God vs. Demons: How to Identify False Conviction

As you go along in your relationship with God, He will educate you about who He is and how He wants you to relate to Him.  Sometimes those teaching moments will also involve specific instructions for things that God wants you to do.  God’s educational and corrective convictions are very positive things, because you need His input to develop your relationship with Him.

Now while God is talking to your soul, demons are also talking to you and trying to throw you off track by making you think God is saying things to you that He really isn’t.  When demons imitate God’s Voice in your mind, that’s called false conviction or condemnation. 

Mistaking demons for God can crush your hope, fill you with fear, and drive you into despair. When demons play false conviction games, their goal is to discourage you in your relationship with God and convince you that He has a beef with you that you just can’t resolve.  What you believe about God can have a major impact on your quality of life.  Demons know this, so they put a lot of effort into trying to get you to put your faith in lies. If you want to stop being their helpless victim, you need to realize that you have choices and decide that you are going to start fighting back.

With a little education, anyone can learn how to identify false conviction. Once you identify the lies, you can practice rejecting them and countering them with God’s positive truths. To help you out with this, I’m going to teach you three easy ways to identify false convictions.

Three Easy Tests

Whenever you start feeling upset by a thought in your mind, see if the issue can be summarized in one of the following three ways:

#1: I know something’s wrong, but I don’t know exactly what it is.

If it’s vague, it’s from demons. When God has a problem with you, He will make it crystal clear what the problem is. If you can’t clearly state what it is you’re feeling convicted about, then you’re just being toyed with by demons.

#2: I’m very clear about what I’ve done wrong, but I don’t know how to fix it.

If it’s vague, it’s from demons. When God has a problem with you, He will clearly spell out both the problem and the solution. When God just points out problems that He does not want you to try to fix (educational convictions), He always has a positive reason for bringing up the negative. For example, maybe God points out how meanly you treated a friend in the past because He wants to start working with you on your insecurity issues. He isn’t interested in you going back and trying to make amends, He’s just helping you see an area you need His help to grow in. In that kind of situation, you’ll have a clear understanding of what positive direction God wants to take you in. But when demons are hassling you, you’ll just feel bad about what a jerk you were in the past.

#3: I’m clear on both the problem and the solution, but the solution is impossible for me to do.

Suppose the problem is that you never should have gotten divorced. The solution is for you to go back in time and undo what you did. Is this a realistic solution? No, it’s not. When demons provide solutions, their solutions are either impossible for you to attempt or likely to cause harm to you and others. Demons love to discourage. When they can’t discourage, they want to cause friction and hurt. To get wise to their shenanigans, you need to take the time to stop and think about what’s being said to you.

Maybe you have a really foul mouth and you feel bad about it because you think that God hates crude language. According to demons, the solution is simple: just stop cussing. That certainly sounds simple enough, but in practice, you’ll likely find that you simply don’t have the internal resources to stop nasty language from flying out your mouth. The only way you’re going to break your habit is if God helps you, and when it comes to us trying to quickly doll ourselves up into prettier packages of moral behavior, God often refuses to help. This is because He has other priorities that He wants to work on that He feels are more important than the issue we’re presently obsessing over. And as long as God is withholding the resources we need to fix whatever our flaw is, demons will be harping on what failures we are.

God didn’t create you to be a perpetual fountain of good deeds and righteousness. He created you to commune with Him, and sharing the journey with you as you struggle with ongoing issues is a vital part of developing that bond.

Vague & Impossible: Two Markers of False Conviction

Whenever you find yourself feeling unclear about the problem, the solution, or both, you need to throw the message out as false conviction from demons. Whenever you feel clear about the solution yet the solution feels like some distant star that you have no hope of reaching, you need to throw the message out. It doesn’t matter if it came from your pastor or a spiritual site or a religious book. Demons love attacking you from trusted fronts because then you’re more likely to reject the possibility of their involvement. Yet the reality is that there is nothing in this world that demons can’t use to drag you down. The fact that you’re praying to God with your eyes closed doesn’t rule out the possibility that demons will be doing some of the answering.

Clear, Specific & Doable: Three Markers of God’s Convictions

When God convicts you, you will be very clear about both the problem and the solution. These things will be specifically identified in your mind—there won’t be any vagueness or confusion. Most importantly, the solution will be something you can actually do. For example:

  • What you just said to your wife was inappropriate. Apologize.
  • The way you just spoke to your boss was disrespectful. Apologize.
  • It really disappointed your son when you missed his game last week. Take him out for pizza tonight and give him your full attention.
  • You’re behaving rudely by texting while your friend is trying to talk to you. Silence your phone and put it away.

Now let’s compare these clear convictions with some false convictions from demons:

  • You should have never gotten that abortion.
  • You’re always nagging your husband. Why can’t you be more like the pastor’s wife? You can bet she never complains.
  • You’re such a drunk. Where is your self-control?
  • What you just thought about that woman was so inappropriate. You have such a dirty mind.
  • If you’d been around when your kids were growing up, they wouldn’t be so messed up today.

Can you hear the difference? When God speaks, you know what’s wrong and you know what to do about it. The solution is well within your reach. When demons impersonate God, you feel like a rotten failure who will never be able to improve. Cherish God’s input, but reject the rubbish from demons.

For downloadable charts regarding conviction, see Recognizing God’s Conviction (Charts).

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