How to Discern the voice of evil
"Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" 1 Peter 5:8
Supernatural evil is a real, but often hidden reality. Here are some indicators that mean you might be dealing with spiritual attack.
1. Evil will intimidate (noisy, crying out, shouting, shrieks) Mark 1:23-26
When you’re confronted with the voice of evil, it might feel like the only voice. It will get your attention easily. It is pushy. Confrontational. Argumentative. In your face. Evil will try to intimidate you and block out the voice of Jesus in your life. The voice of evil is likely to be angry or irrational. Or emotional – in a way that is out of place or out of control (too emotion then is warranted for the circumstances). The voice of Jesus will be like a gentle breeze, rather than a chaotic earthquake.
2. Evil will deceive (can sound like truth – it might speak truth, but in a deceptive way) Mark 1:23-26
“Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy one of God!”
Evil will accuse – it will distort and twist the truth and make it condemning to us or others. Evil will accuse and confront in a way that tries to make you doubt your mission and your purpose. Or doubt God’s goodness towards you. It will bring confusion and you might have trouble working out what is true or good or right in a situation. You might struggle to make decisions.
Perhaps there is something you need or a decision you are trying to make, however there is both a “yes” and “no” voice in your thoughts. You want it – but feel like you shouldn’t have it: there is conflict and turmoil. Or you don’t want it – but feel pressured to do it. You get stuck and confused about what to do.
When you have conflicted and opposing thoughts battling inside, the enemy may be at work.
3. Evil will isolate (prevent you having good relationship with God and people)
Mark chapter 5 – the man was affected by MANY impure spirits: and it caused him to live in isolation. He is cut off from relationship with people because of the impact of the spirits.
Any thoughts, feelings or behaviours that cause you to avoid people or avoid God might be an indicator that the enemy is at work. Unexplained fatigue, body pain or negative thoughts often prevent us fellowshipping with other Christians (eg. stop us attending Church) and isolate us from having healthy, supportive relationships (we become fearful of other people, we think they don’t like us or think they don’t want us to “bother” them). These thoughts might also tell us that God is angry or displeased with us and result in excessive guilt regarding out faith.
4. Evil will steal (steal the word from you and prevent it bearing fruit in your life)
Mark chapter 4: parable of the sower – some seed falls on a path and birds eat it up. This is a metaphor for Satan coming and stealing the word that was sown into someone, they then don’t bear a crop from that word.
The word will always bear fruit in our life. If it is not, there is a problem somewhere. The problem is never with the effectiveness of the word (it is sharp, alive, active, powerful). The problem might be that the enemy is stealing the word from you so it doesn’t take effect in you.
If you have been listening to the word (eg. attending Church, bible studies, listening to sermons, podcasts, video teaching, personal bible reading) and it is not growing or changing you, it is helpful to consider why: we are designed to bear fruit when the word is planted in us and should be aware of the enemy’s tactics to steal the word from our hearts so we aren’t productive in God’s kingdom.
Is it spiritual oppression? Some questions to consider:
1. Are my thoughts often angry? Argumentative? Noisy? Chaotic? Overwhelming? Dangerous? Harmful?
2. Do my thoughts make sense: are they logical?
3. Do I experience intense emotion that is not warranted for a situation?
4. Are thoughts about myself or others condemning or accusing?
5. Am I often confused or unsure?
6. Do I have difficulty deciding what is good or right in a situation?
7. Is it difficult for me to make decisions?
8. Do I get stuck not knowing what I want or not being able to act upon what I want?
9. Do I find it difficult to be around other people and have friendships with them?
10. Do I feel cut off from people and alone?
11. Do I avoid being around people?
12. Do I enjoy spending time with God? Do I enjoy his presence?
13. Am I interested in reading the bible and praying?
14. Is it easy for me to set aside time to go to Church?
15. Do I believe and confess that Jesus is Lord of all?
16. Do I think that God is always angry or disappointed with me?
17. Does unexplained fatigue/body pain prevent me from connecting with other Christians or going to Church?
18. Am I experiencing brain fog, confusion or heaviness? Do I feel like I am carrying a load I cannot be free of?
19. Am I growing as a disciple of Jesus?
20. Does reading the bible or listening to preaching/teaching make a difference in my life?
21. Does truth from the bible and the message of Jesus empower and free me? Or make me feel hopeless and a failure?