A young woman called me looking for a prophetic word. She was befuddled, sore vexed and all-out desperate to hear from God about a certain situation.
This young, Spirit-filled woman, we’ll call her Tammy, insisted she just couldn’t hear from God. She had prayed. She has worshipped. She had read books on how to hear the voice of God. Yet she adamantly confessed that she could not hear a word. She called me because she wanted to me to “go to the throne” on her behalf.
Tammy went on to rehearse every detail the devil was telling her. She told me how the devil said she was going to get fired on the next round of job layoffs. She told me how the devil said her car was going to break down soon. She told me how the devil said she was going to get sick. And she was full of fear.
Can you see the contrast yet? Tammy did not believe she could hear the voice of God—and this after I had coached her for weeks on how to quiet her soul and listen for that still small voice—yet she could tell me every lie the devil was whispering in her ear with pinpoint accuracy. And her fear testified that she believed those lies.
The thief had come to steal, kill and destroy, and he was making steady progress because Tammy was willfully letting him in and, through her fear, actively entertaining his plan to make her jobless, take her transportation, and put sickness on her body. Tammy’s fear was a twisted faith in the devil’s wicked prophetic words.
Jesus said: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers” (John 10:1-5).
Jesus said His sheep don’t know the voice of strangers. So why do so many Christians listen to what some demon tells them and sit up at night fretting? Why are so many Christians tormented by ungodly imaginations that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God? Why do so many Christians act on the whisperer’s tempting suggestions and fall into sin? Why do they follow the voice of strangers? Here is one reason: Those voices are no strangers. Some have given heed to those demonic voices for so long that they have become familiar—and some take their twisted advice.
Saints, it’s a sad day in the church when we become more familiar with the voice of the devil than the voice of God. I believe part of the reason for this is because too many five-fold equipping ministers are too quick to prophesy over people instead of teaching them how to discern the will of God for themselves.
When we make people dependent upon us for counsel, we are stripping them of a chance to grow in Christ. Yes, everyone needs wise counsel from time to time, especially when major life decisions are at hand. But people need to learn how to hear the voice of God for themselves, too. And sometimes that means they skin their knees while they are in training. But that’s how we learn.
God speaks to our spirit and our spirit speaks to our conscious. The devil, on the other hand, speaks straight to our unrenewed mind. When our mind is not renewed with the Word of God in a certain area, the devil works to enter as a thief and a robber to sow his dastardly seeds in our soul. He’s looking to establish a stronghold. He wants us to meditate on thefalse prophetic words he’s offering us and eventually give life to them by speaking them out of our mouth. Our mouth can agree with the enemy or with God. Too often, our agreement aligns with the one whose voice is loudest.
Christians are tuned in to the voice of the devil because it’s easy to hear. The devil is always blabbing like a loud mouth in a quiet movie theater. If you are thinking about giving into the special offering in the church, the devil will tell you that you can’t afford it. If you are considering going on a mission trip, the devil will tell you that you are too busy. If you are trying to stop smoking, the devil will tell you one more cigarette won’t hurt. If you have a little sniffle, the devil will tell you that you are getting sick. If people are getting laid off at work, the devil will tell you that you’re next.
God, on the other hand, will tell you that he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly (2 Cor. 9:6). God will tell you that He supplies of all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:19). God will tell you that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Cor. 6:19). God will tell you that by His stripes you were healed (1 Peter 2:24). God will tell you the truth. The voice of strangers work to exalt demon-inspired lies over God’s truth.
Why do we listen to the voice of strangers? Again, because they are not really strangers. We’ve grown familiar with demonic voices like the voice of an old friend. But the devil is no friend. In fact, the devil is out to steal, kill and destroy your life. That’s his ministry. And he can find ministry success much more quickly if you listen to his voice and prophesy his words over your life. How can two walk together unless they are agreed? (Amos 3:3)
As for Tammy, she was deceived. Remember, she kept insisting that she could not hear the voice of God? Who do you think told her that? Was it the Holy Spirit, who comes to lead us into all truth? Or was it the thief who comes to lead us into destruction? The devil told Tammy repeatedly that she could not hear from God and she believed it, she confessed it and she walked in that reality—until we identified the voice of the stranger and cast it down. Now, she has stopped following the stranger and she is led forth by the Holy Spirit into all truth. Amen.
Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including Did the Spirit of God Say That?. You can e-mail Jennifer at email@example.com or visit her website here.