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This is an excerpt from Ray Yungen’s  “A Time of Departing” chapter 7 “Seducing Spirits.”

Pastor Ron Comer, my good friend who wrote the forward for this book, first became aware of the dangers of contemplative prayer when he was seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit. As the youth pastor of a large, dynamic evangelical church, he longed to draw closer to God and hear His voice. He shared with me the following story of how he heard the voice of the Lord, but it was a much different outcome than what he expected. He spoke of how God’s grace rescued him from seducing spirits. I’ll let him recount his own experience with contemplative prayer.

One day I decided to lock myself in my office and not come out until I knew I had met God. I took from my shelf a book by Richard Foster called Celebration of Discipline. I had briefly read it years before but did not give much attention to its practical application. Now, as I began to read, I was intrigued by the freshness of Foster’s approach. It seemed so freeing to come before God and just empty me of myself. I knew God could not fill me if self was in the way.

I laid the book on the floor and got on my knees. I began to step through Foster’s teachings of how to come before God. I emptied my mind of all thought and began to repeat sacred words that brought praise to God. I found myself repeating the same words over and over. After a period of about two hours, I began to feel a release from all my cares. As contrary as it seems, my body began to feel an energy that was both exciting and relaxing. My mind was at peace and my spirit open to any experience God would share with me. I began to slip into a euphoric, mystical state. Suddenly I was struck by five powerful words that penetrated every sense of my existence. The words were firm but loving. My inner spirit had never heard such clarity. The five words were, “This is not from Me!”

Immediately upon hearing these words I began to grieve at all I was doing, and I repented — feeling polluted and foolish. I quickly realized I had not been enjoying God but had opened my mind and heart to a seducing spirit. God ended this episode by confirming in my spirit I needed to stay alert and discerning for deceptive spirits that were amazingly good at emulating the Spirit of God and masquerading as angels of light.

PP 125-126

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