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I am on a lifetime journey of learning to hear and follow the voice of God. I don’t always get it perfect but I’m learning it’s more about building relationship than focusing on right or wrong.

God’s primary purpose in communicating with us is for connection, not instruction. While I have been listening and acting on what I hear, I have learned that He is good and that He rewards those who follow after Him.

I’ve shared previously about hearing God say leave everything and go to a new country. The “leave” and “go” part seemed obvious. What I needed answers to were “WHERE?”, “WHEN?”, and “HOW?”

The first key after asking these questions was to write down everything my wife and I had heard so far. It’s amazing how much you learn by reviewing your journey and making adjustments when necessary.

The second key was to literally write the questions “WHERE?” and “WHEN?”

From this point, things were getting serious. In order to heighten my spiritual focus on hearing, I spent time in prayer and fasting.

We recognized the third key as my wife and I prayed. It is important to review what God had already said. We remembered the Joshua 1 scripture God had already pointed out.

NOW therefore, go over this Jordan…” v.2

Reading on in the same chapter I was struck by v.11:

“Prepare provisions for yourselves, for WITHIN THREE DAYS you will cross over this Jordan…”

Together we sensed that God was saying the “WHEN” is “NOW.” Not literally three days, but was God saying within three months.

It was an extremely short time frame to move halfway across the world with four young children…

But where to?

There was nowhere we had a desire to go to. We considered other locations in New Zealand and friends in Australia. But neither of those carried any life when we pondered it before God.

As we sat discussing the question and all the places we could possibly go, one of us casually said “…the only place we would even consider going is somewhere like where Bill Johnson is…” As we heard ourselves say that, both of us felt like a lightbulb lit up inside. Life was released (see John 6:63).

Background: We had been to a couple conferences in New Zealand where Bill Johnson spoke. We had also listened to podcasts and read the book When Heaven Invades Earth. We had heard they had a supernatural ministry school and a supernatural business school that interested me. However, we had never considered actually going there until the above conversation.

Dang! Was God saying to go to Bethel Church in Redding, CA and that the time was NOW?!!

I freaked out.

I needed confirmation. Was I crazy or was I hearing God?

So we tested what we were hearing with mature believers who knew us.

Firstly I emailed the details to my pastor who was on a ministry trip at the time. I wanted him to have time to process it before he got home and we could talk face to face.

A week later I nervously met up with him at a local coffee shop. He shared his own journey of following the voice of God and highlighted the similarities, then directly confirmed we were hearing God. Super encouraging.

I must confess I was still scared (not so much about whether we heard God but about the required action) so shared the details with three other mature believers who knew me and I trusted heard God. All confirmed this was obviously God speaking to us.

One friend (one of those mature praying mom types) we didn’t tell any details to just but said, “We feel like God is speaking to us about a significant decision so would you go and pray and come back and tell us what you hear?” She returned three days later without any further information from us saying she heard God confirm a significant move, that the time was now and that the place was with a godly leader in Europe (“but the language would be a problem”) “…or Bill Johnson.”

So it was obvious, black and white, clearly God’s voice we were hearing.

Next step we have to act. So the details will all work out perfectly right? Because we are following God’s voice so it will be easy, right?

Wrong. He doesn’t promise it will be easy, but He does promise He will always be with us. That’s the key to learning trust and intimacy… and friendship with God.

Reading this post – what did you hear?

I hear the challenge to you: Who have you built relationship with, Who really knows you? When you have big decisions to make you need wise counselors around you. That only comes with time and building openness and connection.

What will you do this year about building those kind of connections with mature people around you?

Andy Mason comes from New Zealand and has 15+ years experience helping individuals and organizations discover and align with purpose, then develop practical steps to make dreams a reality.He has worked for a national consultancy firm and leading financial institution as well as investing in international community development.Andy is the director of Heaven in Business and together with his wife, Janine, leads Dream Culture – a movement catalyzing people to discover and live their dreams. Andy and Janine live with their four children in Redding, CA. For more check out the AndyandJanine.com