How do you know if God is telling you to do something, or if it's the devil? I need to make an important decision, and I think I know what God wants me to do, but I also worry that the devil might be trying to mislead me. How can I know?
I have no doubt that Satan will do everything he can to lead us astray. He is a master of deception, and sometimes he’ll even try to persuade us that his voice is actually the voice of God — but it isn’t. The Apostle Paul wrote that sometimes Satan “transforms himself into an angel of light” in order to deceive us (2 Corinthians 11:14 NKJV).
But the Bible also tells us that the closer we are to Christ, the less hold the devil has on us — and the less we should be concerned about being led astray. The Bible says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). This doesn’t mean Satan will give up or quit trying to lead us astray — but his efforts will be much less affective.
Pray earnestly about your decision, and ask God to guide you. In addition, make sure you aren’t seeking something that is wrong or selfish, but that you’ll be in a place where you can live without compromise for Christ. I often think of Jeremiah’s words of caution to his friend Baruch: “Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not” (Jeremiah 45:5, emphasis added).
God has promised that when we sincerely want to do His will, then we can trust Him to guide us. The Bible says, “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:6).