Solid food is for
the mature, who by constant use have trained
themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews
Many of the discordant voices that echo in our minds
are nothing but the distorted projections of
unresolved emotional conflicts, and an immature
spirituality that is either over optimistic or
underdeveloped. Our unredeemed nature predisposes us
to hear what we want to hear – except, of course,
perversely, when it inclines us to expect the
precise opposite of what it most wants to hear!
Transactional Analysis goes some way to explaining
this confusion when it speaks of the immature child
voice within us clamouring for attention and
approval. This child voice promises great things,
but because it has no substance, it shies away from
testing and inspection. The delusory promises of the
child voice can lead us far astray. It wants all
sorts of good things – and preferably right now! It
is so deceptive that it even tries to reassure us
that the sins of the flesh are perfectly acceptable
in the sight of a loving God.
At the opposite end of the spectrum we find the
parent voice. Speaking through our distorted
conscience, this voice counterfeits the Still Small
Voice, and imposes stern demands. At first sight, it
may appear formidably ‘righteous.’ In reality, it
owes more to a misguided idea of what religion ought
to be, rather than to the true freedom of the Holy
Following this voice leads to a kill-joy legalism
which easily degenerates into a particularly
unpleasant form of abuse.
The parent voice establishes ‘control’ in the hands
of people who, deep down, relish the chance to
exercise it. It is the power that lies behind
totalitarian regimes and cults. Who is most likely
to take this spirit on board? Those who are not
truly humble, who (quite possibly to compensate for
inner inadequacies) are grasping for positions of
People who have been used by the Lord in the past
are by no means exempt from mistaking the parent
voice for the authentic Still Small Voice. Some who
were at the forefront of previous moves of God prove
unable or unwilling to adjust when the Lord moves
on, even to the point where they end up opposing
what the Lord is doing.
Almost all new moves of the Spirit contain a measure
of excess before swinging back into balance – but
those whose spirits have been hardened by the parent
voice are too self-righteous, and too judgmental, to
make allowances for this.
It is precisely these patterns of control and
domination that drive many lovers (or would-be
lovers) of Jesus away from Church. Ultimately, the
voice of control (the parent voice) represents the
way of self and Satan.
The secret formula that Satanists are taught at the
highest level of their initiation is, ‘Let my will
be done in everything.’ This is the direct
antithesis of all we long for when we pray, ‘Lord,
let Your will be done in everything.’
Sensitivity to the Still Small Voice checks the
demands of both the child voice and the parent
voice, and sets us free from making unreasonable
demands on our long-suffering partners, friends and
pastors. When we look to others to fulfill needs
that only the Lord can meet, we are as much
off-course as when we expect God to do things for
which we must accept responsibility.
When people have been taken captive by dominating
and controlling ‘parent’ spirits, they may well need
to be set free from the abuse they have suffered.
Tragically, leaders in the Christian community are
often amongst those most guilty of crushing others
through their strong personalities and harsh words.
This is especially the case if they have fallen into
the trap of assuming that the means justifies the
end in order to fulfill some vision they believe the
Lord has given them.
If we have been making unfair requests on our
friends, colleagues and (most especially) our
spouses, there are steps we need to take to put
matters right. We honour the Lord best by loving
For Reflection and Prayer
Here is a very short prayer, but one that may
require considerable thought and repentance:
Lord, set me free from the scars of such abuse.
Show me too where I am guilty of controlling others.
Make me one who steers people closer to You
rather than making them dependent on me.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.