Sharon Harris is wife, mother, English teacher, amateur photographer, and gardener.

How can I tell if God is really speaking to my mind or whether I’m hearing my own emotions?


Question:  I’ve heard that I’m supposed to ask God for help before making important decisions.  How can I tell if God is really speaking to my mind or whether I’m hearing my own emotions?

Answer:  God has given us the Bible to teach us how much He loves us and wants to help us with all things.  Knowing about God and how He has helped people on the earth in the past will help us to know the right choices to make.  He has also given believers His Holy Spirit, which is His constant presence wherever we go, to communicate with our minds and to confirm whether we are on the right track.  Here are some things you can reflect upon before making an important decision: 

  • Ask yourself, what is my real reason for wishing to do this? Will it help more people to know Jesus and go to heaven?  Is it an opportunity to tell or demonstrate to others how much God is doing for me? 
  • Would doing this disobey one of God commandments?  He will not tell you to do something that is against His teachings.  Was someone in the Bible faced with a situation like this one?  See if the Bible records a similar case.  You can ask a pastor or someone who is knowledgeable of Bible teachings to point out the passage for you to read.
  • How would Jesus solve this problem?  The only way to know that is to read in the Bible how Jesus responded to problems and how He answered questions that people asked Him. (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts)
  • Most importantly, have I asked God yet?  Or am I hoping He’ll just jump in and offer advice?  (He does do that often!) 

Don’t worry about anything, but pray and thank God as you tell Him the decisions

you must make.  The peace of God, which is impossible to describe to someone

who hasn’t experienced it yet, will fill your heart and mind because you

have trusted in Jesus Christ to lead your life.  Philippians 4:6-7

  • Now that I have prayed about this, have I waited on God to answer?  Sometimes we go ahead and do what we think is best because our emotions are worried or excited, and we resolve the issue our own way – immediately!  It’s hard to wait, but don’t act too quickly.  Remember, if in doubt, don’t!  Sometimes God holds you back from making decisions because it’s just not the right timing.  He sees your future and always wants what is best for you and others.  Continue to pray, asking God and watching for Him to reveal whether you should make the decision at this time. 

My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.  He only is my rock and my salvation. He is my defense; I shall not worry while I wait…

Trust in the Lord at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him. 

God is a refuge for us.  Psalm 62:5 -8

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