Hearing the Voice of God - by Kandy Bennett
“God spoke to our ancestors ... at many times and in various ways.” (Hebrews 1:1)
Does God still speak to us in “various ways”?
Yes, we think so! And when He does, we can hold it up to Scripture to see if it is in alignment with God’s written word. Henry Blackaby says in his book (Experiencing God) that God spoke in times past and is still speaking today. God desires us to draw close to Him; He wishes to have a conversation with us.
Kandy’s Grandpa Harry Waggoner, at 9 years old, climbed a cherry tree at their Avalon, PA home. He was eating the sweet fruit when his parents, John and Lulu Waggoner, along with their guest, a missionary from India named Miss Zella McAuley, sat in chairs under this very tree. Zella had been working with lepers in India and wasn’t sure how much longer she could continue this work all by herself. She had been praying God would lay this burden of the lepers on someone’s heart.
Harry heard from God that day: “You will be that man; someday you will do my work among the lepers of India.” (The Vow by Hal Donaldson [CEO of Convoy of Hope] and Kenneth Dobson, p. 24) Some say Grandpa Harry only heard God’s whisper in his heart. My Mom always said her Dad told her that he heard the voice audibly. Either way, a 9 year old Harry heard from God that day! In 1913, Harry and Helen Porter Waggoner boarded a ship and left for India. They ministered to the lepers there for 33 years, returning to the U.S. in 1946. This photo is Harry & Helen, 1912.
Harry & Helen Waggonner
Missionaries to India
1913 - 1946
Almost a hundred years later, on a Sunday morning, in 2011, David Bennett heard from God. He was standing in our sanctuary worshiping when he strongly heard what seemed like an audible voice, “I’ve called you to be a missionary to the University District Village. Will you go?” It took almost a year for us to process this and resign our wonderful church. Flash forward 8 years, and we are engaging people in our Columbus neighborhood, community, and others we have met who are struggling with the concept of God, or particularly Jesus. It takes many, many conversations to befriend them and build enough trust for them to allow us to share our story of following Jesus. It is happening!
God is still speaking. One of our favorite authors, Mike Breen, who talks about discipleship and finding ways to converge with people in today’s culture, says this all the time: “What is God saying to you? What are you going to do about it?”
God is speaking. Are you listening?