How do you know what God has promised you? I talk a lot about promises or knowing what God has told you, and I know how hard it can be to know either of these things. Our feelings and emotions can get in the way of what God is trying to tell us, and if we’re not careful, we’ll impose what we want over what God is saying.
This is something that I always worry about. I’m mortified that I’ll totally miss what God is saying, or I’ll just convince myself that this is definitely what God wants. And I know how easy it could be to say, “Oops, I missed that one. Better luck next time.” But I can tell you that when we step out of the kingdom of God, everything goes to crap in a handbasket. We start feeling anxious, depressed, scared, and alone. And you know what? In a way, we are. God will never leave us, but we can certainly stray away from God.
Another reason this is so important to me is because it doesn’t take much for me to get anxious, and the only way for me to get any relief is from God. I could get anxious because I thought the sky was falling then rationalize that the sky is in-fact not falling by going outside and not requiring a hard hat. And unless God told me, “Um Michaela, I’ve got it. The sky isn’t falling,” I’m still going to feel anxious. And for me, anxiety without having God as my helper, is crippling, not just in my spiritual life but also physically. When I’m anxious, I physically get sick. My stomach cramps, my head aches, and I can’t even begin to explain how far I’ll stray away from even basic rationality. I believe that my feelings are fixed, therefore that trumps everything until I stop and bring God back into the conversation.
I, like most sane people, cannot stand these feelings, so when I worry about what I should do, my future, or even just the everyday things I worry about, I try to turn to God and ask him. No this isn’t easy, and it typically takes me just finally being so fed up with feeling this way that there’s nothing else to do. But it is something that I’m working on and growing in trust.
When I ask God the who, what, when, where, or why, there are three tools that I use: scripture, signs, and fleeces. When I look to my Bible for God and his answer, I start in a random place and just read. I do this by either plopping open my physical Bible to a random page, or if I’m using my bible app, I start on the daily verse and read. I typically will read until God gives me an answer. The important part is to not interject yourself into what you’re reading and to not pick a spot looking for a specific answer i.e., your answer.
Next is signs. I believe that God has a way of giving you exactly what you need when you are open to receiving it. A sign could be anything that very obviously answers what you’ve asked God. It typically just comes, and you aren’t necessarily looking for it. God brings it to you. For me, this usually is in the form of a Christian song on the radio that answers my question.
Last is a fleece. Just like Gideon did when he wanted to make sure that God was leading him, I’ll pray and typically ask God to give me the answer in a way that I cannot control. This would be like praying, “God if you make it rain, this tells me A, and if you don’t, this tells me B.” In this case you entirely place the decision into Gods hands and cannot control it.
As simple as each of these actions might seem, it isn’t just simply going through the motions. What’s really important is making sure that you aren’t interjecting what you want into what you are hearing. I know that this is hard, and you’re probably sitting there asking, ”How do I know if what I’m hearing is God or me?” First, you pray, and ask God to give you an open heart so that you can hear what he is saying to you. And if what you are hearing is from God, you’re going to have peace about it. It seems cliché, but God will make sure that you know that you know.
When you have your answer, be confident in it. But I’ll be very honest with you, Satan is going to attack your confidence. I don’t have the magic cure for this, because I know it’s hard. I struggle with it too. But whenever I lose my peace, I come back to God and either come back to where he first gave me peace, or I ask God again. Don’t be discouraged if it seems hard or confusing at first. It’s something that you can learn and grow into. As long as you go in with the mindset of following after God’s kingdom, he will guide you.
Thank you again for listening, and I can’t wait to see you next time. God bless.
— Written by Michaela