Over the past few months as God has brought me out of my own demonic warfare, I have encountered many who ask the question, “How do I know if I am under a spiritual attack?” My goal in this article is to lay out the Biblical model for the three sources of temptation and help guide you to the root source of where your personal attack may be coming from.

James 3:15 describes the type of wisdom that stands in opposition to the wisdom of God: “This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.” We can further extrapolate three main types of attacks that seek to gain power in your life and exalt themselves against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). These three areas of attack are the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Every temptation you face comes from one of these three areas. If you’re struggling with ongoing or besetting sins, addictive behaviors, or overwhelming lust, anger, depression, and the like, we can trace back its roots through the three areas listed above to determine its source.


Sometimes the temptations we face come from simply living a life that is too close in proximity to the world. If you work a job around a lot of worldly influences, frequent non-christian friend groups, or regularly place yourself in situations not befitting a Christian (parties, raves, bars, clubs and the like) your attack is likely coming from the world. Wonderfully, the Bible gives us a clear step to take when we find ourselves in this situation: separate. 2 Corinthians 6:17 “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” The first step to dealing with temptation in your life is to separate from the influences that are facilitating the problem. The Bible is clear that the friends we have can make or break us, (Proverbs 13:20) and if the people or situations you are around consistently lead you away from God, you must separate from them to obtain victory.


 Many of our temptations come from our flesh. Even after we are saved we still have an indwelling sin nature that pushes against the holy, upright, and pure that God would want us to choose. (Romans 7:18) The answer to the temptations that come from our flesh is found in Romans 6:11, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Colossians 3:5 uses the word, “mortify” which means to become dead to. If you are struggling with fleshly desires, you have to make them dead to you. This can mean placing roadblocks in place so you cannot have unfettered access to the internet, getting an accountability partner, fasting to build up your resitance to the flesh, as well as other many other good ways of building character. The truth is many Christians have never learned to become dead to the flesh. They’ve never been trained to build good character or put in actual effort to evade the sinful habits with which they often struggle. Many Christian men wrestle with an addiction to pornographic materials, but few confess their problem to an accountability partner and willingly give up their access to those sinful behaviors. If you are struggling with temptation but have never truly become dead to your flesh, you must begin with this necessary step.

Now, once we have eliminated the first two sources of temptation, we have a good indication we’re dealing with the third source.


James 4:5-8 give us a clear path of handling the devil’s advances: “Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” By submitting ourselves to God and resisting the devil we can experience freedom. Many Christians are living in bondage and submission to the devil: from the very beginning Adam subjected himself to Satan in the Garden of Eden and we still, as sons of Adam, are often guilty of the same behavior. Ephesians 4:27 commands us not to give place to the devil. This is a reference to strongholds or a fortification behind enemy lines. The devil and his demons will use any opportunity to create a stronghold that keeps you bound in lust, addiction, fear, and anxiety.

The process by which we submit is found in verse James 4:8, ” Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” Simply draw nigh to God and cleanse yourself through confession. The Bible says in James 5:16, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.” I have met dozens of people who have unwittingly gotten deliverance from Satan by simply drawing nigh to God — these often have special testimonies of an encounter with God where they are helped individually through the process of spiritual, mental, and physical cleansing and healing they have chosen. For others, (myself included) I needed someone to walk with me through the process. Now, having been healed, God has called me to help others walk through their own process of inner healing and deliverance.


One final thought for those on the fence about seeking out help: The Bible tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” If you’re feeling powerless, unloved, and mentally unstable, you are being attacked by the spirit of fear. God does not want His children to live in fear; He promises deliverance to His children. In Matthew 15:22-28 the Canaanite woman asks for deliverance, but it’s not until she accepts faith in Christ (gets saved) that Jesus gives her the “children’s bread” of deliverance. Your Father wants you to have deliverance, and He will not turn away any of His children who asks for bread. (Luke 11:11-13)

If you are confident the devil has a stronghold in your life and you are in need of deliverance, let me encourage you to cry out to God like the children of Israel did in Egypt: Exodus 2:23-25, “And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.” God will hear your cry and will remember the covenant He made with you when you accepted faith in Christ. If you feel you need one-on-one help, please feel free to reach out to me.