How to Tell God’s Voice vs Your Thoughts

By Vladimir Savchuk | November 2, 2023 | 5 mins

How to Tell God’s Voice vs Your Thoughts

Our feelings are important to God. He created them as a channel to communicate; however, there is also a potential for this avenue to become a channel by which the enemy draws us into sin and disobedience. The Bible makes it very clear that we can be deceived by our feelings (Deut. 4:19). So, how do we differentiate between God’s voice and our thoughts? Here are key distinctions to guide you.

The Key Differences

1. The Holy Spirit aligns with Scripture while emotions can contradict it.

The Holy Spirit always aligns with the entirety of Scripture, while our emotions might misinterpret or take Scriptures out of context. The Holy Spirit will never contradict the Word of God, whereas emotions can often lead us astray.

The Holy Spirit won’t just fix your eyes on one portion of Scripture while disregarding the entirety of the context. That is actually something that Satan did in the wilderness.

2. The Holy Spirit’s voice is divine, while emotions arise from biology and experiences.

The second way to identify when it’s God’s voice vs our thoughts is that the Holy Spirit’s guidance has a divine origin rooted in eternal truths and God’s will. In contrast, our emotions stem from biology, past experiences, and current circumstances. As a result, they can be influenced by various factors. The origin of God’s voice and guidance is not based on human circumstances. It has a divine origin. It’s based on eternal truths and God’s will.

3. The Holy Spirit’s voice is consistent, whereas emotions fluctuate.

Our emotions are not consistent. Sometimes, we feel God, and other times, we sense that He’s far. Sometimes, we feel like praying, while on other days, we can’t. The difference is that the Holy Spirit is consistent.

The way you can know whether it is just your emotions is to test it. I like to write down the impression I feel is on my heart and pray about it, asking the Lord for confirmation. Sometimes, the next day, I wake up and realize that it was just me.

4. The voice of the Holy Spirit guides us according to God’s will; our emotions reflect our inner state.

God’s voice will always guide you into God’s perfect will. God’s voice isn’t necessarily interested in guiding you into a perfect life, but God’s perfect will. Our emotions, typically, tend to reflect our internal selfish state or desires–especially when they are not sanctified by God. There is nothing wrong with desiring things that benefit us, but it’s not the primary goal of the Christian life. His primary direction will be God’s will, not our interests.

Sometimes, God’s will takes us through the wilderness. Our emotions will always protect us from challenges, and they reflect our desire for safety and convenience.

5. The Holy Spirit is reliable; emotions can deceive.

The Bible says in Jeremiah 17:9 that our heart is wicked and deceitful. Circumstances, the enemy, and our flesh trick our emotions easily; and the enemy will strategize to make us depend on our feelings.

He can completely rule your life if you live led by your emotions. This is especially true when you believe that God is guiding you solely based on how you feel, without considering the scriptures, the will of God, or the source of this emotion.

Some people feel God is telling them to leave their family and do ministry, but the Scripture contradicts that “feeling.”

You will find that the Holy Spirit is entirely reliable. He will never contradict God’s Word, and it is consistent. We can always trust in His guidance.

6. Responding to the Holy Spirit requires faith; managing emotions demands self-awareness.

When your emotions are raging, you must learn to regulate them. They can indicate our internal state but shouldn’t be solely equated to God’s voice. Emotions require self-awareness, while the Holy Spirit’s voice requires faith.

When it requires faith, it’s most likely the voice of the Holy Spirit.

7. The Holy Spirit has God’s support. Our emotions lack supernatural providence.

The Holy Spirit’s voice has God’s backing (John 10:4).

For example, when a shepherd leads His sheep, he doesn’t speak to them through earphones. He is with them as he guides them. Similarly, when God’s Spirit speaks, you often sense His guidance, whereas relying purely on emotions may feel like pushing things uphill without God’s providence.

8. The Holy Spirit whispers. Emotions can be loud and impulsive.

Our emotions can be impulsive and forceful, but the Holy Spirit doesn’t yell. He gives gentle impressions, like a dove. He leads and whispers, expecting us to be near. The Bible says in 1 Kings 19:12 that God presented Himself to Elijah in the form of a still, small voice, not in the earthquake or the fire.

God’s voice calms, comforts, convicts, encourages, enlightens, leads, and reassures. In contrast, the enemy’s voice obsesses, worries, condemns, discourages, confuses, pushes, and frightens.

Final Thoughts

Here are a few things you can do to hear God more clearly in your life:

  • Immerse yourself in His Word
  • Lower life’s noise
  • Get near Him to hear Him
  • Pay attention to godly mentors and circumstances.

I also want to encourage you to check out my new book called Host the Holy Ghost. It’s an amazing resource to help you grow in your relationship with the Holy Spirit.

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