Is God Sending You Mixed Signals?

Galatians 5:16-17

We know that God is not a God of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). So why does it feel like he is sending us mixed signals sometimes?

Here are 3 possible reasons it feels like God is sending you mixed signals.

1. If You Are Learning from Unbiblical Teachers, It Will Feel Like God Is Sending You Mixed Signals

Our beliefs shape the way we process the information we encounter in life. We all have a worldview that we filter everything through. But how do we develop this worldview? None of us come into this world knowing everything we need to know. By God’s design, he made the human experience to be one in which we must learn from each other.

Yes, God is ultimately the one who is teaching us the truth by his Holy Spirit and Scriptures. But even here God used other humans to deliver his teachings. As 2 Peter 1:20-21 (NIV) explains:

Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

God even wants us to learn from others to properly interpret these Scriptures (Galatians 6:6). But we have to be very careful who we are learning from because there are many people who use Scripture but are still unbiblical teachers. When referring to the teachings of Paul, 2 Peter 3:16-18 states:

There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”

Ultimately we must be led by the Scriptures and always judge our teachers by what the word of God says rather than judging the word of God by what our teachers say. For false teachers will cause you to “lose your own stability.”

When you are mixing lies from people with the truth from God, it will seem like God is sending you mixed signals but really you are just getting confused by bad interpretations and applications of Scripture.

2. If You Have Not Learned How to Decipher God’s Voice from Your Own Voice, It Will Feel Like God Is Sending You Mixed Signals

Much confusion about God’s will for our lives certainly comes from poor interpretations and applications of biblical principles. But as I talk a lot about at AGW Ministries, there are many decisions in life that are morally neutral and thus it is difficult to determine what God would have you do by merely studying the Scriptures.

Many times there is not a morally right or wrong answer but the question you have is still very important so you really want to know what God is truly saying to you. It’s in these moments where we need a well-developed ear to the voice of God.

Like a mother who can pinpoint her child’s cries among a deafening echo of children yelling and screaming, so too must we become so familiar with the Spirit’s impressions on our hearts that we can tell when it is truly him or just our own thoughts and feelings.

I’ve written an entire article just on this specific point called 3 Differences Between God’s Voice and the Voice in Your Head, so encourage you to review that if you want to know how you can truly determine if it’s your voice or God’s voice. But in relation to our topic at hand, it’s clear that one common reason it feels like you are getting mixed signals from God is because you are mixing up your own voice with the voice of God. As Galatians 5:16-17 says:

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”

If you are confusing the Spirit with your flesh, you will be getting mixed signals and you will be unable to do “the things you want to do.”

3. If You Are Asking God About Something He Wants You to Make a Decision About, It Will Feel Like God Is Sending You Mixed Signals

There’s so much more that could be said about this topic, but one point that I think often gets overlooked when trying to follow the Lord’s leading is that God has truly bestowed personal responsibility on us.

Yes, God is sovereign and has the final say. But God made us human, which means we have choice. Sometimes it feels like nothing is happening while we are waiting on God to make his will clear; but sometimes nothing is happening because God is waiting on us to make a decision about something that he has put under our authority.  For example, when you read Genesis 2:19-23, it’s clear that God made Adam and put him in Eden not to be a passive observer but to be an active participant. God made the animals but it was Adam who named the animals.

What if God sat Adam down and brought the animals to him but then Adam just waited for God to tell him the names he wanted the animals to be named? If God wanted to name the animals, he would have named the animals. God wanted Adam to do this job. Right from the start God said to Adam and Eve, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28).

If you are waiting on God to do something he wants you to do, it will feel like you are getting mixed signals. Of course you must seek the Lord’s wisdom on how to rightly do what he wants. But eventually you do have to actually do what he wants. God is the ultimate authority, but he has bestowed on us the need to take personal responsibility for the things he has put under our authority in life.

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Mark Ballenger is the writing ministry of Mark Ballenger. To reach Mark, send him an email anytime:

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