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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: When Does Satan Spiritually Attack the Believer?

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Don Stewart
Though the Devil may attack at any time, he will always do it when he thinks it is to his advantage. We see this method, time and time again, in the Scriptures.

1. After A Great Spiritual Experience

We find that Jesus was attacked by Satan right after His baptism.

And when Jesus had been baptized, just as He came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to Him and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is My Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased." Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the Devil (Matthew 3:16,17;4:1)

This should teach us a lesson. After a great spiritual experience we should be ready for spiritual attacks from the enemy.

2. At The Beginning Of A New Spiritual Endeavor

Satan also will attack when someone is beginning a new spiritual quest. Right after Jesus was attacked by the Devil, He began His public ministry.

From that time Jesus began to proclaim, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near" (Matthew 4:17).

Knowing Jesus was about to begin His ministry, Satan attacked Him.

3. When Believers Are Physically Vulnerable

We also find Satan coming when believers are in a weak position - either physically or emotionally. Jesus was attacked after He had fasted for forty days.

He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards He was famished. The tempter came and said to Him, "If indeed You are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread" (Matthew 4:2,3).

4. When A Believer Is Alone

We also find Satan attacking when people are alone.

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil (Matthew 4:1).

5. From An Unexpected Source

Often times Satan will attack us from an unexpected source - someone from whom we do not think. After Jesus had told His disciples that He was going to Jerusalem to die and then be raised the third day, He was rebuked from an unexpected source.

And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to You." But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things" (Matthew 16:22-23).

This is an unfortunate occurrence, but it happens too often. Satan comes to the believer through the sin of another believer. These are the attacks that hurt the most.

6. Always Comes Back And Attacks Again

After Satan attacks a believer and then leaves, he always returns again.

When the Devil had finished every test, he departed from Him until an opportune time (Luke 4:13).

Though the believer may win a temporary victory over the Devil in their spiritual battle, Satan will return to fight at another time.

Remember We Are Victorious

Though Satan does attack, and sometimes entices believers to fall into sin, ultimately we are victorious through Christ. This is the promise of God! The Apostle Paul declared.

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen (2 Timothy 4:18).


We should be well-aware of the various ways in which Satan works. He attacks believers when he thinks it will be to his advantage. This includes the time after a great spiritual experience, or right before someone is going to begin a new spiritual venture. He also attacks when believers are vulnerable either physically and/or mentally. Satan also likes to attack believers when they are alone. Christians, therefore, must always be on guard.
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