How do you know when something is God-initiated vs Self-initiated?


Meaning, the plans we make for our lives, futures, etc…

For example, my family and I moved to Florida about a year and a half ago …and we prayed about it, beforehand. Everything fell into place…rather effortlessly, and while we sometimes miss people “back home,” we are very happy with moving here. I remember one of the nuns in our parish, who I became friends with over the years, telling me that if something is ‘God’s will,’ one will have peace over it. I remember having an eery sense of peace, before, during and after our move here. The thing is…moving to FL wasn’t our idea…we were happy in PA, but there was this turn of events, that to us, were Divine Intervention at work!

So…is that how you personally guage it? How do we know that something is God’s will, or ours?


In short, I don’t, and I’ve given up trying.

I don’t believe I will have peace about the decisions that God wants me to make, because too often the right action is the most difficult, and makes me uncomfortable, but it’s still obviously right. How then could I expect it to be different when the “right” answer is more vague?

So I pray, a lot, and I look into all the information I can, and I weigh options, and then I go with whichever I feel best with. I tell God in those prayers, ok, I’m thinking this is the path you’ve chosen, and do it. All I can do is move forward with the information I have, and trust the rest to God.

How do I keep my own will out of it? To be completely honest, who knows if I am? Worrying about that slightly helps ensure I’m not being completely biased, but it doesn’t help if that’s all I’m dwelling on. It comes down to, as I said before, moving forward with the information you have and trusting the rest to God. In the end, whatever we do He will use to His greater glory.


#1550 In cases of doubt, I will not act, but will scrupulously seek clarifications from the priests, and in particular from my spiritual director. I will not give explanations on my own behalf when someone reporaches me or criticizes me; unless I am directly asked to bear witness to the truth. With great patience, I will listen when others open their hearts to me, accept their sufferings, give them spiritual comfort, but drown my own sufferings in the most merciful Heart of Jesus. I will never leave the depths of His mercy, while bringing the whole world into those depths.

#140 Pure love… knows that only one thing is needed to please God: to do even the smallest things out of great love - love, and always love.

#1356 When I hesitate on how to act in some situations, I always ask love. It advises best.

#1784 Today, in the course of a long conversation, the Lord said to me, "How very much I desire the salvation of souls! My dearest secretary, write that I want to pour out My divine life into human souls and sanctify them, if only they were willing to accept My grace. The greatest sinners would achieve great sanctity, if only they would trust in My mercy. The very inner depths of My being are filled to overflowing with mercy, and it is being poured out upon all I have created. My delight is to act in a human soul and to fill it with My mercy and to justify it. My kingdom on earth is My life in the human soul. Write, My secretary, that I Myself am the spiritual guide of souls - and I guide them indirectly through the priest, and lead each one to sanctity by a road known to Me alone.

From the Diary of St. Maria Faustina Divine Mercy in My Soul


It’s very difficult to know Gods will often. The way I see it is Gods will for me is that I become a saint. Obey the commandments, laws of the church and teachings of Christ. If something does not offenfd God then it’s ok to do it. Sometimes God wants something specific from us that is not a sin if we don’t do it though. In this case you can ask people who are close to God for their opinion. Most people recognise that someone has often had the holy spirit speak to them through that person. Talk to such people, but no they could be wrong. Pray for guidance and be quiet and see if the holy spirit speaks softly in your prayer. We have a lot of freedom in this world too. With many things God lets us choose what we want to do. Like buying the hair brush we want. If your unhappy where you are this does not mean God did not will it either, God may have placed you there for a reason unknown to you as yet. That’s how I see it. I hope I’m right. God bless.:thumbsup:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit