Recently, one of my blog readers asked me how I could tell when a thought came from OCD or from God, especially because one of my formerly intrusive thoughts was of a Bible verse that seemed to condemn me. She wrote, “I keep reading that Bible verses spontaneously popping into one’s head is a prime way God speaks to people.”
What a great question. One I’m not entirely sure I’m qualified to tackle, although I do know that the more I learn about and understand my OCD, the easier and easier it is for me to spot it. I can recognize its tell-tale voice from a mile away now. And while I don’t think that OCD = Satan (at all), they are both my enemies and they are both accusers.
Here is the (in flux) conclusion (is that an oxymoron?) I’ve come to:
I guess the big thing is this: when OCD would bring up that Bible verse, it worked like an intrusive thought and brought deep anxiety to me, but with God … his kindness leads us to repentance, not to shame. The voice of God showers me with kindness, grace, conviction that leads to change … but I don’t think God’s voice is one of shame and accusation. In fact, scripture even tells us that SATAN is the accuser and CHRIST is the one who defends us.
Remember, Satan used and twisted scripture when Christ was going through his temptations, so we know that it’s part of the devil’s arsenal.
My friend Erica told me something fascinating she’d once heard: “The Holy Spirit does not motivate with guilt.” Likewise, my incredibly wise writing professor Judy said, “I know the voice of God because that voice invites me to move closer without shame while the voice of Satan fills me with an electric dread that makes me want to hide.”
As always, I encouraged this blog reader to explore Exposure and Response Prevention therapy. In the four years since my ERP, the voice of OCD has become so easy to recognize. I finally know my enemy’s voice.
And better yet, I know my savior’s.