3 Biblical Ways to Know If You Missed a Sign from God

Psalm 19:10-14

How will you know if you missed a sign from God? Here are 3 things that happen when you miss a sign from God.

1. When You Miss a Sign from God, This Is Often Marked By Focusing on the Wrong Types of Signs

As I explain more thoroughly in my article called What Does the Bible Say About Signs from God?, there are basically three ways you can use the word sign:

  1. Signs and Wonders: This is when God does something supernatural to reveal his will or make a point.
  2. Evidence for What God Wants You to Do: This is when God is leading us through the Bible, the Holy Spirit’s personal leading in our hearts, and the circumstances of our lives.
  3. Horoscopes and Superstitions: This is when people seek non-biblical information about the spiritual realm and when people attach their own meaning to random events.

Whenever I use the word “signs,” I’m always talking about this second type mentioned above. Signs and wonders do occur and are biblical, but we are told not to ask for those signs (Matthew 16:4). Horoscopes and superstitions are obviously unbiblical and unwise.

But throughout Scripture, we are commanded to actively follow God. To do this, we are always supposed to be following the Spirit’s leading (Galatians 5:25). To follow the Spirit’s leading, we must be aware of the evidence he’s sending so we know what he wants us to do (Acts 19:21).

Instead of Bible reading and prayer, people often ask for a dream or a miracle. Sometimes we miss the evidence God is sending because we are overcomplicating the process of receiving his guidance by looking for the wrong type of “sign”.

2. When You Miss a Sign from God, You Will Feel Confused About God’s Will and Lack His Peace

As I explain more thoroughly in my article called 4 Things God Wants You to Do So You Don’t Miss His Will for Your Life, there are basically three types of “God’s will”:

  1. God’s sovereign will is what always happens because God made it happen.
  2. God’s prescribed will is what God’s commands in Scripture.
  3. God’s personal will is what he is telling us to do when morally neutral decisions are required.

You can’t disobey the sovereign will of God because that is what he causes to happen by his power (Psalm 115:3, Ephesians 1:11, Isaiah 55:11). However, you can disobey God’s prescribed will and his personal will. God’s sends signs through his commands because these give us evidence for what God wants us to do. And God leads in his personal will through the circumstances of our lives because he tells us to respond wisely to the things that happen (Ephesians 5:15). The Holy Spirit will also personally lead you and if you actively resist his leading, this has negative consequences.

Whether you willfully or unknowingly disobey God’s prescribed will or his personal will for you, one way he will let you know you are offtrack is by allowing you to be confused. God is not a God of confusion but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33), which means when you don’t follow God you will be confused and when you are following God you will be at peace.

Therefore, when you do feel confused and lack peace, this means you need to hear from God. He won’t let you miss his will if you seek him. But you do have to come to him in prayer so he can bring you peace (Philippians 4:6-7) and follow his word so he can give you counsel (Psalm 119:24).

Additionally, sometimes God isn’t going to give you the answer that you seek but you can still be in his will. This will be marked by his peace that stems not from knowing everything but rather through your personal fellowship with Christ.

3. When You Miss a Sign from God, There Will Sometimes Be a Conviction of Sin But There Will Always Be a Natural Consequence

As I explain in my article called The Biblical Differences Between Discipline, Punishment, and Consequences, there are many differences between the three:

  • Punishment is a punitive action done to make the offender repay the debt they have incurred. It is done for the benefit of the offended rather than the for the offender. When you become a Christian, you are never punished because Jesus paid for the full penalty we deserve (Romans 8:1)
  • Discipline is a corrective action done to change the negative behavior of the offender. It is done for the benefit of the offender rather than for the offended. God always disciplines his children (Hebrews 12:7-11).
  • Consequences are the negative, natural chain of events that occur because of our poor choices and actions. These results are not done to someone, rather they are self-inflicted wounds resulting from personal choices.

In love, when we sin by missing the mark of obeying a clear command in Scripture, the Holy Spirit convicts of us of sin and disciplines us. However, when you just do something unwise that was not immoral, there will be a natural consequence.

Either way, if something negative is happening that you can change, this often means you missed God’s leading somehow. Thankfully God’s grace is sufficient when we sin (Romans 5:20). He can take the bad and turn it into good (Genesis 50:20). And God’s sovereign power is great enough to work through our mistakes in following his personal leading so we still won’t miss the good God wants to give.

If you love God and truly seek to follow him, you have nothing to fear (Romans 8:28).