A Dean at a Bible College invited me to join him in praying for Josh. This young man of God was seeking help in his quest to hear God’s voice. He claimed he could not and had never been able to hear the Lord. By now you’ll know that I would be pretty skeptical about a claim like that. I tried a full-on attack: ‘You can, you have and you do hear God. You hear Him well and often. You just don’t realise it.’
‘No’, he insisted, ‘I can’t. When I listen, I hear total silence. When I look, I see a blank screen. Never any pictures. I’m totally blocked.’ As in Jesus’ parable of the sower, any truth-seeds that the sower was casting into Josh’s heart were being snatched away faster than he could recognise them. He was frustrated – almost stubborn – about this rut. He felt as if there was an enormous wall between him and God, cutting off all communication between them.
‘A wall?’ I asked. ‘If I could see that wall, what would it look like?’
Josh answered immediately. ‘It’s made of concrete blocks. It goes on forever to the left and the right. It’s taller than I could ever climb.’
‘That doesn’t sound like a blank screen to me. It sounds like you can picture the wall quite clearly. Who do you think is showing you that ‘vision’?’
Josh was waking up. ‘God?’ he suggested.
The Dean asked, ‘If that wall had a name, what would it be?’
John hesitated, ‘What comes to mind is ‘Pride’.’
‘You saw a wall and you heard it called ‘Pride’. It sounds like the eyes and ears of your heart are working just fine!’
‘OK, but Jesus is still behind that wall,’ Josh said, ‘What should I do?’
‘Why not ask Him?’ the Dean suggested.
A few moments later, Josh said ‘I sense that He wants me to repent of my academic pride that analyses everything and dismisses God’s messages as soon as they come.’
Josh prayed a prayer to that effect, watching the wall, now vivid in his mind, while he prayed. As he surrendered his intellect to the Lordship of Christ, he saw a door appear on the wall. Then Jesus opened the door from the other side and welcomed him through. As he stepped through the door, a new and expansive world – a meeting place – opened up before him. For the two hours that followed I couldn’t keep up recording the revelations the Lord showed him. Josh’s life-long block was dislodged in less that five minutes.