How can we tell if God's voice is our own or God's??
We have all been there, we are faced with a big decision (or maybe small), we have prayed and prayed for God to give us a sign or to straight out tell us what we should do!! Maybe you are deciding if you should have another baby, maybe it is an important financial decision, moving, marriage...anything! How can we tell if the answer we receive is from our own understanding, our own little voice because, "we want a certain answer" or is the answer from God?? I have found that there are 5 insights into answering this....
Does the answer I received agree with the Bible?? We know that the bible is the instruction manuel for life. It is the number one rule book that we are required to follow. God will never contradict himself, so you need to check your answer with the rule book first! See Luke 21:33
Does it make me more like Christ?? Is the answer we received from the flesh or of God? Lets look at a passage... James 3:16-17 states: 16For where envy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every kind of evil. 17But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy. So that pretty much answers that! is the answer we received from our own selfish ambition or is it righteous and good?
What does my church family/leaders say?? When dealing with big decisions in life and we find it difficult to discern the answers it is best to consult a trusted church leader. Get a non-biased opinion. Sometimes your friends will side with your worldly answer, simply because they love you. It doesn't hurt to console in your church family for guidance. (Proverbs 24:6)
Does it concern something I am responsible for? Be careful when dealing with spiritual prophecy, do not be worried about finding Gods will for other people. And they should not be worried about his will for you. The answer should come directly to you, not to others. While it seems like they are just trying to help, often times it is misdirection. So again we must wait...
Do you feel the Lord's peace in your answer? When the answer comes to us you will feel at peace, there will be no doubt in your mind and no turning back. God tells us to be patient. You should not feel any pressure in your answer; but the peace of God. Compulsivity comes from the Devil. So discern wisely.
It can be difficult to wait for an answer on our decisions in life, but I promise it will be worth the wait. In Proverbs 3:5 Solomon wrote, "5Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding." We must be patient, we must wait for the Lord to give us the answer. In a "right now" world where we get same day delivery and can't stand to wait in line for more than 5 minutes we tend to bring that into our spiritual lives. But that is not what God wants for us. It is okay to slow down in Christ. Really dive into His words, take your time. God has a plan for all of us, and it was written before we were born. So in your waiting, put on a comfy pair of pj's, some fluffy socks, brew a cup of tea and get your bible...immerse yourself in His words, love and peace. He will tell you in His time.