One of the sweetest memories I look back on is the experience I had as a young man in my freshman year of college. I grew up in a pastor’s family and often lived life under the microscope. I remember as a graduating senior from academy that I most decidedly wanted to serve the Lord, but not as a pastor. The Lord had blessed me with gifts and skills in music, and I loved to use them for the service of the Lord.
And yet, I had felt the Holy Spirit’s tug on my heart, to do something more than just a music ministry for Jesus. I felt the nudge toward gospel ministry, but I resisted. I entered college in the fall with great excitement and enthusiasm. I carefully scouted out what classes to take and what professors I felt were best. Each day I would dutifully go about the routine of class lectures, study, work, and practice of voice and various musical instruments. I did this for several weeks.
But deep down, I was wrestling with God. He knew it. I knew it. Those were difficult days. I remember heading to chapel at the college church on a Tuesday morning. We were lifted heavenward with great, inspiring music. I remember the vivid colors of the stained-glass windows in the sanctuary as the bright sunshine radiated through each pane.
I remember the minister rose up to speak to all who were assembled. His voice was strong and resolute as he began to share the Scriptures. And somewhere, in the midst of that incredible worship experience, I heard the distinct voice of the Holy Spirit speak to me. It was a very clear, soft voice telling me that God wanted me to stand where our chapel minister was speaking that morning. He wanted me to make a course correction, to leave what I was doing, and follow Him! I can tell you I was moved by that voice, and I remember saying in my heart that I would follow. No loud, boisterous, over-stimulating experience. Just a still small voice, ever patient and ever persistent in calling me to gospel ministry.
When I visited the chairman of the Religion Department later that day, I shared with him my experience that morning. He was a kind, thoughtful man I had known for many years. He was a great man of God. And with a smile on his face, he simply responded with a confirming statement that still amazes me to this day. He said, “I wondered how long it would be before you acted on God’s call. Several of us have seen what God wanted to do in your life and through you for a long time now. I’m glad you finally answered the call and obeyed His voice.”
Confirmation––wow! O what joy there is when we hear His voice and follow in His footsteps. I pray you will be of the same mind: “Speak Lord, for Thy servant heareth.”
By Richard C. Dye, Sr., President