and uses blame, criticism and verbal abuse as part of his attacks. Reminds me of one of my favorite Bible verses:
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
Let’s look at some ways that the devil attacks us. Lies. Everyone has that tape in their head that plays out the lies of the devil, over and over again. You are stupid, ugly, worthless, God hates you, you will never go to heaven, you are a horrible parent, you can’t do anything right, you will never be free from your addiction. Those are just a few of the many lies that he loves to torture us with. And most of us listen to these lies and believe them. Unfortunately the devil also uses our life circumstances to back up his lies. He’s no fool. He is not going to spend time telling us how stupid we are, if he cannot give us confirmation through others saying the same things. Or maybe by causing failure in our lives to help us believe the lies.
Another way the devil attacks us is with his accusations. We can see in the Book of Job how Satan takes his accusations straight to the throne of God. He tells God that if Job didn’t have such a great life, that Job would surely curse God. Revelation tells us that Satan is busy going before God in this same manner, day and night, accusing the children of God. So what Satan does to Job is only a taste of what he is doing constantly. He is always looking for ways to disparage us before the Living God. Thankfully we have a Father in Heaven who is merciful and loving, and does not listen to these lies.
The devil also loves to use criticism and verbal abuse against us. We will never be worthy of our God, we will not be good enough to go to heaven, we are horrible sinners and need to be punished. We take these painful words on our shoulders and feel we must work harder to try to live up to an impossible standard that Satan has set, not God. Trying desperately to work to be better, righteous, and worthy. Punishing ourselves relentlessly when we constantly fail. It turns into a vicious cycle that never ends.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Now let’s take a look at the word oppression:
Oppression: 1) the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner 2) an act or instance of oppressing or subjecting to cruel or unjust impositions or restraints. 3) the state of being oppressed. 4) the feeling of being heavily burdened, mentally or physically, by troubles, adverse conditions, anxiety, etc.
Oppression shows that the devil has gotten some sort of power to subject a person to being heavily burdened by cruel means. How would the devil have any power in the life of a believer? Well, simply put, people (Christians included), open up gateways for the devil and his demons to come in. We can open it through witchcraft, addiction, sexual sin, drugs, and many other sins. Witchcraft is actually very prevalent in our society, and more people get involved with it than even realize. Once the devil gets an “in” to a person, the door has been opened and it takes work and the help of Jesus Christ to shut it. If you are unaware that you have even opened a gate (which is the devil’s intention) then you can go on indefinitely with it open. Which means the devil has free access to that area of your life.
Another way that the devil gets a foothold for oppression in a person’s life is through generation sin, and through ancestral curses that come down your bloodline. This is also an often unrecognized fact, that is more like a plague than anything else. It only takes one person (usually it’s the man who is the head of his house) to get involved in the occult and then give away the rights to every generation after himself. It is very common. For instance, Mormons, Freemasons, and other cults or organizations (Moose or Elk Lodge, etc) have been known to practice satanic rituals where they do blood rituals in order to gain power and wealth. Usually the males that join have no idea and are lured into the group under the pretense that they are going to belong to an prominent group and be someone important. Within a matter of time, they are selling their souls and the souls of their entire family line.
‘The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.’
Oppression often manifests in physical, mental and emotional ways, such as illness, disease, death, mental illness, depression, anxiety, compulsive behavior, chronic disease, and much more. This is a clear sign that the devil has now entered into a person and is wreaking havoc with their health (mental, physical and spiritual health). Many people get ill or depressed and they think it must be genetic or because they need to change their diet, etc. Not to say those things do not affect us, but it is the perfect cover up to be focused on the obvious thing we see before us, and not think about the spiritual aspect of what is going on. Things in our spiritual life manifest themselves physically. We are spiritual beings in a physical house. So our spirit gets our attention by using our bodies, when we completely miss the spiritual signs. Which happens most of the time for most people. We have been trained away from being in tune with our spirits and the spiritual realm. The devil knows that if he keeps us focused on what is right in front of us, he can keep us trapped in his deceptions.
Spiritual attack is something that comes at you unexpectedly, and can be thwarted or defended against. Demonic oppression is being burdened under the power of demons inside of us. I think it is important to recognize when we are under attack vs when we are oppressed. If the devil can keep us thinking we are only under attack, we will miss the bigger picture of our spiritual health. We will keep fighting a battle that we can’t win, because the battle is now within. When you have oppression, you need the help of the Holy Spirit (and hopefully a trained deliverance minister) to cast out the demons that have gained access, and then close the doors that have let them in. This is especially important if you have been involved with witchcraft or have ancestral bloodlines tied to the occult.
It is important to know your enemy and know how to fight him. If you do not know what the enemy is doing in your life, you are going to continue to struggle with many problems. Jesus absolutely has given us power and authority to trample over Satan, but there are laws in the spiritual realm. Just as the devil went to God to attack Job, he also went to God to attack Peter. At that point in time, Jesus knew that Peter was not prepared to go into a battle of that level. He still had so much to learn. Yet because he had the intimate relationship with Jesus, Peter was able to hear Jesus tell him the plans Satan had for him. We must partner with God to fight these battles, and we must learn and strengthen ourselves in order to prevail. Yes, at the last day, Satan will be defeated when Jesus returns. But until then we have a job to learn about how we are to partner with God to fight him, in order to strengthen our brothers and sisters, and help spread the Gospel message to those dying around us.
But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:3
Many of us are being held hostage. We are like prisoners in a gilded cage. We have convinced ourselves that our imprisonment is not really a bad thing, and then make ourselves perfectly comfortable in it. Because facing the root cause of what brought us to this cell in the first place, is far more painful than the bondage we are suffering. This is not the life God has called you too. He has not called you to suffer demonic oppression. He has not called you to be depressed, or addicted to drugs, or living with a chronic disease. It does not help you in any way to suffer, because there is no righteous cause for it. Yes, bad things happen to good people, and that is not God’s plan either. He has a remedy for it though – freedom through Jesus Christ. Freedom is not just a sinner’s prayer, but a deliverance and healing so we can fully surrender to the will of God. We need to heal our souls and free ourselves from bondage so we can align ourselves with God and the call He has for our lives.
God has called you out, before time began. He knew you and created you for a special purpose. Do you want to live your life and fulfill that call, or do you want to stay in your gilded cage where it appears safe? Freedom in this life is not easy, but God never said it would be. He told us it would be difficult and full of trials, but He also promised us that He would be right there with us. God has so much to teach you! He is preparing you right now in this very moment! Every single thing in this life that you have gone through will be used for your good! And in return it will benefit the Kingdom! God does not waste anything, especially that bad things we have to experience. Let you life be a living sacrifice to God, in full surrender. Experience His presence and love and new and inspiring ways. He is right here with you, right now, in this very moment. Calling to you. Whether you can hear it or not. He is whispering in your ear, with passion and adoration, because you are His dear child.
The devil has had his day. And now it is done. Give in no more to the temptation to sin and stay in the hell of your own creation. The devil may have helped you open up the door to his pit, but only you can choose to stay in it. In Christ, you are free. Now live it. Seek first the Kingdom of God, and see just what God has in store for you!
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.