I was just twenty-two when God imparted into my heart his will for me to become an evangelist. He instructed me to use my past and my testimony to draw sinners to salvation, and since that time I’ve remained faithful to that calling. At times I’ve grown tired of telling my story, and I’ve wished God would use me for another purpose. It’s hard to relive the memories over and over again.
Often I’ve thought to myself, “What harm would it be if I simply went into another line of ministry? Maybe I could pastor a church or put together a seminar on marriage and family issues — something that would allow me to use more of my gifts and talents. Or maybe I could go into business!”
But then I remember my calling, and those thoughts quickly subside. There is nothing wrong with any of these professions; they are simply not what God intended for my life. I am an evangelist, an ambassador of God’s grace and forgiveness. I tell people about Jesus and lead them to salvation before his throne. That is my purpose before God as well as my spiritual gift. When God gave me this calling, he not only gave me the ability to carry it out, but he placed in my heart a compassion for the lost. He gave me eyes to see clearly the people who need forgiveness, then he set me on a path to find them. And because I have tried to stay true to that vision, he has been able to use me for his glory. Gloria, my wife, has always felt this same call on her life.
You may have another calling and profession. God has created each of us with different talents and gifts —but all of us are called to reach the lost! We must seek out his direction and vision for our lives and then stay focused and committed to that cause.
Nicky Cruz, internationally known evangelist and prolific author, turned to Jesus Christ from a life of violence and crime after meeting David Wilkerson in New York City in 1958. The story of his dramatic conversion was told first in The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and then later in his own best-selling book Run, Baby, Run.