OCD vs Holy Spirit: How do I know which voice to trust? – Yeshuah Boyton

OCD vs Holy Spirit: How do I know which voice to trust?


man standing at a table with his right hand resting on the table top and a Bible laying in front of him on the table.

You are plagued with distressing thoughts or religious thoughts, and you don’t know if they are due to your OCD or the voice of the Holy Spirit. In this article, I want to shed some light on what the typical voice of God is like and how it differs from intrusive thoughts.

As a general rule OCD thoughts are driven by anxiety, fear, and distress. The voice of the Holy Spirit, on the other hand, will encourage you, give you peace, ask you convicting but stimulating questions, and will always be in harmony with the written word of God.

So, how practical could this look like? What can you do if you hear blasphemous thoughts? Are you still saved? Why did God give you OCD in the first place?

Let’s dig a little deeper!

How to discern between religious OCD and the Holy Spirit.

Religious OCD can come in several different forms. In my research, I came across reports of negative thoughts shaming or guilt-tripping the person for their (supposed) sin, some tell of straight-up blasphemous thoughts or thoughts that would condemn them to hell. Then again others have more “positive” sounding “intrusive” thoughts like strongly urging the person to a certain ministry.

A very easy way to determine which thoughts are from God and which aren’t is by doing the “Bible” check. Ask the question: Is this congruent with the written Word of God, or the gospel, and/or God’s general purpose for my life (which is abundant life – John 10:10)?

With obsessive negative thoughts, the answer is clearly “no”. People describe a feeling of anxiety, fear, or distress that follows these thoughts which then will lead to compulsive behaviors.

Is this cycle of God? Clear answer: NO!

I would even go so far as to say that these thoughts are demonic voices trying to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10).

The Holy Spirit would ask you questions to bring you forward in life, not to keep you in a sin-repentance loop. He would encourage you, lead you back into the written Word of God (and confirm it), or convict you of sin without shaming or guilt-tripping you.

You don’t have to suffer under OCD. Jesus wants to deliver you from tormenting intrusive thoughts!

Now, in case of obsessive thoughts about ministry, prayer, reading the Bible, and the like, it seems to be a little bit different.

I read of a student named Matt who had a great way of discerning between the Holy Spirit and obsessive intrusive thoughts:

After I pray, I’ll usually just add on a time in which I try to listen. I’ll bring up the question of street preaching, and I’ll just see if I can label the different feelings and the different emotions that are going on. It’s getting easier to identify the distressing movements. I’m realizing more and more that the way the Lord uses me is not usually when I act according to that sort of distressing feeling. It’s usually when I have a positive feeling, a passion, or really feel like something is important–you know, when there’s an active, strong, positive motivation to do something. These other kind of feelings, when they come up they seem very negative and heavy, and they don’t seem to accomplish anything. These anxious feelings, I think they pull you away from God. (source, emphasis added by me)

He has found out that when God moves him to do something, it’s going to be a positive passionate feeling of importance. When it is not of God it is more negative and heavy feelings of distress that pull him away from God. That seems like a great thing to look out for, doesn’t it?

Hey, I want to encourage you and give you hope that there is deliverance from OCD available in Jesus! I’m not just making a great statement of faith but want to tell you of this reality.

Check out the YouTube testimony of how this lady got delivered and lives OCD-free with Jesus at the end of this article.

Can you commit the unforgivable sin in your mind?

man sitting at a desk with his right hand at his chin, thinking with eyes closed.

As a whole, the unforgivable sin in your mind is not a sin per se. Blasphemy is calling the work of the Holy Spirit a work of the devil. OCD-like thoughts that rage against the Holy Spirit are demonic voices that try to push you into compulsive behavior based on shame and guilt.

Jesus wants to deliver you from the latter. He died for exactly these kinds of torments so that you would experience true freedom and peace again. God promises in Isaiah 53:5 that “The chastisement for our peace was upon Him”. He took your torments so that you could have peace of mind, a peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:7).

Thoughts that say things like, “I hate the Holy Spirit”, “the Holy Spirit isn’t real”, or anything else God-hating are intrusive thoughts. In fact, these “thoughts” that you hear are voices of evil spirits that try to lead you back into the compulsion, shame, and guilt loop. Just take them for what they are: Evil thoughts/voices. Nothing more, nothing less.

Having these thoughts doesn’t mean that you have sinned against God, as long as you don’t act upon them.

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit according to the Bible is declaring signs, wonders, and miracles, that are clearly from God, a work of the devil. In the context of Matthew 12:31-32, you can see that the Pharisees were accusing Jesus of working miracles in a demonic way. They said He would cast out demons with Belzebub. But Jesus basically told them in my own words, ‘No, this is the very Spirit of God. Anyone who declares the good stuff that the Holy Spirit is doing as something demonic, well, that is unforgivable.

Now, if your thoughts do go crazy, take authority over them in Jesus’ name! You can do it this way:

Say, “In Jesus’ name, I bind all thoughts captive unto the obedience of Christ. I rebuke and silence all intrusive thoughts right now and release the mind of Christ. Every evil, demonic, and intrusive thought has to leave me right now, in Jesus’ name!” Take a deep breath, see what happens, and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

I wrote another article on what to do with OCD thoughts and if God forgives those thoughts – It might be a real help to you!

Why did God give me OCD?

As a general rule, God himself doesn’t give OCD to anyone. He merely allows it to occur. OCD is a physical symptom of an imbalance in the brain that has spiritual roots. These can be generational curses, childhood traumas, or learning to trust God.

Let me emphasize this again: God did not give you OCD. He allowed it because He wants to teach you, use you, and make something super awesome out of this situation.

Yes, it stinks. Extremely – I get it. But God won’t leave you in this situation without help. He already has envisioned a way out and wants to set you completely free.

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV

Yes, OCD is more than a mere temptation. It can feel like real torment. But you don’t have to live with this forever! There is deliverance in Jesus.

That’s what this whole website is about: to help you get rid of the gunk in your life through healing, deliverance, and restoration in Jesus Christ.

You can check out more on spiritual warfare and deliverance to take control over intrusive thoughts and compulsive behaviors here on my website. There is a life of freedom waiting. Go and get it.

Also, check out this video of this lady that got completely set free from OCD.

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Yeshuah Boyton

Yeshuah is a teacher and a licensed minister who loves to blog about Jesus. Because he was miraculously healed from cancer he empowers people by sharing about God's healing, deliverance, miracles, and spiritual warfare on this website, on Youtube, and in his newsletter. Like what I share? Say Thank-You, become a supporter, and/or partner with us in prayer. In any way, I do appreciate you for hanging out!

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