1. When God guides on a specific topic, He first speaks a personal word to you. This could be by vision, as with Paul’s Macedonian call, or by audilble voice, as with Paul on the road to Damascus, or by internal impression in the spirit (the “still small voice”). f someone prophesies to you to do such and such, don’t. Ask yourself, “Is this something God has already spoken to me?” If God has spoken a personal word to you, you must (based on 1 Thes 5:21) verify whether it is God speaking, or Satan, or your own mind. So …
2. Check it out with God’s Word. Does it conform to what Paul called “all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). If not, reject it. This point implies the importance of getting to know the whole counsel of God by getting to know the whole Bible well. I am there to guide you until you know the Word well for yourself. In studying the Word, be a Berean. Search the Scriptures daily whether those things are so, as the Bereans did. The Bible calls them “more noble” for doing so. (Acts 17:10-11.)
3. There may be a prophetic word concerning the matter by someone who didn’t know about the problem or decision. In other words, not a piece of counsel, but a direct word from God. There may not be a prophetic word for every decision you have to make, but if there is one thank God for it. Like everything else, you have to test the prophecy too.
4. Ask mature Christian believers what they think about it. The Bible instructs us that “In the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Prov 11:14; 15:22; 24:6. Three proverbs = this principle is underlined thrice.
5. When you incline towards one side of a decision, do you experience greater closeness to God? This is called the peace of God and it should “keep your heart” and “rule in your heart”. (Phi 4:7. Col 3:15.) If you incline towards one side of a decision and you find yourself disturbed or moving even a little away from God, and then when you consider another option you feel a sense of deep peace and of drawing closer to God, then this peace of God acts as an umpire, pointing out the correct way.
The above five are the main principles by which God guides you.
In many but not all circumstances, there are two more confirmations that help you be sure.
6. If God is guiding you, He will, at some point, open up the circumstances to make it possible or easier for you to move in the direction of your decision. However, He may also test you to strengthen your walk in faith. So circumstances may not open up till the last moment. Therefore, early opening up of circumstances is not always what happens when God guides you in a particular direction.
7. If God is guiding you, He will, at some point, make financial provisions which may be necessary. Again, if He is testing your faith, the provision may come at the last minute.