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Pointers along the way #397

Satanic whispers
- Jacob Ninan

Almost every day one can read about people who have committed suicide. To an outsider a large number of them appear to have been rather impulsive or for trivial reasons. Are such people responding to a sudden thought that comes to their mind telling them, "What's the use? Just end it all!"?

Not all thoughts that occur in our mind are our own! Various thoughts come up in our mind giving us suggestions and many times pushing us to take a wrong course of action. Perhaps it is to misunderstand what someone has said or done. Perhaps it is to let ourselves go in a violent manner to retaliate. Perhaps it is to throw up our hands and give up. Perhaps it is to walk out of a marriage. Whatever the suggestion is, it is couched in such a manner that we think it is our own thought, but if we just go along with it, it gets us into trouble. Such thoughts are not necessarily ours. They may be from one of Satan's demons (Satan is too big to bother with small people like us) who has studied us for years, got to know how we respond to different situations and understood how to slip in a thought into our mind now and then in a deceptive manner.

If we think that it cannot happen to Christians just think of how Jesus was tempted to jump off from the top of the temple (Mt.4:5,6). When it happens to us the first thing we need to do is to recognise that it is not from God. How we can do this is first by learning to recognise God's voice (Jn.10:27). But this voice can be imitated (2Co.11:14), and so we need to get to know God's ways better and better from His word and from our experience as we follow Him. It was because Jesus knew the Father and His ways well that He could immediately recognise that the voice that quoted a verse from Scripture and told Him to jump from the temple was not from God.

One helpful tip for recognising this type of demonic whispers is the pressure behind it that tells us to act quickly (without taking time to think) and not giving us a reasonable opportunity to make our choice. Whenever we feel this pressure it is wise to pause from speaking out or taking action on the suggestion, and to take it to the Lord in prayer. This can protect us from a lot of folly.

Have we noticed how we get some critical opinions about other people when we are dealing with them? These thoughts are dressed up in such a manner that we may think we have ourselves cleverly arrived at that conclusion! We may be so convinced about their validity that we don't even question them. But they are poisonous and malignant impressions about others that may not be true at all!

We need to be on the alert against all such fiery darts that the devil sends in our direction in the form of ideas, suggestions, insinuations, etc. The whole armour of God is needed to protect ourselves from such attacks (Ep.6:11). Remember we are no match for Satan by ourselves; but Jesus has given us such authority in His name over all the power of the enemy (Lk.10:19).


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