During June we’re focusing on seeking guidance. Each of the posts published this month will be about the author’s experiences seeking guidance from God. Please see the Prayer page to read our strategic prayer request for this month and to see how we, as a branch, are seeking God’s guidance
By Jim Bliffen
Back in the 70’s a song was written that asked the question, “Did you ever hear God speaking to you?” When Joni and I were considering a move to the mission field we asked God to speak to us and reveal His will for our lives. Our prayer was, “God direct our path!” It was at this time we contacted Marsha Miles, a longtime friend of Joni’s family, concerning PBT and she invited us to come and visit her and the PBT offices in Dallas.
During this visit Joni and I were asked to attend PMI. We could only arrange our schedules to be present for one day so we came to the first day of the program. While there, Marsha introduced us to all the PNG people attending the conference. I spoke with Mike Herchenroeder while Joni engaged in conversation with another individual. He was in a wheelchair and appeared to be very sick and frail. At the end of our respective conversations, Joni shared with me the conversation she had with this man. She said his name is William Butler and that he is the finance officer for the PNG branch and also a translator. William told her that he had come home because he was very ill, but was planning to return upon recovering from his illness. He said that he wanted to finish the work God had given him to do translating the New Testament into the Waran language before he died. However, he was afraid that unless God sent someone to take the responsibility of finance that his task may not be completed. At that moment, as Joni relayed her conversation to me, God spoke to my heart, as well as Joni’s, saying that we needed to go to PNG so this work could be accomplished. Joni has worked in accounting for over 30 years. Later William shared with Joni that he really had not felt well enough to go to PMI but felt for some reason he should be there that day.
God communicates to us through three different mediums. He speaks through subjective experiences, the mouths of people, and the objective testimony of His word. Even though God spoke to me through an experience and the mouths of different people, it was His word that convicted me. I was faced with having to decide in my own heart if Jesus really meant what He said in Luke 14:25-33. I concluded that He meant exactly what He said and was speaking to me asking, “Do you love Me more than anything?” I had to answer the question with more than my mouth. God may speak in a variety of mediums but every message will align into one clear voice and every subjective communication will agree with the objective truth found in His word.
God still speaks clearly to us through His word today. You can hear His voice every time you open His word if you listen with an open heart. Did you ever hear God speaking to you? Open His word and listen. He wants to speak to you right now,
Jim serves in the area of scripture impact.