He was strong and athletic, very muscular in build. The scientists gave him one simple command: “Lift the drinking glass off the table.” With confidence he attempted the almost insulting request. Nothing happened. Puzzled, he hunched his shoulders and tried again. Still nothing. Grasping the glass in both hands, with biceps bulging and sweat pouring from his body, he bent himself to the task. Yet, even his most strenuous exertions could not lift a glass light enough for a child to remove.
Why? Prior to this, as part of a carefully controlled experiment, scientists had placed him in a light hypnotic trance and then told this strong man that it was impossible to pick up the glass. Because his unconscious mind was convinced he could not do it, he was unable to carry out this simple command. What a dramatic demonstration of the fact that no person can carry out
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Pastor Joe Crews (1924–1994) was an evangelist, author, and founder of Amazing Facts Ministry in Roseville, California. Adapted from Is it Possible to Live Without Sinning? Library of Sermons, No. 16. Used by permission.