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 relationship than right or wrong. God’s primary purpose in communicating with us is for connection, not instruction. Through listening and acting on what I hear, I am learning that He truly is good and that He rewards those who follow after Him. Here’s #002 in unpacking our journey so far and the practical keys I’m learning in following the voice of God.
I shared about hearing God say leave everything and go to a new country. The “leave and go” part was super obvious; black and white. But WHERE? And WHEN? And HOW?
First thing I did was write down everything we (my wife AND I) heard so far. That is my history unfolding with God. You learn so much by reviewing your journey and making adjustments where necessary.
I then wrote down the next questions… WHERE? and WHEN?
Then got even more serious praying. This was a super big decision so I even did some fasting in order to heighten my spiritual focus on hearing.
As my wife and I prayed and talked it through reviewing what God had already said the Joshua 1 scripture stood 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 God was saying the WHEN is NOW. Not literally three days, but was God saying within three months? OMG that is a 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 (this was not running by the time we arrived). 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 (thanks Ps. Mike).
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. Check out next post for keys on navigating potholes when following the voice of 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?