The first few times I fasted, I experienced amazing God moments. I told everyone - you've got to do this, you have GOT to do this fasting thing. It's amazing. It's life changing.
Now, years later, I can't remember the last time a fast resulted in any amazing word from God. No crazy connection. No huge heart change. No big prayer answered.
And it isn't because fasting isn't a good thing. It isn't because God doesn't respond to a fast anymore.
It's because He wants me to know and trust in HIM.
What I did was incredibly human - I did a thing (fast), God moved (yay), I connected the one to the other and made fasting prescriptive in my own heart (oh, humans.)
"Want more God? Easy! All you have to do is fast!" said my precious little salesman heart.
But God doesn't want me to trust in methods or prescriptions or rituals - He wants me to trust in Him, in His voice.
The how is less important - scripture gives us so many varied exchanges where God speaks. My takeaway is not a list of ways God might speak to me - instead, my takeaway is that GOD SPEAKS.
He speaks, and He is creative and complex and personal in the way He does it.
Specific stories can be helpful. Rituals can be helpful. Methods can be helpful.
But they can also be a distraction. They can become an idol even.
Know He speaks, expect Him to speak, listen when He speaks, and share what He spoke in your gatherings.
Trust His voice, not your method of hearing it. Trust Him, not your ritual for feeling His presence.