Does God speak through your mind? How do you know if the thoughts you have are from God or just your own thoughts? And how do you know if God is talking to you through your mind?
Can God Talk to You in Your Mind?
Research reported by the National Science Foundation found that the average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day! Out of those thousands of thoughts, could any of them be God speaking to you? If so, how can you tell?
God can speak to you through your mind, but it comes through your spirit. This is a primary way that God speaks.
The ability to tell which thoughts are from God and which thoughts are just from yourself will get easier with experience.
Learning to hear God speak to you in your mind is exciting, but requires practice to determine which thoughts are from Him.
You are probably already hearing God in your thoughts but don’t even realize it’s God speaking through your mind! So let’s look at how we can start to discern whether our thoughts are from God or just our own mind.
How to Know When God is Speaking Through Your Mind
Thoughts in your mind can come from three different sources: your own carnal mind, your born-again spirit that is one with God (1 Corinthians 6:17), or the devil.
Thoughts from your carnal mind or the flesh tend to be self-preserving, self-glorifying, and just plain selfish. The flesh is the un-renewed mind, the part of you that was trained by the old sin nature before you were born again. The carnal mind, or the flesh, is corrupt and not subject to the law of God. The carnal mind is all about me, me, me.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Romans 8:7
Thoughts from your spirit are the channel by which God communicates with you. God is a spirit (John 4:24) and He speaks first to your spirit, and then your spirit translates it to your mind as a thought.
This is why we can have a thought from God that sounds like “I should mow the neighbor’s lawn”. The thought is in the first person tense because God first communicated it to your spirit, and then your spirit sends the thought to your mind in the first person.
Let me explain it like this. God communicates to your spirit that He wants you to mow the neighbor’s lawn. Your spirit takes that message, agrees with it, and communicates it to your mind as a thought. All the sudden you get a thought that sounds like “I should mow the neighbors lawn”. It may seem more like an inner knowing that a distinct voice.
This is God speaking to you through your mind! The thought seems to come out of nowhere and will carry supernatural joy and peace with it. We will talk more about how to accurately determine if thoughts are from God below.
When God told me to move across the country, He communicated it to my spirit at some point when I was completely unaware. Then, one day out of nowhere, I had a thought that said “I should move to Colorado”. Of course, I prayed about this thought and allowed the Lord to confirm it in other ways, but this ‘spontaneous thought’ was how the Lord first told me to make a life-changing move across the country.
When the devil or a demon gives you a thought, it can be very subtle because the devil will also give you thoughts in the first person. He plays on our pride and love for money very often. He uses the weaknesses of the flesh to entice us.
The devil’s voice is very often accusatory and condemning. He loves to make us feel rotten about ourselves and about God. If you are someone who hears a lot of condemning thoughts, read my article What Does the Bible Say About Condemnation? It will be really helpful for you!
Now that you know where your thoughts can originate from, it is so important that you learn to determine which thoughts are yours, which thoughts are from God, and which thoughts are from the devil. As you learn how to separate them, God will be able to speak more and more to you through your mind.
Here are 5 ways to know if God is speaking to you through your mind:
1. When God Speaks Through Your Mind, It Will Never Contradict Scripture
God and His Word are one (John 1:1). They are ALWAYS in agreement. This is so important to understand.
Any thought that contradicts the written word of God (the Bible) is not from God. He will never, ever violate His written word. In fact, He has elevated it above His own name.
I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name. Psalm 138:2
It doesn’t matter how many goosebumps you get, how many signs you get, or how many people confirm what you think you heard God said- if it clearly violates scripture it is not from God. This will save you so much time and heartache if you understand this.
The more familiar you are with the Word of God, the better you will be at discerning His voice when He speaks through your mind.
If you are a child of God, you do hear His voice and you do know His voice. Hearing God is not something just for the special few, it is the privilege of every single child of God.
To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” John 10: 3-5
You can get to know God’s voice just the same as you get to know your spouse or best friend’s voice. You hear it frequently enough that eventually you can hear their voice even when in a noisy room full of people.
Take time to regularly hear the written word. You can read it out loud to yourself or listen to an audio version.
The more you hear God’s written word, the better you will be able to recognize God’s voice when He speaks.
The more Scripture you have in your heart, the easier it will be for God to lead you because He can easily bring to your remembrance the Scriptures you have read.
2. When God Speaks Through Your Mind, It Will Never Violate His Nature
God is love. (1 John 4:8). Therefore, He doesn’t operate outside of His nature as love. We can take a look at 1 Corinthians to see how love operates. These verses describe the very nature of God.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
Did you know that God is always kind to you? He is patient with you and always uplifting. God will always encourage you. He delights in you and always believes the best about you.
Love is righteous and pure, so He will never instruct you to do something immoral or dishonest.
Thoughts that are harsh or condemning are not from God because love is gentle and uplifting. Thoughts that make you feel like a loser are not from God, because love will never condemn you or beat you down.
Even when God corrects you, He does so by reminding you of who you really are. He is the adoring Father that will remind you that the actions you are doing are not in line with who you really are. He will cause you to rise up to who you really are in Christ. He reminds you that you are righteous, holy, and beloved.
3. When God Speaks Through Your Mind, It Brings Life and Peace
When God speaks, it always brings life and peace. Thoughts that cause you to be anxious or scared are not from God, and should be cast down. When God speaks to you through your mind, it will always bring a sense of peace with it.
The Bible tells us in Colossians to let the peace of God rule in our hearts.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Colossians 3:15
The word “rule” in this verse means to umpire. We are to allow peace to be the umpire of our hearts- calling the shots the way an umpire would in a ballgame. When we don’t have peace about something, that is a clear indication that it’s not God.
Many times you can move forward with something that you think is from God, and if it’s not- you will lose your peace about it. This is how the Holy Spirit uses peace to direct us on the path of life.
Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21
Many times when God speaks to you through your mind, it is so good that we discard it thinking it’s too good to be true. But that’s just how God is! When He does things in your life, it’s usually almost too good to be true. This is what the word “Gospel” means- the nearly too good to be true news. God is so good to us!
4. When God Speaks Through Your Mind, It Proves to be Right
Sometimes, you can’t be 100% sure that a thought was from God until after the fact.
After you have followed through with what you believe God was telling you, it will become very evident whether or not the thought was truly from God.
If you believe that God told you to do something, and it winds up really hurting someone, you should humble yourself and admit that you missed it. It’s OK to miss it. That is how we learn and grow. It is part of the process.
If you think you hear God talking to you in your mind and it is a message for someone else, it is always a good habit to say “I think this is what God is saying” or “I may be wrong, but I think I am hearing a message from God for you”. If it turns out to be wrong, that’s OK. We all miss it sometimes.
Over time, this is how you can really learn to discern the voice of God- just from experience.
When God speaks to you through your mind and you follow His leading, it will prove to be right. This is something you can only see after the fact but will help you to recognize His voice.
5. When God Speaks Through Your Mind, He Confirms It
God will confirm things that He is speaking to you. Ask Him to confirm what you think He is speaking to you in your mind. He can confirm it to you in so many ways, but a primary way He does this is through Scripture or through an anointed teaching.
By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established. 2 Corinthians 13:1
You may be reading the Bible and a verse jumps off the page at you that confirms exactly what you think the Lord told you. You may be at church and the preacher discusses the very thing you are hearing from God.
I never recommend only being led by physical signs, because the devil can cause physical things to happen to attempt to lead you astray and deceive you, but God does give us physical signs through nature, people, and circumstances.
The New Testament Christian should be led primarily from within, but God does give us outward signs to confirm what we are hearing on the inside.
This is the same with prophets. God absolutely uses prophets to speak for Him, but under the New Testament, the prophet will usually confirm what God has already spoken to us if we have been listening to Him.
We have the Holy Spirit living inside of us and we can hear directly from God. We do not need to be led solely by prophets the way God’s people in the Old Testament did.
When God communicates with you, He wants you to hear. He wants you to know it is Him. You are His beloved child. He wants to develop a relationship of trust where you hear Him, know Him and clearly recognize His voice.
Does God Know Our Thoughts?
The Bible teaches us that God knows our thoughts.
You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. Psalm 139:2
Not only does God know our thoughts, but He also has thoughts himself.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways,and My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You. Psalm 139: 17-18
If you are a born-again Christian, you have literally become one spirit with the Lord and have been given the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
God knows your thoughts and can literally place His own thoughts in your mind. What an honor to be given the very thoughts of God!
The Lord knows your thoughts even before you think them. He knows you better than you know ourselves. He knows what you will say before you speak it (Psalm 139:4). And He is absolutely delighted in you! He calls you His masterpiece. He fully knows you and fully loves you.
Can You Talk to God in Your Mind?
You can talk to God in your mind. He hears your every thought and will respond to your prayers that you pray in your mind. You can have a whole conversation with God in your mind.
God is right there with you, inside of you. He is not far off. He is not distant. If you feel like God is somewhere far away, ask Him to show you how close He really is. He is closer than you can imagine at all times. And He has promised to never, ever leave you- for any reason.
For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
At any time or place, you can speak to God in your mind and hear Him speak back to you. He is the closest friend you will ever have!
For more information about hearing God speak, check out 7 Ways the Holy Spirit Speaks.