Often when I am counseling someone I encounter the issue of hearing God’s voice. I find that many are not certain that they are hearing God and are afraid to trust what goes through their mind–even when it sounds wonderful. Sometimes I find people who are trusting thoughts that they should not trust—lies from their past, lies from Satan, “old tapes” that have always been part of their thoughts.
In the 1980’s I found some help with these questions about our thoughts through the ministry of Bill and Anabel Gillham. Both of them are now in Heaven with Jesus, but their work continues at www.lifetime.org Bill taught that Satan can speak to us (in our minds) in “First Person Singular—I.” This was a huge insight for me. When Satan speaks in first person singular, we believe it is our thought and thus take it as being true about us. It is a very devious trick.
“I can’t do anything right!” “I am so stupid.” “I always mess up.” “Nobody wants to be with me.” “I am alone.” These are a just a few of those kinds of first person singular thoughts that the enemy uses to keep us in bondage and defeat. Satan’s voice in our head correlates perfectly with events from our past, with just enough of “his truth” there to make us believe his lies.
As I pondered Bill’s idea about this tricky deception that helped me gain freedom in my own life, I desired to pass it on to others. I came up with a list of ways to help us determine if the voice (our thoughts) we are hearing in our head is a lie from Satan or something from God. God sometimes speaks in first person singular, too.
So, you might ask, “What about MY thoughts?” For this list, because I call it Two Voices, I put our thoughts on the side with God when they are thoughts that fit His character and/or how He sees us in Christ. If not, they go on Satan’s side. This makes it easier to determine, spot and reject Satan’s lies.
Here is the lesson on Two Voices:
God and Satan can speak to us (in our minds) in “First Person Singular—I.” When Satan speaks in first person singular, we believe it is our thought and thus take it as being true about us. His thoughts are like the flesh and/or the world. God’s words, on the other hand, fit His character. It helps to know that our thoughts can be put into two categories, God’s or Satan’s. Yes, we have thoughts, but these can still be distinguished by what those thoughts are like. It helps us learn God’s voice if we believe that thoughts that are like Him are from Him. Satan does not want us to recognize when he is giving us thoughts that are lies. As we learn God’s voice, it becomes easier to speak conversationally, back and forth, and believe it is He because it would be like Him to say those things we are hearing in our mind.
SATAN’S VOICE: GOD’S VOICE
Performance Based Acceptance Jesus Based Acceptance
Loud Soft (1 Kings 19:11-12)
Selfish Unconditional love
Worry, Doubts Trust Me
Fear Faith and Love
Presses Down Lifts up
Death Giving Life Giving
Sin Conscious Righteousness Conscious
Certainly there are other things we could come up with, but this list can get us started on recognizing and rejecting lies from the enemy. Here is an additional, brief part of a lesson from Anabel on how to “analyze the thoughts that invade our thinking processes: A. This is a condemning thought. B. This thought attacks my character. C. This thought accuses me. D. This thought confuses me. E. This thought is designed to destroy me. F. This thought is not true.”
Anabel also recommends adding “In Jesus’ name” to any thought to see if it fits with God’s voice or the devil’s. For her complete article check www.lifetime.org
As I have grown through the years in knowing God’s voice and knowing from the Scripture what He is like, it has become easier and easier to have “conversations” with Him–as I speak of in some of my other blogs. I had almost forgotten this old lesson on the Two Voices until it came up twice in one week. I trust it will help you find some freedom, as it has me these many years, as you learn to put up your hand like a traffic cop and say, “Stop! That thought is not God’s or mine,” when the thought fits Satan’s voice. And as you get to know what God is like, His voice will be easier to hear.
“Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
“You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32