A seminary student stopped by my office to tell me he was having difficulty getting to school on time. What should have been a five-minute drive lengthened to 45 minutes because a voice in his mind kept telling him to turn at intersections. Not wanting to disobey what he perceived to be the “still, small voice of God,” he was treated to a tour of the city almost every morning.
A pastor’s wife, desperately needing the comfort of the Holy Spirit and desiring His leading, passively believed that whatever entered her mind was from God. She soon found herself bound by fear and plagued by condemning thoughts.
These examples underscore the wisdom of John Wesley’s words: “Do not hastily ascribe things to God. Do not easily suppose dreams, voices, impressions, visions or revelations to be from God. They may be from Him. They may be from nature. They may be from the devil. Therefore, do not believe every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they be from God” (Martin Wells Knapp, Impressions, Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1984, p. 32).
In a survey of 1700 professing Christian teenagers, 70 percent admitted to hearing voices, like there was a subconscious self talking to them. I don’t believe they are psychotic or paranoid schizophrenic. There is a battle going on for their minds. I have shared with many tormented people that they aren’t going crazy but are under spiritual attack. They usually respond, “Praise the Lord, someone understands.” It’s freeing to know this truth, because if there is a battle going on for our minds, we can win that war.
Dr. Anderson, Freedom in Christ and Harvest House Publishers www.ficm.org