"I feel the Lord is leading me to..."
"God spoke to me..."
"I feel this stirring in my heart to..."
"I really felt like God was telling me to..."
I used to talk this way. It was a dressed-up way to describe how I "felt" after a certain time of searching the scriptures and prayer. But after making some choices based on what I thought "God would want" that turned out to be poor decisions, I stopped pretending that it was really God calling the shots. Now I cringe when I hear other Christians talk like this, as if they had audible conversations with God all the time and could discern His "will for their lives" with ease.
But how do we know when God is really "speaking" to us or "leading" us in a certain direction? Surely not on feeling alone. There is something to be said for the peace the Spirit is supposed to give us. But sometimes we have to make decisions with unease in our hearts, because none of the options available to us are pleasant ones.
Surely we should rely on godly counsel from close friends, family, and advisors. But even they are not infallible and can give bad counsel, especially if they dispense judgment preceded with one of the above statements.
Let's face it, sometimes we're just not going to know what to do, and it's pointless to sit around waiting until we "feel the Lord leading us" in a certain direction. It may never happen-- because He never promises it will. He promises to never leave us nor forsake us, but He never promises a beam of light from heaven pointing out the road up ahead or a big celestial sign saying, "Turn here. Do this."
The next time someone says to me, "I feel the Lord is leading me to do xyz," I'm sorely tempted to say, "Are you sure it's not just indigestion?"
***P.S. I just finished reading this post and thought I should add that I don't think we should discredit feelings entirely. I've made that mistake as well. Feelings can be fickle, but God created us to have feelings for a reason. Even though they can be tainted, twisted, and inaccurate, they can also be pointing us in the right direction. There is something to be said for a "gut feeling." More on this another time...