Who is the voice in your head?

It’s not uncommon for people to express the fact that they have a voice in their head. Oftentimes it could be a parent, for example. Sometimes it’s a very positive voice. I can still hear the words of my mother, or I can recall constantly what my father once said to me. This is the voice in our head. And our parents can be long gone, and yet that voice is active and alive.

Sometimes the voice in our head is very painful and destructive. If you grew up in a home where your parents were very critical, judgmental or overly demanding, you might hear this constant voice of condemnation. In many ways I think the evil one, Satan himself, tries to get into our head and to speak lies to us to challenge the promises of God and to do everything to hinder us. Well, I can say that part of what it means to grow as a Christian is to get God’s voice going in our head.

I became a Christian when I was 17 years old and I heard a testimony as a young teenager that I never forgot and it has shaped my own subsequent life in terms of what kind of voice I want to cultivate in my head. A man stood up once and gave a testimony about what his favorite life verse was. Maybe you’ve seen this happen before in a circle of friends. People just stand up and say, this verse has been my life verse. Well, his life verse came from Proverbs 3:5 which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.”

As a young teenager, that was a very powerful testimony to me, and it was an invitation to bring God into my head as the ongoing voice. And I began to try very earnestly to actually train myself to ask a very fundamental question as I continued to grow and to make my own views and develop my own opinion on things. So now I have created this habit in which just about every question that I’m confronted with, I try to begin it with, what does the Bible say? Or what in the Bible ought to inform me about my opinion here? Before you draw any other conclusions, before you believe any other data, before you start to make your first step, what in the Bible does God say about this? And make sure that you have kind of vacuumed through the word, so to speak, in terms of gaining insight into the matter.

I’ve done that, obviously, with the sanctity of life related issues. Even with how we run our ministry and the politics and everything else is just trying to create that habit so that the voice in your head becomes more and more God’s word drawing your attention to this thing or that thing that it rises up and says, “No, this is a matter of integrity. Therefore, listen to what God says and know that your integrity is more valuable than whatever else you could gain by this advantage, or whatever happens to be the voice in your head, needs to be the Word of God.” And that’s where I’ve been trying to train myself for nearly 50 years based on this scripture in part. It served me well.

It serves, in many ways, to give me insight into other things that I find somewhat surprising. For example, I remember when I was first starting to counsel women or couples in a pregnancy related crisis. I realized that there’s a voice in everybody’s head. Even people who don’t expose themselves to the revealed Word of God have a conscience. This is God speaking.

Sometimes we refer to this as God’s still small voice because it’s not as loud as our circumstances are. And very quickly I realized that many women and couples were hearing two voices in their head. They’re hearing the loud voices saying, “You can’t do this. You can’t possibly have a baby right now. Your situation is so difficult. You need to finish school.” There were the voices of boyfriends, or of parents, or of their circle of friends saying that there’s no help. And then there was the voice of their conscience that would come out in their conversation like, “I never really wanted an abortion, but I don’t know what else to do.”

That’s the voice of conscience, and I used to say to them, “What is it about abortion that you don’t like?” And eventually they would admit that the thing that they don’t like about abortion is that it involves the intentional killing of an innocent human being and it’s not something that they want to participate in. That’s the voice of God. That’s the voice of conscience. So part of my work was to amplify that voice and let them recognize that if they follow that voice and overcome all their obstacles, they will have the peace of God and the joy of life and God’s provision in their life.

That’s still a voice and it is at work in almost every individual. There are some people who have become so hardened in their conscience that I don’t know that they can hear that voice anymore. But for most of us, that voice is at work. So, remember that when you talk to people, and in terms of our own lives, I think we do well to amplify the voice of our conscience and to inform it by the Bible all the time, equipping ourselves for every good work that God’s called us to do. That’s the voice I want in my head. And I think we all do well to get his voice turned up. Thanks.