You'll need a plan. Some days you may not feel like following it, but often it will be these days that will be the most productive, when God meets you right where you are and shows you something you need. Other days you will rush in, eager to see what God's Word is saying to you and how you can apply it.

But the important thing is to show up. God is waiting to speak to you, and if you're not in a position to listen, you'll miss His very best. All you need to get started are your Bible, a journal, a pen or pencil . . . and a plan.





1. READ IT! Commit to daily personal Bible study.

  • Individual Holy Spirit led Bible study could mean studying a word at a time, a verse, a chapter, or several chapters per day.
  • Alternating from Old Testament to New Testament for each book works great!

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
—Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)

 

2. WRITE IT! Commit to daily journaling.

  • Write one word, one sentence, one page, or however much in answer to the question: What did God say to you? In other words, what is God saying through His Word and how can you apply this to your life today?
  • Make a personal application of Scripture by writing it back to God in prayer form, paraphrase, poetry, collage, songs, or praise.
  • Place yourself and your life circumstances into the Scripture. Let the Holy Spirit show you what the Scripture means to you.
  • Practice listening for the voice of God.

We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete."
—1 John 1:3–4 (NIV)

 

3. SHARE IT! Commit to meet.

  • Set a time and day once a week, bimonthly, or once a month and commit to it.
  • Share real "inner" selves from personal Bible study and journal discoveries.
  • Confidentiality is a must! What you hear stays within the group, including personal prayer requests.
  • Listen attentively. No advice giving. Ask instead: "What did God say to you?" Hearing God's voice is the goal.
  • Do remind each other what God has said and done before.
  • Do not offer unsolicited opinions, suggestions, Scripture verses, or quick fixes.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
—Hebrews 10:24–25 (NIV)



 

Hearing The Voice Of God

We often struggle with this because it's hard to quiet ourselves and actively listen. Competing voices—the world, well-meaning friends, TV, radio, self-help books, and the Internet—distract us from the Truth. There's so much advice coming from every direction that it can be difficult to know what to do. And it's exhausting.

But God has already spoken to you in an intimate, loving way through His Word. As you are quiet before Him, read His words, write down what He's showing you, and share with your Yada group, God will reveal how to personally apply His timeless words to your life and meet you right where you are.

Sometimes God speaks in a gentle voice (1 Kings 19:11–13), and sometimes God's voice is "like the roar of rushing waters" (Ezekiel 43:2 NIV). However God speaks to you, be assured that God's sheep hear His voice and they know it (John 10). By keeping this appointment with God each day, you'll become better able to discern His voice and understand how to apply what He's showing you.

I'm deeply concerned that Christians listen to a lot of other believers, but don't know how to hear the Good Shepherd's voice. We read Christian books instead of God's Word. We read other people's testimonies. But we don't develop the type of relationship with God in which we can recognize His voice.
—Anne Graham Lotz


 


The YadaFactor rests on this question: What is God saying to you today?


Sometimes it's hard to know. It's easy to get busy and distracted and overwhelmed with daily activities. The Yada Factor is a way of quieting these things as you focus on hearing God through His Word so that you will know Him intimately and have your life changed by Him. You won't be using supplemental books or workbooks to guide your process of studying Scripture; instead, you'll be relying on God's Word only and what God will show you through the three-step Yada process: READ IT. WRITE IT. SHARE IT.

It's a simple process that creates exponential results.

During your quiet time, you'll ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you focus on what God is personally speaking to you. You can start small with just a verse or two a day, but soon you'll find that reading leads to more reading.

Then you'll write what God is showing you in your journal. This can be as simple as restating Scripture, listing questions you have that you'd like God to answer, or drawing possible connections to what you're going through that day.

As you see how meaningful it is to capture what God is saying, you'll find that writing leads to more writing.

Finally, you'll share with your group what you are learning in your quiet time. Often this is when you'll have your "AHA" moment. As you begin to speak the truth of God's Word and what He's been showing you in your daily appointment with Him, new truths and applications will often be revealed. There is power and clarity in speaking His Word.

By limiting your group to three, you'll be able to create an intimate, safe atmosphere that will encourage trust and authenticity. It's easy to get lost in a big group Bible study, but with a Yada group, you will have time to share and be a sounding board for others in your group.

But what truly will make the sharing different is that no one will be there to pass judgment or offer quick fixes or answers. Everyone will be there to point each other vertically—to Christ—who will lead and guide and reveal Himself when you truly seek Him. As you become more comfortable in your group and see what God is doing in your life and in the lives of others, you'll find that sharing leads to more sharing. You'll see how God is showing up in your daily life, and you'll hunger and thirst for more of Him.

Again, the results are exponential; they are more than the sum of the parts. You'll start with these five constants:

 One God
 Three people
 Three different life experiences
 Three different books of the Bible
 Three personal applications


And God will take your faithfulness over the course of weeks, months, and years and multiply your understanding of Scripture, work in your life in ways you never thought possible, and draw you closer to Him and others. When you begin to hear God's voice and witness others hearing His voice, you'll be encouraged to keep at it, to keep reading, writing, and sharing!

Remember, you have to plant the seed on good soil in order for it to grow. So, start where you are, do a little reading, a little writing, a little sharing, and see how God increases your understanding. It won't be long until the seed produces a crop with exponential results.

But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."
—Matthew 13:23 (NIV)