Busyness had slowly deflated the wind in my sails as a witnessing Christian—that is, until God launched me on a brief ministry adventure. I purchased an Amtrak ticket to travel to the Harvest Crusade in Anaheim, California.
Conveniently, the train would make a stop right at the stadium. So after disembarking, I could walk across the parking lot and enjoy the evangelistic event where I’d be serving as a “decision follow-up counselor.” Toward the end of the evening, hundreds of people would stream forward from the bleachers onto the field to pray and receive Jesus Christ—thereby passing from death into life (John 5:24).
I had intended to invite an unbelieving guest to go with me and hear a clear presentation of the gospel. But time didn’t permit. In fact, my over-commitment to projects had drooped my shoulders, dampened my joy, and dimmed my prayer life. Yet God is faithful! The clerk at the Amtrak ticket window, Wendy, turned out to be a sister in Christ—what a godsend.
No one else stood in line, so we chatted. She asked, “How can you have boldness for Christ when you’re so soft spoken?” I replied, “Well, I don’t think spiritual boldness refers to how loudly we speak. I think it comes from knowing that our words are Spirit led.” I gulped, remembering….
Just yesterday I retweeted a powerful quote by Vance Havner, the popular revivalist: “To attempt any work for God without prayer is as futile as trying to launch a space probe with a peashooter.”
Immediately I prayed for the Holy Spirit to empower me. And I relinquished the helm of my ship to its rightful Captain.
Soon the Lord blew wind back in my sails for ministry. As I waited for my train, a husband and wife sat next to me and told me they were cultural Hindus. They had decided not to practice Hinduism because there were too many Hindu gods, millions of them. I opened my pocket Bible and shared a passage, John 3:16. Our conversation focused on Jesus Christ and how He amazingly fulfilled three hundred Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah. My ministry for the day had already launched!
That evening, not only did I counsel three new believers on the stadium field, I initiated God-conversations with: a woman walking to the stadium, two new believers sitting beside me in the bleachers, a teenage girl with her boyfriend riding the train home from Disneyland, a dejected woman whose mom had just died, and four guys on an elevator with thoughtful apologetics questions. To God be the glory!
As God’s vessels, we have the privilege of asking the Holy Spirit to empower us to help unbelievers journey to the cross. Instead of allowing the cares of this world to take the wind out of our witnessing sails, let’s skillfully “tack and jibe” by keeping our prayer life and our priorities on course.
Then the words we speak will change people’s lives forever.