Once, I was about to preach to 7,000 people at an outreach event when a young boy was carried to the front of the stage. The man carrying him said the boy was in pain and wanted prayer. I thought to myself and almost said out loud: Don’t interrupt me now, I am going to preach about the love of Jesus!
Then I sensed the Heavenly Father telling me He could reach more people through healing this boy than through my sermon.
After arguing with God, I begrudgingly brought the boy up and laid hands on him. Then I prayed—with a bad attitude and little faith. Immediately, the little boy said Jesus healed him and that all the pain was gone. Then it was as if electricity shot through the crowd. The next hour was spent praying for the sick. That day, during an altar call for salvation, 700 people accepted Jesus.
The greatest lesson I have learned in evangelism is simply to do what the Father says, even if it requires surrendering good plans and prepared sermons. When I do, He is glorified, and His commands will lead to eternal life.
I learned this simple, yet powerful, truth from the greatest evangelist of all, Jesus Christ. During His earthly ministry, Jesus knew who He was. It is written in John 11:25: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (NKJV). Jesus knew why He was here: “If anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world” (John 12:47).
As we see in John 12:49-50, Jesus only did and said what the Heavenly Father told Him to do and say. Jesus also let us know why He only did what the Father told Him to do. His obedience to the Father’s will was directly tied to His purpose on Earth. In verse 50, His words are explicit: “I know that His command is everlasting life.” Jesus accomplished His purpose on Earth by doing only what the Father told Him to do and by knowing that His commands lead to eternal life.
Through the obedience of Jesus, His Heavenly Father was glorified. This is what made Jesus the greatest evangelist: He had the courage to do His Father’s will, even if it meant surrendering His own.
The lesson for us who hope to be like Jesus today: Obey God and watch salvation happen!
By: Stephen Tavani, president and founder of WOW International in Altadena, Calif.
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