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I believe I am being spiritually attacked. I have horrible thoughts and it makes me feel separated from God. What can I do?
Thank you so much for your honest question. These experiences can be very difficult. I am sorry to hear that you are struggling with this, when you are seriously trying to follow Jesus Christ. I am glad to be able to tell you that there is a way out for you through Jesus.
There are some spiritual principles revealed in the Bible which will set you free, as you believe and apply them. But first, though it may seem disrespectful, I must ask you to consider whether you are encouraging these thoughts by what you read, watch on television or habitually fantasise about. Ask God to show you if there could be anything, because no-one gets free without repentant confession and renunciation.
If you believe that you have a clear conscience before God about this - or even if you don't - the first spiritual principle is this: do not get into condemnation. God says that there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). This is not simply because God is kind and forgiving. It is because of the work of Christ Jesus on the cross. The Bible tells us that He has done all that is needed to justify us and make us holy. We have a legal status before God - righteous in Christ, dead to sin and alive to God.
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:21-26)
You have been justified. Paul goes so far as to tell us,
So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:10-12)
In Romans 7, he says something even more startling.
I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. (Romans 7:15-20)
Far from accepting condemnation, Paul says that the sin that dwells in him makes him do wrong, but he is not that sinful person any longer. He is a new person, dead to sin and alive to God.
So if you feel you have sinned, repent and move on by faith.
The second spiritual principle is this: satan attacks the righteous and spiritual attack is a compliment! When satan attacked Job, he did so because Job was a faithful servant of God. God allowed him to do so because He knew He could bring Job to a new level of spiritual maturity through it. God is able to teach you through this experience, too.
The third spiritual principle is this: fight satan using the Word of God. At the temptations, Jesus was bombarded by satan with wrong thoughts and evil suggestions. He rebuffed satan by quoting the Word of God. To each temptation, He replied, "It is written..." He had filled His mind with God's Word and you should do the same. Read it, study it, memorise it and think about it. When your mind is full of such holy meditations, satan will find it difficult to insinuate his suggestions into it. You will find yourself full of spiritual strength and every temptation will have less power.
In summary, it is often said of temptation that 'you can't stop birds flying over your head, but you can prevent them from making nests in your hair.' If you find your mind filled with tempting images and suggestions, distract yourself immediately - don't let the temptations land and cause sin. Calmly, without getting condemned, turn your mind to God and his Word and simply move on.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:1-5)
I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video
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*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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