My weekly Friday afternoon flight from Houston to Pensacola often proved eventful. Soaking in the fires of the Brownsville Revival had rekindled such a passion for souls in my heart that I frequently found myself sharing the gospel with acquaintances and strangers alike. One Friday afternoon, I was so overcome with such a burden for the unsaved and an intense desire to bear fruit for Christ, that I quietly wept during most of the flight. The thought of going to another awesome Friday night revival service without bringing someone who needed Jesus was almost more than I could bear. “Lord,” I cried, “Please cause me to bear fruit. Everyday multitudes die and go to hell. Forget about my schedule. I’ll go anywhere You want. Please use me. Show me someone I can reach for You…” And I meant it.
Driving home from the airport I told the Lord that my time was His, and asked Him to lead me to someone with whom I could share the gospel. “Perhaps a waitress at a bar? Those ladies really need Jesus,” I contemplated. Heaven seemed silent, so I drove on. Then I saw her. She would have been so easy to miss, walking along side that busy street. Her hair was messed up and her clothes didn’t match, and as I fixed my eyes upon her, my heart was drawn.
“Ask her if she would like a ride,” the Holy Spirit prompted. After a moments hesitation, I turned the car around and went to pick her up. Mabel was her name. She lived just a mile up the road, and during that short drive I was able to share the love of Jesus with her. I wondered about her life because although she was an adult, her mentality was that of a child.
Upon arriving at an adult care facility, Mabel insisted on introducing me to the ladies who lived with her. Her sister, Sue, owned the facility. Sue was genuinely touched that I gave Mabel a ride, and it wasn’t long before she began to pour out her heart to me like an old friend.
When she and Mabel were small children, their mother abandoned the family. The day their mother left home, Mabel stopped developing mentally. Eventually the four children were separated. Years later, Sue tracked Mabel down, living on the streets of Austin, Texas. Her hair was infested with bugs, she was on all types of medication, and she had no one to look after her. Seeing her sister in that condition broke her heart and she prayed, asking God to make a way for her to be able to care for her. Shortly thereafter, God miraculously gave Sue an adult care facility where she could care for Mabel as well as others.
Many of the people living at the facility came out of tragic circumstances. Now, in what should have been their golden years, they were often forgotten by loved ones and society, and many were just a breath away from a Christless eternity.
Sue extended an open invitation for me to minister at her facility, and I told her I would return the following morning. As I drove home, my heart was full of joy because of the incredible opportunity the Lord had given me to share His love with shut-in people. “Why, I don’t need a pulpit in order to preach or minister…” I mused. Suddenly I shouted aloud, “The WORLD is my pulpit!” Surprised at my outburst, I repeated the phrase out loud, “The WORLD is my pulpit?” Yes! And if I never preached behind a pulpit again, it didn’t matter. I could reach multitudes for Christ outside the walls of the church. “The WORLD is MY pulpit?” Yes, and the pulpit of EVERY Christian. Each day we encounter people who need Jesus. And He wants to use every single believer to reach people for Him.
The next day I returned to the care facility with my husband. We worshipped, shared the plan of salvation, and prayed with those who wanted prayer. Some cried as the presence of Jesus touched their lives. Others received Christ and made their peace with God. I could sense His pleasure and almost see His smile as His Word echoed in my spirit, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for Me.’ (Matthew 25:40).
As Christians, all-too-often we relegate the responsibility of sharing the gospel to those behind the pulpit. We are content to warm a pew, while people around us die in their sin and enter into eternity without Christ.
But it doesn’t take a seminary degree or years of warming a church pew to effectively reach people for Christ. All it takes is a passion for God, a love for people, and a willing and obedient heart. The Holy Spirit is the One who empowers us to be effective witnesses. Let’s ask for His help today and purpose in our hearts to see the world is our pulpit!
“Father, forgive me for not taking seriously Your call to reach the lost. No longer will I make excuses. Help me to see people in light of eternity, and give me the boldness that I need to step out and share the Good News with those who don’t know You. Give me divine appointments and, like Peter, make me a fisher of men. I depend upon the precious Holy Spirit to help me. Thank you for the privilege of being used to bring others into Your family. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”