4 Clues to Determine if Something Is From God
Sometimes I wish God would whack me over the head with a two by four to bring clarity into my life. But that’s not how He works. Rather, God likes to be pursued.
He says, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field” (Matthew 13:44).
God wants us to be active participants in our pursuit of Him—that’s when He reveals Himself. But if you’ve ever wondered whether you’re following God’s plan or even going in the right direction, you know it’s not always easy to differentiate between the voice of God and the voice of others.
To help you do just that, here are 4 clues that will help you determine if you’re making choices that line up with God or if you’re being swayed by the people around you:
Clue #1 – You feel at peace
When something is from God it brings a sense of peace, regardless of the difficulty. If you are suffering from double-mindedness or confusion, whatever you are doing or contemplating is NOT coming from God. Take a few steps back and find that place of peace before you take any steps forward.
Clue #2 – It stands the test of time
If something is from God, you will receive confirmation—whether from reading scripture, hearing a message, or from someone else whom God is using to speak to you—but your understanding and faith also grows over time. I like to think of the things that come from God as a growing knowing. Rarely does it whack us over the head, but becomes increasingly bolder over time.
Clue #3 – It makes you depend on him
Is what your hoping or striving for beyond what you are capable of doing? Good. You’re on the right track. Often times God’s plans don’t involve us using all of our strengths. They frequently leave us feeling inadequate and unprepared, much like Moses must have felt. But if we limit ourselves to operate only in our areas of strength, we are likely to take the glory instead of giving it to Him.
Clue #4 – It lines up with God’s Word
God will never lead you in a direction that is contrary to His word. Never. There are no exceptions here. You can save yourself a lot of pain and counseling if you line up your wants, desires, and plans with His word. If it lines up, you can keep it and it’s a clue you’re on the right track. But if it’s not, no amount of prayer or any other clues will make it right.
Don’t live your life in fear of moving forward. God has amazing plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11).
Look for these 4 clues along your journey and you will be able to step out into all that He has planned for you.
WOW…#3 is usually my barometer. If it’s too easy for me I know it’s not from God because I have learned many times God asks us to do things that only He can do in us and through us! Stopping by from By His Grace Bloggers.
#3 is my #1 too Timberley! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thanks for the article and your insights.
I’m curious what you think about the following though, from Garry Friesen’s book “Decision Making and the Will of God: A Biblical Alternative to the Traditional View”:
On the subject of whether peace is always a definite indicator of whether something is from God or not, he writes:
“Now when a believer experiences “lack of peace” in the process of decision making, the question that must be asked is, what is the source of the anxiety? Is it always an indication of the Spirit’s guidance, or could it be explained by other factors?”
“A moment’s reflection will yield several potential disturbers of the peace. One likely suspect in certain cases is the conscience. If the Christian begins to pursue a course of action in violation of God’s revealed moral will, the Spirit-sensitized conscience will produce the first symptoms of guilt. This disruption of peace is designed to be an alarm system warning the believer to change his direction and get back on the path of righteousness (see Ephesians 4:25–32). Of course, in such instances, obedience to the moral will of God is in question.”
“However, even when faced with choices within God’s moral will, Christians often experience a lack of peace. Again, the potential causes are numerous: insomnia, illness, concern for a loved one, occupational stress, an approaching deadline, nagging uncertainties, timidity, a new experience, and so on. Sometimes a lack of peace is the result of facing great difficulties that have nothing to do with guidance or disobedience. Christ was greatly troubled, but it was not the result of sin (John 12:27).”
“A disturbance of our quietness of heart can be accounted for in all sorts of ways. Furthermore, Scripture gives no criteria by which we may distinguish the negative leading of the Spirit from other disquieting influences. As important as God’s peace is in the life of the believer, its presence or absence is not to be construed as a sign of God’s leading in biblically permitted decisions.”
They are all very helpful. #1 is my favorite. I know that if I don’t feel at peace with a decision is usually the Holy Spirit prompting me to change my decision.
So true Anna. Thanks for joining us. Blessings to you.
Very true Robert. Thank you for your input. I have not read Garry Friesen’s book but look forward to it. You’re right, there’s no ‘cut and dry’ peace marker. We must always first measure it up with God’s word. And there needs to be more ‘checks and balances’ in our lives. I like how you said “This disruption of peace is designed to be an alarm system warning the believer to change his direction and get back on the path of righteousness (see Ephesians 4:25–32)”
May you be blessed as you continue to pursue Him.
Sigh, it’s funny this came into my feed. A true test has comemy way and I am trying to be a diligent daughter of God. I need to be sure I give my anxiety over to God as plan shift and change.
Yes, definitely give it over to Him Sara. So glad you’re here. Stay faithful. You are a testimony in the making 🙂