Have you ever been looking for God to provide a clear answer to your prayers and noticed a sign or signs that might be from God or a skeptic might say was just coincidental? Could it be God actually trying to tell you something?
How do you know if it’s God or a coincidence? Does God offer signs to us? Does He speak to us in that way? Don’t just miss it and write it off as your imagination!
Here are 7 questions to ask to help you know if a sign, song, feeling, or experience is actually from God Himself (or if it is all just wishful thinking).
Question 1: Does What I’m Hearing Line up with God’s Word?
God will never contradict what He has already told us in His Word, the Bible. This includes what Jesus tells us are the two greatest commands of all: to love God and to love others (Matthew 22:37-40). Any thought or action that does not come from love for God, for others, and for ourselves cannot be from God.
Question 2: Is It True and Logical?
The Bible tells us repeatedly that God is a God of truth (Deuteronomy 32:4; John 14:6). If what we hear is not true, it is not from God.
Similarly, while God can ask us to do things that don’t make sense from a human perspective (for example, asking Noah to build an ark or Joshua to march around Jericho), He is not going to ask us to do something that makes no sense in light of where He has already called us or how He has already gifted us.
Question 3: Does It Contribute to My Own Good and the Good of Others?
God promises that He “works for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28).
We know that doesn’t necessarily mean that life will be easy — Jesus says that his followers each have a cross to carry (Matthew 16:24). However, we can be confident that following God’s voice will not harm us and will ultimately give life not just to ourselves, but also to others.
Question 4: Does It Make Sense in Light of My Gifts, Resources, and Abilities?
God has created each of us with unique gifts and abilities and an individual story. God’s voice will be true to those unique traits. Your story will look different from someone else’s and that’s the way it should be. This doesn’t mean that God can’t call us to something beyond our own human ability — He can and will — but it should make some sense in light of the ways He has equipped and gifted us.
Question 5: What Are the Likely Consequences of Each Choice?
Emotions are important, but so is logic. Honestly evaluating where different paths will lead can help us know when we are hearing God’s voice. This isn’t the same as trying to control every aspect of the future — that’s impossible! But sometimes looking a few more steps into the future can make God’s voice more clear. This is where a simple pros and cons list can be very helpful.
Question 6: Does It Lead Me to Growth or Shame?
God’s voice can be challenging, but it’s never unloving or condemning. God will call us to grow more like Christ; He will never tell us that we are worthless or not good enough. God never causes us to feel shame or condemnation.
Negative thinking should be dismissed, but correction should be welcomed.
Question 7: Have Godly Mentors Also Seen This as a Call of God on My Life?
If you ever get stuck inside your own head, it can be helpful to actually speak out loud about an issue with a trusted mentor or friend. Asking someone else to discuss something with you, walk you through your thoughts, or even just pray for you can help you discern if it’s God’s voice you’re hearing.