Have you ever wondered what it would be like to read other people’s minds? I sure have. Never having to guess motives, attitudes or the depth of truthfulness could really come in handy.
Of course, sometimes I think its best not to know what other people are thinking. The access to such brutal honesty probably wouldn’t feel too good.
In the entertainment world, this concept has commonly been utilized in film and television. There’s a character from Heroes named Matt Parkman who can get inside people’s heads and find out exactly what they’re thinking. X-Men superhero Jean Grey exercises this ability as well.
The technical term is “telepathy.” It seems strange that something which has never been proven to exist has its own scientific reference point. But that’s beside the point.
A few days ago I ran across a new NBC show called The Listener. The drama stars Craig Olejnik as Toby Logan, a paramedic who can hear people’s thoughts. After years of grappling with the phenomenon, Logan eventually sheds the idea that his ability is a curse and begins embracing it as a gift. He regularly uses his telepathic prowess to save people from grave danger.
Perhaps the reason this show caught my attention is because of some teachings I’ve been going through with my youth group. We’ve been talking about how the Holy Spirit comforts, empowers, guides and enlightens those who allow its power to operate freely in their lives.
This power sounds strangely like the same gift exhibited by The Listener‘s main character. Logan is given a vivid look into the lives of others, which in turn guides his steps and empowers him to help others.
By no means is this meant to be a literal comparison, but in many ways, those of us who are filled with the Holy Spirit can employ the same ability as Logan, Parkman, Grey or any other superhero characters that have this so-called “telepathy.”
For instance, 1 Corinthians 12:8 says, “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge (NKJV).” (In other words, the Spirit can give insight into people’s circumstances and can provide us the wisdom to help them deal with life’s difficulties.
John 16:13 also speaks to this principle. It says, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.”
This power also gives us the ability to influence others for the Gospel and make a significant impact on their lives.
Acts 1:8 documents the first indication of this gifting: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Because of his telepathic ability in The Listener, Logan is emboldened to rush headlong into dangerous situations on a weekly basis. The same was true for the disciples back during the days of the early church when Peter, Paul, Timothy, John and many others faced opposition and many times risked death in order to perform miracles and share the Gospel with the lost.
Paul wrote to Timothy (who later would be stoned for his faith) these famous words: “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7).
Perhaps one of the most incredible scriptures that lets us know how amazing this gift can be is found in Ephesians 1:20: “That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms. (NASB)”
There’s a popular worship song called “The Same Power.” It simply states, “the same power that conquered the grave lives in me.”
If we can truly embrace that concept and allow God’s spirit to be unleashed through our lives, made up powers like telepathy will seem like child’s play compared to the amazing miracles he wants to work through the lives of His modern day disciples.
Chad Bonham is a freelance author, journalist and television and documentary producer from Broken Arrow, Okla. He has authored several books including a four-book FCA series (Regal Books) and is the coordinating producer on a forthcoming documentary called Choosing Life.