Signs of a Spiritual Attack: Desolation

Signs of a Spiritual Attack: Desolation

I received an email about a week ago from a woman who wrote just one sentence. “What are the specific things I should look out for that would be signs pointing to a spiritual attack?” That statement she made reminded me of why I started this website. There are a lot of signs or symptoms that indicate a spiritual or diabolical attack. In this article, I will concentrate on one, and then write subsequent articles describing the others. I was attacked by witchcraft, so the issues I am going to write about will come from my lived experiences, and be specific to those demonic attacks. But not everyone is spiritually attacked, so some of the things I experienced will also apply to suffering in general. For example, all kinds of people go through depression or have anxiety so they will understand that part of my suffering.


People who are under a spiritual attack will have certain things happen to them that didn’t happen to me, and visa versa. Depending on the circumstances leading up to, or surrounding the attacks, each person will experience these afflictions in different degrees. But God never gives us more than we can handle. Anyone who has suffered an attack from the enemy will be able to identify with what I am saying, and then apply it to their particular situation. This knowledge is going to console you. I say this with great confidence because I had no one to help me. Not even priests understood what was wrong with me. In the beginning, I had no idea what was happening. But I eventually had to consider whether or not it was demonic, because nothing else made sense. I think that God allowed me to suffer this way for many reasons. One reason is so that I can help other people who are suffering in the way I have. No one understood what I was going through, and that added immensely to the mental and emotional effects of the attacks. So, I want those people who are struggling with an attack to know that I understand their suffering, and I know intimately what you are going through because I went through it too. I am sharing my story with the hope that it will help others get through this time in your life a little bit easier.


The first sign I want to talk about is desolation, but I have to clarify a few things so that this is clear. Christians experience consolation and desolation throughout life. The simplest explanation is that consolation is being able to feel God’s consoling presence within, and desolation is not being able to feel it. This is a part of the spiritual life that no one can escape. In times of consolation, there is a loving communication between God and the soul that brings it to love the Lord more intensely. And in times of desolation, this communication is withdrawn, which, in the beginning, is perceived as a lack of God’s love for the soul. The result is the same because consolation and desolation help a person come to know and love God in a whole new way. So this process is good, even though desolation hurts. In a spiritual attack, which God allows for our betterment, desolation is distorted by the devil. It is amplified and used as a weapon against us. So in this context, desolation is a sign of a spiritual attack. Now that I have made that clear I can move on.

Desolation: A temporary darkening of the mind and disturbance of the will and emotions, permitted by God to purify the souls of his followers. It may be caused by the evil spirit or brought on by a variety of other causes, but it is always purposeful, namely to withdraw a person’s affections from dwelling on creatures and bring them closer to the Creator.

Catholic Dictionary

Desolation is an almost unbearable darkness, an emptiness so deep that every waking moment is spent in mourning. This is a horrible suffering. But it is how the Lord brings us to love Him most profoundly. It is how He teaches us to stop looking at ourselves and look at Him. Jesus leaves us because He wants us to experience Him physically. In my case, I was not fully aware of God’s presence in me until I couldn’t feel it anymore. So Jesus grabbed my attention by retreating from me, and that automatically caused me to become aware of the lack of His presence in me; and in my life. That didn’t mean that Jesus wasn’t present anymore, only that I couldn’t feel Him anymore.

“How long, O Lord? Will you utterly forget me? How long will you hide your face from me? How long shall I harbor sorrow in my soul, grief in my heart day after day? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look, answer me, O Lord, my God!”

Psalm 13:1-4

After a while, I started to feel abandoned by God, and I wondered if He loved me. I didn’t understand what I did to make Him leave me, nor did I know why He let the enemy attack me so viciously. But these sufferings caused me to set out on a spiritual journey in search of my Jesus. He was all that mattered. So, desolation, even though it is a natural part of the spiritual life, can be used by the devil during a spiritual attack. But God is in control and no matter how much you think Jesus has left you, He is bring you closer and closer to Him during these spiritual attacks. There are moments when God consoles you, but they are brief and ignite an even greater desire in you to find Jesus. So, I think that this void that lives in us, during these spiritual attacks, is key. And I will go as far as to say, that Jesus has made us believe that He has abandoned us because He loves us, and He wants to be loved back. No matter how you are feeling, or what you are going through, remember that God is love. He is all good, and everything that He allows to touch our lives, no matter how difficult it may be, is for our greater good and His glory. So keep searching for Jesus, and when the time is right, He will set you free.


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