Without having any idea what I would say, I started out, “The Lord wants you to know”—and then I felt the words come—“that He didn’t do this to you. It was the result of sin in the world. The Bible says that the price of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. His desire is for everyone to have eternal life, and He wants you to know that He didn’t do this to you.”
The guy turned his head away from me for a second, and as he looked back, a tear slid down from under his sunglasses. He asked slowly, “Do you know who I am? Did anyone tell you anything about me?” He paused. “Not that anyone here would know me.”
I shook my head. “No, I don’t know who you are.”
I could feel his eyes staring at me through his shades. “Nobody told you anything about me?” he asked again.
His chin started quivering, and a few more tears rolled down from under his sunglasses. He told me, “Six months ago, my father died in his sleep. They did an autopsy, and they couldn’t find any reason for his death. Then two months later, the night before my fiancée and I were supposed to get married, she died in her sleep. I was called at three in the morning the day of my wedding and was told my fiancée had died. And what you’re telling me, what you’re saying, is that God didn’t do this. I thought God hated me and took my father and then my fiancée the night before my wedding.”
I said, “No, the Lord loves you! His gift is life, and He doesn’t want anybody to die. It’s a result of sin in the world.”
He looked at me in silence, then asked, “There’s no way that anybody told you all that? Who are you?”
I said, “I’m a youth pastor at a church here in town.”
He invited me to come and meet with his band and his friends that same night.
The Ultimate Evangelist
The Holy Spirit is a confident evangelist, even when you and I are not. When you have a sense that God wants to say something to someone, I would encourage you to step into that in faith. You don’t have to consider yourself a prophet or an evangelist; when you have the sense that God wants to reach someone, He will use you to do it.
I walked into that situation in the music store completely blind, not having anything in particular to say to someone but trusting that God did. I was acting in faith when I spoke out.
Many of us expect that the Holy Spirit will sort of apprehend us in such situations, as if He’ll come with a megaphone inside our heads or take possession of our bodies.
It’s not like that at all. When we approach people, God wants us to go as ourselves and be ourselves.
You might not feel extremely confident in what your spiritual gifts are, and you might not operate at a high level of what you think of as supernatural ministry. You might not even be comfortable with the idea of evangelism, but the Holy Spirit is comfortable with it.
The Holy Spirit is the ultimate evangelist, constantly pointing people to Jesus. As we step out in dependence on Him and follow those small promptings, He teaches us how to reach people.
Push the Limit
All of us have more authority than we realize—and so much more than we currently operate in. The more I’ve stepped out in this journey, the more incredible things I’ve seen God do. It has been a process, and often I’ve prayed for people eight or 10 times before I’ve seen a change. As I’ve pressed in, however, I’ve yet to see the limit.
I want to encourage you to push the limit. No matter what your level of faith, living in the kingdom is still a risk-taking lifestyle.
Taking risks is the very definition of living by faith. We live not by our past experiences or by what we see but by what we believe and what God’s Word says is true about us—that we’ll actually do what Jesus did.
One of the biggest reasons we fail to step into Jesus’ transferable ministry is that we mistakenly believe we have to be the source for God’s miracles. That thinking not only scares most of us away from praying for others in faith, but it’s also bad theory and bad theology. The healing and all the other stuff is God’s part to do. I’m just supposed to go. I’m just supposed to show up and respond to what He says to do. I succeed because I’ve obeyed.
God uses us to speak to other people in the same way He speaks to us—sometimes in the most natural ways. Pictures or flashes or impressions may come to mind as we pray. It can be through our bodies, which might involve sympathy pain, unexpected emotions (tears, joy or peace) or a sense of peace in difficulties. It even can be through movies that we watch. We worry that what we’re sensing is just our imagination, but who says God can’t use our imagination? He invented it. He’s a creative and imaginative God.