How can tell it is God speaking with you and not your own mind telling you what you want to hear?
Unless you are inordinately lucky in having God speak to you personally, it is your own mind telling you what you want to hear. Claims that God speaks to people through a sermon, or through Bible study, are no more than special pleading.
Sometimes it's very difficult to tell. If you truly believe God will speak to you, He will in a way you'll be able to hear. He may not do it "vocally" or through some random thought, though. He may do it through a "coincidence," where someone not at all involved with the matter at hand will mention it to you "out of the blue." He may also speak to you through a sermon, or through personal Bible study. One sure-fire way to tell if it's '''not''' God speaking is if you get something that's contrary to what Scripture says. That means, of course, you have to be reasonably knowledgable in the Word, and be willing to accept that it may not say what you think it says. In the past God used prophets whom he sent to his people Israel to give them his messages. Today we have his written word in the Bible which gives us all his counsel. So one way God talks to us today is through his word. By reading and becoming acquainted with the principles of in the Bible we can know what to do in any given situation. That is why Isaiah 30:20 calls him our Grand Instructor. In verse 21 it states "And your own ears will hear a word behind you saying "This is the way. Walk in it you people," in case you should go to the right or in case you should go to the left." This voice in our ears is the counsel from God's word one has learned. Heb 4:12 says "the word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two edged sword....and is able to discern between the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Yes how we respond to God's word reveals our heart condition. Jesus in his prophecy about the Last Days indicated at Matt 24:45 that he would provide a faithful and discreet slave that would give his people food at the proper time. He asked "who really is the faithful and discreet slave..?" That is the one we should really listen to for they alone are being directed by Jesus as head of the Christian Congregation today. At the same time, Jesus says there would also be an evil slave that beats his fellow slaves in verse 49. So there are true and false religion co-existing in the last days. Most are false as Jesus indicated at Matt 7:13,14 that the broad road leads of into destruction and many are on it, but narrow and cramped is the road leading to life and few are the ones finding it.
Are you listening? But of course it is very difficult in this day and age to read the Bible and determine exactly what it is saying. For instance in modern society it is considered completely naive to 'turn the other cheek' as stated by Jesus the Christ, Son of God, Prince of Peace. Perhaps the most obvious example would be when the events of 9/11 happened, to turn the other cheek and forgive those that caused us harm was not an option we considered. Our Presidential leader claimed to have a firm and almost exclusive 'hotline' to God's instruction and how to handle the situation. War.
If you want to be completely confused and ready to throw up your hands in exasperation take out 2 months to read the Bible from beginning to end. Often when people read the Bible they do so in small bites and jump around and analyse it to death. Don't let the Church leaders confuse you by telling you what the Bible means. It is not so 'over your heads' that the common man cannot understand it. After all it was written for the common man, not scholars. The part of your mind telling you what you want to hear is your conscious ego , referred to in the bible as the devil or satan. You must learn how to control the conscious ego and gain control of your emotions in order to learn deep concentration which is necessary in order to successfully meditate. Meditation is listening to the inner self and will cause the conscious mind to allign with the subconscious mind so that both may allign with the superconscious mind where our connection with God is. These are the steps and cannot be skipped. M E T H I N K S the best way to get a great contact with God in my opinion is to firstly and importantly make sure you are not breaking the 10 Commandments in any way,to me it is very important to get down on my knees in the morning where it is very quiet and Iam alone...I don't make the mistake of asking all for myself but ask help for other people the less Iam concerned with myself the better I feel. I also believe that I have to swallow my ego and have humilty,meaning humbling myself which I think is the opposite of ego...I will ask God to direct my thinking for that day and thank him for the important things for that day which are my life and and praying for those people who are less fortunate than me and the safekeeping of my loved ones...I have to make sure that I am not doing anything to lessen the contact with God which means not doing anything illegal or breaking laws or going around upsetting people...I cannot afford to have things on my conscience that are preoccupying my thinking in connection with God I will then become spiritually better and progress is sure I also know that God loves me and has unconditional love for us all...But I cannot afford to block his help with my own self will getting in the way...A saying that I heard once was,Stop getting in God's way all the time and let him help you...I know that some of this sounds a tall order but none of us are perfect and are not saints but I feel that I can improve my conscious contact with God by trying to not do things that are wrong but become a better person I learned years ago about a way to have some degree of confidence on this question. This is a situation where you have something in mind, and you are working at determining if this is the spirit of God working in you. First, find a passage or passages in scripture that indicate to you what it is that you would like to do. Try to determine what those scriptures are saying about the thing you have in mind. Second, there is safety in an abundance of good counsel. Talk with pastors or elders in your fellowship, and others whose wisdom and counsel are sought after and trusted. Just be honest and open about what is on your mind. Third, don't act until an opportunity makes itself clear. The intention here is to avoid forcing your own agenda. If it is what God wants you to do, and you have taken care of the first and second things above, God will provide a path for you to follow.