I referenced in my sermon “Mixed Signals” and in my testimony about some demonic experiences I’ve had. Some may read this and dismiss the possibility out of hand, but please only come to that decision after reading. This is definitely not something that is current or happens often (or really since).
I don’t remember the date the first time it happened, but it was within my first 2 years at the University of Texas. I was walking around campus, probably late for a class, when I heard a voice over my shoulder speak my name. It was one of those raspy voices that sounds like someone playing a trick on you. It was right in my ear and I quickly spun around to see who it was. There was nobody there. But the experience was not positive or reassuring, it was creepy and the hair on the back of my neck stood on end in warning.
I didn’t know what to do, I just knew I had to get to class and so I kept walking. I don’t remember if it happened again in that trip, but it wasn’t the last time. One time—sure, I could dismiss it and not think twice about it, but it began to happen more and more. It got to be a regular thing—at least once a week, sometimes more. Hearing voices was not a normal thing so I began to question my sanity—was I hallucinating, or some other more serious problem. At the time, I never told anyone about it.
I kept coming back, however, to the reaction I kept having—one of warning. This was not right, you’re in danger. Having read Peretti’s, “This Present Darkness”, I entertained the possibility that this was a spiritual battle in some form. I had never experienced this for myself, so I didn’t know. What I did do was begin praying for protection the moment I heard the voice say my name. That action seemed to make the situation pass quickly.
You could argue it was therapeutic, but it got to the point that my reaction of prayer was almost automatic. I didn’t miss a step from hearing the voice and prayer. I didn’t respond with the fear that I always had, but with the assurance of God’s protection. I got to the point that I was able to ignore it. Over the next couple of years, the voice occurred with less and less frequency. From the height of once a week, to once or twice a month, to once a month, to once every couple of months. It never really stopped entirely and it was only while I was on campus.
The question of my mental sanity was still an issue, especially considering I was now a psychology major. But something happened to change all of that. I cannot now remember who I was sitting with at the time, but one day, I was having lunch with some acquaintances at the Student Union just outside the Wendy’s franchise. There was one guy on my left, and two on the other side of the table.
We were enjoying a good lunch with good conversation when all of a sudden, I heard the voice in my left ear. I ignored it, kicked into prayer and kept on dipping my French Fry in ketchup and talking with my friends. I didn’t move, flinch or anything—but the guy next to me did.
He turned around to look. Naturally, he didn’t see anyone, so he said (as normal college student would) “what the #$%@%**&@$ was that???” That stopped me, I did flinch at that. “What are you talking about?”
“Some voice just said your name and there’s nobody there!”
I was stunned, shocked, but there was also a sense of reassurance of my mental stability. He heard it. I had never told him or anyone else, but he heard it, heard it clearly to know exactly what it said and what it sounded like.
That changed the conversation that day and I was able to tell them what had been going on—share the reality of a spiritual battle, the power and protection of Christ and so forth. I don’t know if anything came from it in their lives. I’m not sure if the two across the table ever bought it or if they thought we were pulling their leg, but it happened.
I know the demonic is real from experience. It helps me approach the month of October and Halloween celebrations with a little more caution and understanding of the spiritual battles that will be going on.
Also realize that as much as I know that the demonic is real and something to be taken seriously, I have a much greater experience and knowledge that God Himself is real—He has made a much greater and daily impact on my life in ways that makes Satan’s voice a parlor trick. In many ways, the experience helped teach me the importance of truth, good doctrine and the necessity of distinguishing the voice of my Shepherd from the voice of my enemy.
If anyone has any questions, please feel free to post them here. I’ll do my best to respond to each one.
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