Has anyone ever said to you, ‘Do you want the good news or the bad news first?’ In that moment, you hope that the good news more than compensates for the bad news!

spiritual_battleThis is the approach Peter takes in his first New Testament letter. ‘Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.’ (1 Pet 5:8) After sharing the bad news, he adds:

  • You are able to resist
  • You can stand firm in faith, and
  • You are not alone (see 1 Pet 5:9)

This good news does not just alleviate the bad news—it completely overturns it! The truth is that you are victorious through Christ. However, being alert means that you need to pay attention, so that you can identify when the enemy is at work.

There are going to be times when you are faced with opposition from people, or human institutions, or systems set up by people. And those things are applying pressure against you.

Perhaps you can relate to this now.

Paul reminds us to discern with our spiritual senses when this occurs. For although the conflict appears to be from a human source, there may be a demonic power behind it.

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. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood…’ (Eph 6:10-12a)

That word ‘schemes’ in the Greek is methodeia. It means ‘to follow craftily, frame devices, deceive’ and is also translated ‘wiles’ or ‘lie in wait.’ [1]

It is this very trickery that causes us to believe that the source of our battle is a person or human in origin, when it is not.

5 Signs you are ‘not fighting flesh and blood’

‘For our struggle is not against flesh and blood…’ (Eph 6:12a)

The Greek word Paul uses for ‘struggle’ can also be translated ‘wrestle’. It is defined as:

‘Wrestling (a contest between two in which each endeavors to throw the other, and which is decided when the victor is able to hold his opponent down with his hand upon his neck)’ [2]

This metaphor gives us some insight as to the signs and effects of a spiritual battle taking place: [3]

  1. You feel stifled; it feels as though there is a stranglehold coming against you
  2. You are being held back, or pushed back in some way
  3. You are on the ground (feeling disabled) and you don’t know how you are going to get up
  4. You are tempted to feel as though you are a victim
  5. You are feeling knocked around or beaten up

The struggle is against God’s purpose for your life, your marriage, family, work or ministry, and you may even be tempted to give up.

As soon as you become aware of the true nature of the battle, you can turn it around.

At the very moment you discern the true source of that warfare—that it is not a person, a system, or an institution—you can shift the battle into the spiritual realm.

How the Battle Turns

‘Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.’ (James 4:7)

Kingdom EncounterInterestingly, James makes this statement in the context of human conflict (see James 4:1-6). Are you looking for a person fighting with you to change, in order for the battle to shift? According to the Bible, the turning point of spiritual warfare is not when the other person changes.

The turning point comes when you recommit personally to God, coming under the authority of the One who has ultimate authority.

Submitting is whatever the Holy Spirit shows you to do—and can involve many things including:

  • A conscious reaffirming of Jesus’ Lordship in every area of your life
  • Coming back to a position of faith and believing God’s Word
  • Repentance, so that any ‘foothold’ the enemy has had in your life is broken (Eph 4:27b)
  • Repositioning in your thinking
  • An attitude of worship
  • Recognition that the battle is a spiritual one and that your place is with Jesus, ‘seated in Heavenly places’ (Eph 2:6)

Now, you resist—and that enemy must flee. Because submitting to God and actively resisting makes you dangerous.

Finally, the best news of all:

‘The Lord is a warrior; the LORD is His Name’. (Ex 15:3, NIV)
‘The Lord shall go forth like a mighty man; He shall stir up His zeal like a man of war.’ (Isaiah 42:13a NKJV)

There is a revelation of Who your God is, that you will only receive in the midst of a conflict.


[1] https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3180&t=KJV See also Eph 4:14 KJV

[2] https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3823&t=KJV

[3] For more signs, see my article 12 Signs of Spiritual Warfare

Spiritual Warfare Online Course

I have just launched first new online course, ‘Spiritual Warfare 101: How to Identify and Overcome Spiritual Attack’ and I warmly invite you to join me!

This course includes around 30 mini lectures on video, and is full of Biblical wisdom and strategies to help you overcome in time of battle. There is also a downloadable full transcript in PDF version.

And once you’re in, there is no expiry date, so you can continue to journey with me through upgrades and increased course content in the future.

The Bible has great news. If you have discerned signs of a spiritual battle taking place, you do not have to be weighed down by spiritual oppression or put up with pressure and attack! Find out more about the course, ‘Spiritual Warfare 101: How to Identify and Overcome Spiritual Attack’ here.

Related Post:

© 2016 Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching

On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church

47 thoughts on “5 Signs You are in a Spiritual Battle (and how to overcome)”

  1. I am always blessed when receiving your teachings. Thanks alot Helen or the teaching of today.
    and may the Lord’s anointing upon your life increase! I respect that anointing!

    Shalom !

  2. Hellow Helena
    Thank you so much for today article,you just read all of me,I sometimes feel like I’m not good enough
    Thanks for reminding me the truth

    This again

    1. Thanks Thuliswa, and yes, you are more than ‘good enough’ in His sight! You are blessed, you are chosen, you are favoured. God is at work on your behalf.

  3. Hello Helen,

    I just wanted to say thank you for your dedication to the work of the Lord and these awesome articles you post periodically. As praying man who loves the lord I often find myself under spiritual attack and many time cannot discern the who, what, where, or why. Not sure if it’s suppose to be like that but i often find myself very tired and certain times of the day and feeling a certain pressure on the right side of my temple. I been praying for God to reveal what that is and why it happens at random or when I come into the presence of certain people. Your articles from what I read are always rhema words for my situation and I appreciate you for that. God Bless and I will keep you in my prayers.


    1. Hi Daryl,
      thanks for your encouragement and prayer, I appreciate that!
      Your description reminds me that some people are more sensitive to the spiritual realm, and you may have a gift of discernment operating, too. If the tiredness and pressure is happening regularly, you could pray about what to do in those times, and have a strategy in place… e.g. meditate on certain Scriptures or listen to worship, etc. I mention that because I am about to put a strategic uplifting and faith building song playlist together myself, for that very reason.

  4. Hey Helen! I’m stuck in one place there is no moving forward on rejects as if there is a stable block that is standing in my way of going forward in what ever what I do. At some days my spirit goes down as if there is no hope or I’m loosing faith.

    1. Hi Amanda, sorry to hear you are feeling stuck. I am praying for you right now, for uplifted faith and for breakthrough.

  5. Thank you for this teaching. What has come up to me is that we, through God fight the force of darkness behind and not flesh and blood. My question is- It is quite clear that there are satanic agents in the form of human beings- they are willing to be enemical (rebelling against God) and they do things to hurt or harm you be it in an institution/family or as individuals. Hence, the feelings of hurt, pain and discouragement because a satanic agent (willing tool of the devil) makes the wrestle real – Haman had to hang on Mordecai’ gallows, which he had erected for him. When we confront situations, as a problem solving tactic, we actually confront people, systems, structures etc – knowing too well God is fighting the demon in them. Witches for instance know they practise witchcraft on people – when caught they suffer the consequences – the Bible is clear, suffer the witch not to survive and Christ gave us authority to tremble over all the power of the enemy. There shall always be a continual war between forces of evil (satanic) and forces of goodness (Godly). This disparity causes conflict for as much as evil resists, it will be overcome by good. Paul says we are appointed unto these persecutions ( real pain inflicted), but our God is faithful, he avenges.

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