So many people think that my passion for Jesus comes from years of study and prayer and ministry, but they are wrong. It comes from seeing God come through for me during those times when life has left me completely exposed and alone. It comes from feeling God’s presence during moments of my greatest confusion and despair. It comes from seeing God’s hand before me, time and time again in the face of unimaginable danger.
Every time I stand face to face with a hardened, teenage gangbanger, I
see David Wilkerson fearlessly preaching on the corner of my street.
Every time I walk into the middle of a crime-ridden, drug-infested
neighborhood, I feel the same strength that drove Wilkerson to the
streets of New York so many years ago. Every time I hold a lost and
hurting soul in my arms, I feel God’s power and presence.
I depend only on God. God has used the pain of my past to take me to a
deeper level, to bring me closer to Him. What Satan intended for evil,
God has used for His glory. Any joy I receive in life pales in
comparison to the ecstasy of seeing God accomplish the impossible,
watching how He reaches into a dark heart and brings light, how He
spreads His mercy like butter across the sins of those who need
It’s so easy to intellectualize God, to acknowledge His power without
ever experiencing it, to believe in His supremacy without ever calling
on Him to do mighty things in our presence. We see Him with our minds
but not our hearts. We never embrace the power that we preach to be
true. We never call on God to move mightily in our presence—to take our
ounce of faith and use it to lift a mountain off of its pedestal and
hurl it to the bottom of the sea!
Naked faith demands that we somehow learn to marry the mind and the
spirit. That we put away our pride and doubt and fear and stand before
God, empty and broken, with nothing but a raw and unquenchable trust.
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.