Someone dear to me, in the maw of discouragement, said he had the strong feeling that his life is doomed. He also said, "I just have a feeling that I will never have children." (He is in his early 20s and not married.) I decided to tell him my little story about premonitions.
About three decades ago I had an acute and mysterious sense of foreboding regarding a very particular matter. (I wish I could be more specific for you, but regrettably some of my potentially most helpful personal experiences for your encouragement are, for a variety of reasons, not appropriate to share publicly.)
When this dark sense of foreboding came upon me, it seemed to speak with the voice of a god. After all, I had rarely been privileged with such mystical "gnosis," and so I was awed by the peremptory force of it and gave it the authority of a prophecy. Please understand that I was not nearly so articulate about the matter in my mind; the fact is, I simply accepted the epiphany without questioning, and stored it away in my heart. I told no one, not a soul.
As the years went by, I pretty much forgot about my "premonition," but now and then I would remember and repeat it to myself, though it horrified me. I finally mentioned it to one, or possibly two, close friends, still never questioning the validity of the feeling.
It is only in this past year-a year in which I have begun to take seriously the reality of Satan and the supernatural realm; a year in which I have begun to take seriously the Scripture's commands to proclaim the promises and praises of God over any and all competing truths-that I realized my grave error. All this time I had rolled over to the intuition that "spake as a god," little realizing that the god was a demon. That voice should never have been harkened to or given an instant's credibility, but swiftly denounced in the name of Jesus. Great was the destruction that came from my failure to do simple spiritual warfare.
Satan has two hats. He is Deceiver in the early stages, and when all is lost from blind and slavish following his counsel, he is gleeful Accuser.
This is what I cautioned the young man about. I said: Do not flatter yourself with your deep premonitions. Do not repeat such things, even in your own heart. Recognize the voice of the "angel of light" for what it is, and let the words you speak to yourself be only and always those of the One whose ways are always hope and life.