“That lady is going to think you are an idiot. You went on and on about your new book release. She’s not interested. You bored her to death and made a fool out of yourself.” What was that message I heard in my head? My face reddened as I walked out to my car after my brief conversation in front of the church with a woman from the congregation.
Wow, God, you really told me off. But wait, was that God’s voice?
Throughout my life, I’ve heard many other messages like this in a variety of situations. Belittling, depressing, discouraging thoughts. Thinking a bit deeper, the notion struck me. Maybe it wasn’t God’s voice. If not, then who? The enemy of my soul?
I did a little research on a few Christian websites and found some enlightening information about ways we can distinguish God’s voice from Satan’s. Here are a few points.
God’s voice is gentle and free from pressure. Satan’s is loud and clamoring. God speaks within our spirits and Satan talks to our minds. God’s voice produces peace but Satan’s despair. God’s utterances are clear and Satan’s filled with confusion. Generally we hear from God when we’re seeking Him in prayer and Bible reading. Satan breaks into our thoughts uninvited.
These are only a few comparisons, but enough to allow me to assess the word I heard in front of the church. That message broke into my thoughts without an invitation and certainly didn’t bring me peace. I think I know the source. So I told him to get lost. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7.