How can I tell if God is telling me to do something, or if I'm just imagining it must be OK with God, but it isn't? I want to do what's right, but sometimes I think God told me to do something, but later I realize He probably didn't.
The most important thing God wants you to know is that He loves you and knows what is best for you — because He does, He wants to show you His will. He doesn’t want us to stumble around making bad decisions all the time. When we do, we not only miss His perfect plan for our lives but we also end up suffering the consequences of our foolish ways.
What is God’s will for you? God’s will first of all is that you would commit your life to Jesus Christ, repenting of your sins and by faith asking Him to come into your life as your Saviour and Lord. Don’t miss this step! Jesus said, “My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life” (John 6:40). If you have never done so, ask Christ to come into your life today.
Then God’s will is for you to become more like Jesus, by turning from sin and seeking (with His help) to be pure and loving — even as He is. When our goal in life is to follow Him, our selfish and sinful desires begin to fade.
Finally, God wants you to follow Him every day. Pray about the decisions you make; ask if what you’re seeking is honoring to Christ; avoid anything that might make others doubt the reality of your faith. If you aren’t certain something is God’s will, then avoid it. Remember: God’s will is always best.