Category: Mental Barriers

Mental barriers to hearing God’s Voice – Part 2 Chuck Swindoll


As the Spirit of God attempts to comm-unicate His truth to us, He runs up against the “wall” of our overall mental attitude, our natural mind-set. Along with the wall-like fortresses, we have natural, humanistic reasonings that give the wall additional strength.

I’m thinking of those defense mechanisms, rationalization, and other thinking patterns that are habitual to us. In Romans 2:15 we read of two such “guards”—blaming and justifying.

As the Lord God pushes His truth to enter (and thus “renew”) our minds, our habitual reflex “guards” the entrance of such alien thoughts! This explains why there is often such a battle that rages when biblical truth is introduced into a mind that has been walled and guarded by years of secularized thinking. We defend the old rather than consider and accept the new.

This could have happened in your own mind when you read what the Scriptures teach on forgiveness. It also may occur when you read what the Bible teaches us to do when we have offended someone. More than likely, you found yourself resisting and defending. I certainly did when I first discovered those truths! We would much rather blame the other person than accept our responsibility. Our “speculations” work like that. They put up a guard against change, causing us to rationalize and justify our actions.

Accompanying the resistance of our internal wall and guards are “lofty things” that reinforce our defense system from within (2 Corinthians 10:5). It’s the idea of a thing lifted up or exalted.

What comes to your mind right now? How about pride? And those things pride prompts: argumentation, an unteachable spirit, stubbornness, and refusal to change. Is that striking a nerve yet?

As the principles of the Scriptures are declared, our natural, unrenewed minds not only resist them, they ask, “Who needs that?” or “I’ve gotten along pretty good up ’til now.” These are the lofty things that are “raised up against the knowledge of God,” as Paul put it (2 Corinthians 10:5).

We need to destroy those things . . . before they destroy us.

A battle can rage inside when truth is introduced into a mind that’s been walled by years of secular thinking.— Charles R. Swindoll

Mental Barriers to hear God’s Voice – Part 1 Chuck Swindoll

Mental Barriers to Hearing God’s Voice – Part 1 Chuck Swindoll


weapons of warfare

When the world tries to squeeze us into its mold, God’s message gets muffled. Our minds pick up on the strong secular signals so easily that we subconsciously tune Him out. It comes naturally.

In ancient days, a city, in order to prosper, needed a security system to protect it from enemy attack. Of primary importance was a wall which restrained enemy troops from invading and which also served as a major means of defense in battle. Guards needed to be on constant watch from their sentinel posts on the wall. There needed to be towers within the city high enough for those inside to see over the wall. And finally, at the time of attack, men of military savvy and battle knowledge were needed to give orders and to direct the troops in the heat of combat from within the protection of those towers.

Paul drew a series of analogies from that familiar scene of his day . . . but remember, he’s not dealing with a city but rather with our minds. The passage in 2 Corinthians 10:1–7 sets forth a vivid description of the mental barriers that block out God’s directives and His counsel. Look closely. Paul uses four terms that we need to understand. If you have a pencil handy, circle each in your Bible: fortresses . . . speculations . . . lofty thing . . . thought.

As the Spirit of God attempts to communicate His truth to us (biblical information on servanthood, for example), He runs up against our “wall,” our overall mental attitude, our natural mind-set. For some, it’s prejudice. With others, it’s limited thinking or a negative mentality. Whatever it is, it’s a huge mental barrier that resists divine input just as firmly as a massive stone wall once resisted invading troops.

We all have our fortresses. And occasionally we get downright obnoxious as we operate under the control of our “walled fortress.” Need a good example?

A vagrant was looking for a handout in a picturesque old English village. Hungry almost to the point of fainting, he stopped by a pub bearing the classic name, Inn of St. George and the Dragon.

“Please, ma’am, could you spare me a bite to eat?” he asked the lady who answered his knock at the kitchen door.

“A bite to eat?” she growled. “For a sorry, no-good bum—a foul-smelling beggar? No!” she snapped as she almost slammed the door on his hand.

Halfway down the lane the tramp stopped, turned around, and eyed the words, St. George and the Dragon. He went back and knocked again on the kitchen door.

“Now what do you want?” the woman gruffed.

“Well, ma’am, if St. George is in, may I speak with him this time?”

Ouch.