Question:

How do I know if the thoughts I had are mine or from God? How to know if God wants me to do something?


Answer:

"For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God" (I Corinthians 2:11).

Your thoughts are your own. In the distant past, God did communicate with men directly, but He changed this in the Christian era. "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds" (Hebrews 1:1-2). Prophecy, the direct revelation of God's instructions, ended when the Bible, the perfect law of liberty, was delivered in full. "Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away" (I Corinthians 13:8-10).

But even if you examine the past times when God communicated with men, He did so by speaking with men. There was no confusion over whether a thought was one's own or came from God. It was the false prophets who took their own ideas and proclaimed them to be God's.

  • "Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; they speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the LORD"" (Jeremiah 23:16).
  • "And the LORD said to me, "The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart"" (Jeremiah 14:14).

Knowing what God wants you to do is as simple as opening your Bible and reading His teachings. Here is what God told Israel: "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good?" (Deuteronomy 10:12-13). It really hasn't changed. Jesus quoted this verse as the greatest commandment. And John tells us, "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome" (I John 5:2-3).