As a pastor I regularly encounter people who say something like this – “I am really being attacked by the enemy over this” or “the enemy is really coming against me.” I use to never really say anything because I just trusted that people could discern the work of the enemy from their own hangups (rejection, insecurities, fears). The longer I have been a pastor the more I don’t trust that we know the difference from the work of the enemy and our own issues.
Now, I ask a lot of questions when people automatically refer to the enemy when feeling down, discouraged or even depressed. All of the struggles we face in life can be an enemy of sorts to us, but that doesn’t mean they are demons attacking us. If we don’t know what enemy we are facing than we will most likely not be victorious in the battle at hand.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very convinced that the Devil and demonic spirits are not only real, but they do attack people. This is not only Biblical but I have stories that would make your skin crawl. That said, I think we have a tendency to blame the Devil for a lot more than we should give him credit for.
My reflection is also an encouragement to see if the there might be some reason for you feeling the way you do. Is it really the enemy or is it an internal battle of insecurity, fear, or rejection that Jesus wants to help you walk through and give you freedom from. If we blame the Devil for something that Jesus wants us to humbly submit to Him than it’s possible the spiritual warfare we are waging is actually against our freedom in Christ. What side of the war is the Devil really on when it comes to that?