A young mother of preschoolers flung her grocery bags into the trunk as she kept her eye on her three fussy children. Clicking the last car seat strap to secure her children into the car was like trying to round up cattle on the open range. With her children wailing in protest, she opened her car door and hustled into her seat. Fumbling to find her keys in the 'purse-diaper-anything-else you may need' bag, her emotions began to snap.
Her two-year old cried out endlessly about the four year old taking his happy meal toy. In a split second, through all the chaos she heard a voice, "choke him, shut him up, choke him!" She spun toward the child with her hands moving swiftly toward the toddler's neck. "Stop! I can't take it anymore! Stop!" were the words that flew out her mouth, as she instantly released her hands as her soul shivered with disgust.
Then the voices became louder in her head, saying, "How could you do that? What kind of mother are you? You don't know what you are doing. You always mess up!" Self-loathing thoughts invaded her conscience from deep within her soul, "I can't believe I did that. I hate myself! I am a horrible mother. Why? Why do I always hear those voices telling me to hurt my child?" Tears streamed down her clenched face as groans of regret bellowed out her throat.
As her emotions stabilized she turn back to see her son's face. "I am so sorry. I mommy should never do that. I was wrong. I couldn't take all the noise. I don't understand. Why don't you listen to me and obey me? Please forgive me. I am so sorry," her voice trailing off into deep inner thought as she finally found the keys and started the car to drive home.
This is a real life story of a mother that frequently heard voices. She was a solid Christian, so she wasn't possessed by a demon. She daily prayed crying out to God for help. Even so, when her emotions spun out of control, she froze not knowing how to respond. Wicked suggestions would quickly pop in her head. She either, in a snap, rejected them or acted on them. Fortunately, many times she was able to stop her actions cold.
In the last "Abuse & Trauma, Hope & Healing" article, we started learning about hearing voices. This article is part two in the series of three articles on the very important but seldom discussed topic of hearing voices. What does God say about voices? This is the first question we should consider on every topic? We will take a journey into God's Word in this article to see what God says about voices.
God is not silent! "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1 NKJV)" by speaking them into existence. Whatever God spoke appeared "and God saw that it was good" (Genesis 1:10). When He calls forth reality it is always good, because He is perfectly and completely good in every possible way. Through out the Bible God speaks. God revealed Himself to Elijah in "a still small voice (1 Kings 19:2)." He spoke through prophets, priests, wise men, and even a donkey! When Jesus was baptized, he came up immediately from the water, "and suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased'" (Matthew 3:17).
But just as certain as God speaks, the tempter (the devil) also has a voice. After Jesus fasted in the wilderness forty days and forty nights, the tempter came to Him and proclaimed lies. Jesus defended Himself quoting Scripture responses until the devil finally "left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him" (Matthew 3:18 NKJV). The Bible is clear that God speaks, Satan speaks and angels speak. Believers in Jesus follow Him "...for they know his voice" (John 10:4b). Jesus says, "And they will hear My voice" (John 10:16 NKJV) and be able to distinguish it from demonic voices, voices of other people or even of our own conscience.
Paul was aware that his conscience spoke. He strove "...to have a conscience without offense toward God and man" (Acts 24:16 NKJV). In John 8:9 the mob, ready to stone the adulteress, heard Jesus speak and left one by one "...being convicted by their conscience" (8:9). Today we can hear our own conscience remind us of what we know to be true or of what we need to confess and repent. The plumb line of truth in our conscience is developed through the in depth study of the Holy Bible, God's Word.
Men and women returning from the horrors of battlefields, concentration-type camps, and prisons of war, struggle to integrate into everyday life. In the same way, people who have been deeply abused and traumatized, especially early in life by relative and/or relationships that should have provided safety and loving attachment, struggle to live life as God intended. These people sadly hear degrading voices of condemnation and lies. The voices can be triggered by simple occurrences of daily living that recall memories (often suppressed memories) of life threatening, events from the past.
It is clear that, in His Word, God says:
People can hear voices
He (God) has a voice
People have a voice
Satan and demons have a voice
Angels have a voice, and
Our conscience has a voice.
While voices are real, not all voices have the seal of approval, "And God saw that it was good" (Genesis 1:10). Part three of this series will be published on June 30th. It will end this topic of "I Hear Voices, Am I Crazy?" explaining voices of trauma triggers, disassociation, mental illness and demons.