Is it God or Satan? We all hear voices in our head. We may not be Russell Crowe in The Beautiful Mind, but we get messages.
We wonder if it is God telling us that we aren’t cut out for our own business. Or the opposite. A new opportunity is right in front of us. Is it a God thing?
Discouragement. Encouragement. Various shades of black and white.
You are a dissertation away from your PHD and you get really sick. The manuscript just needs one more set of revisions and your publisher quits. Three new clients made appointments for your new coaching program and then cancelled at the last minute.
Is God trying to tell you something?
I think every Christian in work or business at some point wonders if the opportunity or threat in front of them is God?
I am not a prophet, and I don’t have a direct hotline to God on behalf of everyone in the world, but I do have some thoughts and experiences on this topic.
When I approach a major opportunity, setback, discouragement, closed door, too good to be true open door, these are my thoughts/actions in discerning the messages going through my head. In my personal experience:
- God doesn’t tear us down. He doesn’t put thoughts in our head that we are unworthy, incapable, and we should just give up…..especially when we are so close.
- If God wants to stop us, He will usually shut the door firmly. He may allow obstacles in our way. But obstacles to me are not God saying maybe you shouldn’t go down this path. Obstacles are just in the way. If God doesn’t think we should go down a certain path, even if it isn’t a sinful path, I believe He can and will take the path away. If He doesn’t, He may be hoping we persevere, or He may not care either way. It may be up to us.
- When our path forward is grey, and we are not sure if it is God’s plan for us, I keep prudently moving forward and try to listen and discern as I go. I feel we have to do our part by acting. This is very different than “taking control”. We take logical steps forward and see if doors begin to open or if they are firmly slammed shut. “Taking control” is more like anxiously prying every shut door open with a crow bar!
- When I am on God’s path, Satan usually tries to set up road blocks and barriers. I have come to expect setbacks when I am faithfully following God. So I am not easily discouraged at the onset.
The truth of scripture is still the best guide. Is the path ahead consistent with who God is? He is never opening a door of sin. He may let Satan tempt us, but that is Satan. If we have an opportunity to make a killing on a deal that bends our ethics, that isn’t God saying take the opportunity. Yet, it would be normal for Him to want us to step out in faith and do something outside of our comfort zone so He could have the glory. Remind yourself of the character of God.
There isn’t a CAT scan that can look into our brain and highlight messages in green for God and red for Satan.
But if we remember who God is, and Satan for that matter, we can usually discern. The God of the Universe who created you, loves you, and wants His will for your life, isn’t going to tell you lies about yourself, push you to sin, or give you more than you can handle.
Satan will take every opportunity to have you think you are unworthy, pit you against others, entice you to cut corners or sin, and ultimately rejoice when you give up.
If you aren’t sure, rather than give up, or over control, seek God. When you don’t know what to do, move toward Him.
Study His Word.
Seek Godly counsel.
He is faithful. It will soon become clear whose voice is in your head.
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