Should premonitions be taken seriously?

In an in-home study group with a group of Christians, the subject got round to spooky things happening to people, and how do you explain them? Every person in the group had a story to tell, ranging from seeing ghosts, to feeling a presence in the room, to having premonitions about future events, to hearing voices in their heads, to sensing someone they knew had just had something horrible happen to them, to weird experiences with seances and ouija boards, and scary nightmares. We all sat back a bit shocked, realizing how many spooky things we’d experienced, or knew of.

In seeking an explanation, the subject that raised the most questions was premonitions. We all knew of people who’d had visions of future events which came true, like the person who’d had a premonition about a relative being in a car crash, with exact details of the location and events leading up to it, which happened exactly as predicted. So, was it just an amazing coincidence, we wondered, or was there something more sinister going on? Are there things our human brains can do that we haven’t fully understood yet, or was it simply a wild imagination that got lucky? And the big question: Was it from God, or the devil?

Well, Scripture also tells of a person having visions who “goes into great detail about what he has seen,” Colossians 2:18. So we’re not the only generation of people who delight in making highly detailed predictions about future events. But what’s really behind these visions? The same verse states it’s an “unspiritual mind” that “puffs the person up with idle notions.” These premonitions aren’t coming from God, then, nor are they happening because the person having visions is on a higher spiritual plane. Quite the opposite; they’re coming from a self-deluding mind that “has lost connection with the Head,” verse 19 – and that is serious because “in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,” verse 9. He’s our powerful protection, therefore, from being taken in by “the empty superstitions of spirit beings,” verse 8 (The Message). And that’s serious too because “the whole world is under the control of the evil one,” 1 John 5:19, so, yes, there are sinister things going on.

Fortunately, verse 18, “the one who was born of God (Jesus) keeps him safe, and the evil one does not touch him.” Jesus not only keeps us safe from the devil playing with our minds, he also keeps us safe from the delusional minds of others. Should premonitions be taken seriously, then? Only in knowing the source of them – and ignore them totally otherwise.

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