The Stranger of the human soul,
Lurks maligning without ceasing,
He usurps God’s role,
And in him there is no releasing.
When we sense ourselves in fear,
Or discouraged beyond reason,
We may as well know it’s clear,
Spiritual attack may define the season.
But spiritual attack is not to be left,
Accepting as if there’s nothing to do,
The Holy Spirit is keenly deft,
To ensure that we pull through.
Two ways the devil works to convict our souls to his lies is by fear and discouragement. We may even find that one of us is more prone to fear, whilst the other is susceptible to be discouraged. Our challenge is to see the attack for what it is, being simply aware of it. It’s easy to obey God when we know what to do. When we flee the devil—by trusting and obeying God in our patient and calm responses—the devil flees us, too.
By Anxiety or Depression?
When we talk in terms of fear and discouragement—as the adjuncts to Satan debilitating us spiritually—we really are talking about anxiety and depression.
Anxiety works by fear as depression works by discouragement. And though we may be stricken with both, it’s perhaps more likely that we will be prone to one more than the other. The important question we need to ask ourselves is, are we more likely to be attacked in fear or by discouragement? Are we more prone to doubting and indecision than we are susceptible to a lack of feedback or, worse, negative feedback? Doubting and indecision are indicators of fear beneath, whilst rallying from rejection or poor feedback or a lack of control over our busy lives are indicators of our wallowing in discouragement.
We may become depressed because we have first been anxious, or we might just be sad, rendered temporarily incapable of reasonable logic-minded responses.
We can do a great deal about seasons of depression and anxiety when we understand where they come from, spiritually speaking. If we are aware of the encroachment of fear or the experience of discouragement, we can sense the enemy—the Stranger of our souls—at play. Then, we may call on the reinforcement of the Spirit.
Spiritual attack comes commonly by two forms: fear and discouragement. Such fear leads to anxiety, whereas the experience of discouragement causes us to be depressed. If we detect the presence of unexplained fear, usually fear out of control, or we are inexplicably discouraged, or prone to it, it may be that we are under spiritual attack. We fight such attacks by the weapons of patience, faith, and hope.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.