How can you tell the difference between God’s voice and the voice in your head? How can you know if God is speaking to you or if you are just making his voice up so you can feel free to do what you want?
Here are 3 differences between God’s voice and the voice in your head.
God’s Voice Never Contradicts Scripture
I definitely believe that the Holy Spirit says personal things to God’s people. However, the Holy Spirit will never contradict himself. Since we know that the Holy Spirit inspired the words of Scripture, we also know what he says to us personally will never contradict what we know he has already said in the written word of God.
In John 16:13 Jesus said, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” In John 17:17 when Jesus was praying to the Father he said, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”
So if the voice in your head ever says anything that contradicts Scripture, that is not the voice of God.
God’s Voice Is Never Wrong
Sometimes people feel that God tells them something that cannot be confirmed or denied by studying the Scriptures. For example, many people who are single feel like when they first met someone God told them that this person would become their spouse one day. Some people believe God promised them a certain job, a certain ministry opportunity, or a certain outcome to an important life issue.
I am certainly not here to tell people what God did or did not say to them individually. We can certainly say without doubt that if you hear a voice tell you something unbiblical then that is not God’s voice. But when it comes to morally-neutral things that are personal to our unique lives that cannot be confirmed or denied in the Bible, the only way to truly know if it was God’s voice or your voice is if what was said comes true. In Deuteronomy 18:21-22 it states:
“You may say to yourselves, ‘How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?’ If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.”
So one of the main differences between God’s voice and the voice in your own head is that if God actually says something it will always come true. So if you heard something in your head and then it does not come true, it was not God’s voice.
Your Voice Serves You. God’s Voice Serves God
The final way we will discuss that you can tell the difference between the voice in your head compared to God’s voice is that God’s voice is always God-centered and the voice in our heads is man-centered. In other words, when we are just making the voice of God up in our heads, we are usually just telling ourselves what we want to hear. The voice in your head will serve you. When God speaks, however, his voice will lead you to glorify him.
Now I am certainly not saying that God will always tell you to do the opposite of what you want. When you are walking in the Spirit your desires will be conformed to God’s desires. When you are truly filled with the Spirit, your desire will be to do what God wants. So I am not saying that God will never tell you to do things that you want to do.
But overall, one major difference between God’s voice and the voice in your head can be felt in your conscience. Usually we know when we are just telling ourselves what we want to hear because in those moments we are trying to glorify ourselves rather than God. But when God truly speaks to you he will always lead you to glorify him, which will bring you maximum joy. As Galatians 5:16-17 explains:
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”