As a newlywed, I took the Crossroads Discipleship Training School in 1993 with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) to get us ready for the mission field. My new husband had already taken the course before we got married. Back then this was all new to me, how to wait on the Lord to hear His voice or get His leading. I remember we would break into small groups for intercession and the instructions were to drop all preconceived ideas and lets all wait upon the Lord and He would let us know collectively what to pray for. I remember feeling excited about learning this new method of praying rather than approaching God with my own schedule (nothing wrong with coming before God with specific requests) and allowing Him to show each person His plan for our prayer time together, yet very nervous and afraid I wasn’t going to get anything! The leader told us that when we were each done waiting for the Lord we would share what we each received whether it was a picture (vision) or a Scripture or a word of knowledge, etc. and then we would all proceed with the prayer time according to what we all received collectively. So, in a way, each person received a piece of the puzzle and then put it together and follow God’s leading this way. Super cool I thought. For example one person would clearly get the name of a country. The next person would get a scripture. The next person would sense we needed to pray for healing, the other person would get a picture of someone’s eyes. Many times none of them could make sense of any of what they were getting individually, but once we all put them together we could sense we were to pray for a people group in that country who had a disease affecting their vision. Well, as I said, all this was new to me. I had never closed my eyes before and sense Him speaking to me that way before. The only way I knew to ‘hear’ Him was when His Words would jump off the pages of the Bible as I was reading chapters of my choice. Still a very favorite way for me to get a Word from God. So, going back to our small group setting… sure enough, others would get a picture, a scripture or a sense of something He was saying and week after week I was there not getting anything. VERY FRUSTRATING!! I Felt like a loser Christian through out the whole 12 week course because I never experienced that. I knew God spoke to me for sure through His Word, but I was hungry for more and I truly believe fear kept me from receiving a new experience. I was never relaxed, I was every time full of doubt I would get something. I don’t believe anymore that those who don’t hear God in a specific way are less of a believer nor should feel bad or that God refuses to speak to them. I believe we all grow into new things just like children learn new experiences every day. But it took me literally years. I actually had given up the whole idea long before I did finally learn. So, never give up that you will learn to experience God’s voice in a new way. He speaks in any way He wants to. God is not limited and there is no evidence in Scripture that He ceased to speak today through His audible voice or through the still small voice or through dreams nor through visions and even through angels!! We have to be open. If it happened in Scripture, it can happen for you. And remember that we have the written Word today, but Abraham nor Moses and many other Bible heroes didn’t have a Bible like we do today. Yet God spoke to them face to face. We start today with the Written Word, the Bible. And as we become more and more familiar with His Word, we become familiar with His Character. And once we know His character, we start recognizing His inner voice also. He never speak in contrast to His character. For example He will never tell you that you are good for nothing. Keep yearning to hear His voice. It will happen for you.
I shared these 8 steps in detail in a sub-page under “About Journaling”. (or click on the link) Feel free to comment there if they were helpful to you or also ask questions. I love this topic so much as you can tell. I promise to continue adding more on how I finally relaxed and started learning more.