Questioning if you heard right is normal when seeking God

I tend to overthink and cause myself more stress than necessary when making a decision. I procrastinate because of my fear of making a mistake. It’s annoying since I end up wasting time and making myself tired and overwrought for no real reason.

Sometimes I opt for practical or predictable rather adventure and daring. Then I second guess or beat myself up later. If the choice has been made, it’s too late to take it back. Yes, I can try another option. It’s okay to fail or to change my mind, but honestly, do I have to question so much?

I suppose added pressure comes because I desire to do what Jesus wants me to do. After all, I want to please Him and get it right. Let’s not waste time. Give it to me straight, Lord. Which one? Yet I don’t hear Him saying take this job or move to that location. I have read articles or heard people say with confidence that the Lord directed them to say or do some specific thing. Label me a doubting Thomas, but why haven’t I received the same direction when I pray for it? Ask and you shall receive. I’ve asked. I’m still waiting.

I haven’t seen any writing on the wall. I haven’t heard any voices from the sky.

Like Gideon, I’ll put out my fleece. “Don’t be angry, God. Please. I just want to make sure. Did you say I should—?” I constantly seek confirmation, and even then, I’m taking my baby steps with my hands out. I lack the bold attitude that yes, I know. How are others so sure? Does this stamp me as faithless? Does it mean I cannot hear His voice? Then I’m in trouble.

No, for even John the Baptist questioned. Discouraged in prison and thinking of how he had claimed Jesus was the one who was to come, he started to question whether he had heard God correctly. If John, who was so certain when he baptized Jesus, needed confirmation later, isn’t it okay then for us to reach out and seek confirmation too? We have the New Testament, but he had Jesus in the flesh.

Life wasn’t going the way John had expected it to go. He was at the mercy of wicked Herod, who didn’t fear God. At first, Herod didn’t want to hurt John and protected him from his wife, but in the end, he still made a foolish and rash oath. Rather than admit a mistake, he beheaded John. Although the Bible says Herod was greatly distressed, he cared too much about how others would perceive him if he didn’t follow through with his oath. John, on the other hand, had been preaching and living for God. We expect God to bless us for doing right, for doing what He asks. When things go wrong, we start to second guess whether we heard correctly, whether we are really on the right path, just like John did.

Although we are told that we are going to have trouble, we’re always surprised by the trouble. During the trial, it can be hard, especially when the price is heavy. Walking in faith is hard. Walking in faith means you are bold, even if you don’t feel like it. You are brave and strong, even if you feel afraid and weak.

Jesus answered John with, “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.” (Matthew 11:5-6.)

We’re human. We just need to do our best and let God take care of the rest. Remember, God will help you get back on the right path, if you should stumble off it. If we desire to please God and not people, then we are headed in the right direction. Stand firm and don’t fall away.

Do you ever struggle with second guessing yourself?

8 thoughts on “Questioning if you heard right is normal when seeking God

  1. I think most of us 2nd guess ourselves especially when we wonder what God wants us to do.

    1. It is nice to know we aren’t alone in this struggle. Maybe we put too much pressure on ourselves? Perhaps after praying and feeling a certain conviction, we should just remind ourselves God’s got this. Less stress will make life more pleasant. (Preaching to myself here.) 🙂 Thanks for joining the conversation, Kurt. I appreciate knowing your thoughts.

  2. Second guessing is something that can cause anxiety. I pray and believe I know what I am supposed to do, yet, then, that second guessing comes in. I have learned to go with my first instinct. God has given me directions and I pray for wisdom, discernment and revelation. No more second guessing for me. 🙂

  3. I often times feel like I have gotten a very clear confirmation from God on any number of matters, and then when I follow through with them, and it doesn’t turn out like I thought, and in fact gets worse, it’s hard not to doubt. I have stumbled in my faith over these very issues. But I do go back to how Jesus handled his very own disciples who were with him, witnessing all the miraculous things, and yet they still struggled with doubt and fear. Peter even denied him. But like Michelle said, God does help us get back on track, as do kind and praying friends who intervene on our behalf.

    1. Thank you, Deb, for reminding us about the disciples’ walks. Yes, I thank God for praying friends who intervene on our behalf also. It is good that we don’t walk this journey alone. God bless you.

  4. I have felt insecure my whole life, and I hate making decisions. I always fear that I will make the wrong decision. So I often second guess my decisions, even though I have prayed about it. I like the idea of going with your first instincts. I would add to that: and trust God.

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