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In dealing with people from time to time, I have occasionally experienced what I would call a "pull." It feels like the individual is wanting "something" and they're pulling on me. I have primarily had this experience with people who have been into the things of God for a while. Still being relatively new to the things of God myself, I don't understand what this experience is, but I know it's something going on in the spirit realm and that the individual is doing it purposefully. The experience makes me feel very uncomfortable, as if the individual is trying to examine me or something...
I was wondering if you'd be able to explain what this experience is?- Uncomfortable
I am not sure precisely what you are referring to, but there are a few things it could be.
Let me start with what it is not. In essence, you asked me if what you feel is some sort of spiritual practice that mature believers do to manipulate people. It is not. There is no Christian spiritual practice to "pull" on people, to let them know you want something from them through spiritual means. There may be something like that in the occult (I don't know), but there is no place for that type of manipulation in the body of Christ.
Off hand, I can think of four things that it might be. Two of them are natural and two of them are supernatural. Let me start with the natural ones first.
1. Reading body language.
It might be that you are a naturally discerning person who is able to read body language. I move in the prophetic and when I am prophesying in a meeting, a lot of people want a word very badly and hope that I will give them one. I can see it in their eyes when I look at them. Or at times I can see it in their posture and in the way that they carry themselves at that moment. We have a term for that type of "expectant" body language. We call it "pulling" or "tugging" on the prophet for a word. However, it is not a spiritual practice, it is just their body language and facial expressions are communicating how badly they want a prophecy.
Perhaps something along those lines is going on for you. I don't mean that they want you to prophesy to them, but maybe they want something from you and it shows in their body language. Perhaps you are just good at reading body language.
2. Inner Issues.
All of us are at different places in our spiritual growth and emotional maturity. It might be that you have some sort of inner issue (guilt, rejection, shame, condemnation, etc) that you are working through. Maybe something inside of you feels guilty that you are not as mature as this person or that person, and that feeling tugs on you in a negative way. Psychologists have a term for when we feel something ourselves but think someone else is feeling it...they call that "projection." The reason that they have a term for it is because it is a very common thing that many of us do. Maybe something like that is going on with you.
If so, I do have one word of advice and encouragement. No one rationally expects a three-year-old to be as emotionally mature as a 10-year-old. A child who is extremely mature for three years old will seem very immature if measured by 10-year-old standards. The same thing is true with spiritual growth. If you are a newer believer, you will need time to grow into the spiritual level of the mature believer. It is a process and it is supposed to take time. That is why they call it "spiritual growth," because you grow into spiritual maturity over time.
3. Holy Spirit Conviction
Perhaps the pull you feel is not coming from a person, but from God. Part of what the Holy Spirit does for us is to convict us of the things that are wrong in our life. That means that if we do something that is displeasing to God, the Holy Spirit will convict us (or make us feel "guilty" for doing that thing). He does that because He wants to get us back on track with God. It also works the other direction. If God wants you to do something and you are resisting Him, the Holy Spirit will convict you to do it.
Now here is where it can get a bit tricky. Some people who have been believers for a while walk very close to God and they "carry" God's presence with them. That means that when you get around them, you can feel God. If the Holy Spirit is convicting you about something and you feel God's presence on them, you might feel that sense of Holy Spirit conviction when you are around that person.
4. Spiritual Discernment Or Word Of Knowledge
What you experienced may not be the other person pulling on you, but God showing you what they are feeling because He wants you to pray for them or possibly minister to them in some way. We call it "word of knowledge" when God gives us information about another person that we could not know if God had not given it to us.
This supernatural information about others can come in a variety of ways. One of those ways is that we might briefly feel their emotions when we are in close proximity to them. This can be confusing at first, because we might thing they are our own emotions instead a spiritual discernment of someone else's emotions.
Let me give you an example that happened to me recently. I woke up one Sunday morning feeling wonderful and close to God. I had to do something that morning which required reading instructions with very small print. I picked up the instructions and began to read and follow them. About half way through the process, I realized that I was reading this tiny print without my reading glasses, and I was very excited. I have not been able to read print that small for quite some time. I had been asking God to improve my reading vision and at that moment I discovered that He was answering that prayer. I felt on top of the world when I went to church that morning-blessed and happy.
About five or ten minutes into worship, I was suddenly overcome with all sorts of feelings of condemnation and hopelessness. I felt that I was a horrible person, that God was displeased with me, that I did not have any hope or future and I should just give up and disappear. I did a double take...where did these feelings come from? But before I could process them, I was overwhelmed by them and I felt horrible. I began silently crying out to God and asking Him to help me. I felt a type of hopeless despair settling over me and it was not a pleasant experience. "Oh God," I cried out silently, "I don't know how I got to be such a hopeless mess, but please don't give up on me."
"Teresa," God replied, "Who are you sitting next to?"
I glanced over at the lady on my right. She was someone who I don't know real well, but I knew she struggles with a lot of inner emotional issues. That was when I realized that I was having a physical word of knowledge. I was feeling her emotions, and not my own. So I asked God why He was showing me her emotions and I had a sense that He waned me to encourage her. I planned to do that after service but I prayed for her silently during parts of the worship service. She got up and left as soon as worship stopped and the sermon began, so I did not get the opportunity to minister to her directly. But I was able to pray for her because the Lord showed me that she was feeling bad and needed prayer. The way He showed me that was by allowing me to briefly experience her negative emotions so that I would have empathy for her and know what inner struggles she was going through.
Maybe you are beginning to experience words of knowledge by feeling other peoples emotions or expectations. If that is the case, that is a prophetic gifting and you probably want to start learning more about the prophetic. There are many excellent books on the subject, and we also offer a lot of free teaching about the prophetic on our web site. You can view this teaching atwww.godspeak.net/ps_lessons