In Genesis we read the story of Jacob’s wife, Rachel, and her desperate desire to have a child. She could no longer bear the thought of living without knowing the joy of childbirth, without experiencing all that was intended for her as a woman. In Jewish culture a woman without a child was looked on with disdain, as an incomplete person. Rachel’s pain was unbearable, and she cried out to Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die!” (Genesis 30:1).
Bringing a soul to Christ is very much like giving birth. The Holy Spirit conceives the desire in our hearts, and we then begin to nurture the process, growing in our relationship, praying for them regularly. We feel the time coming near and long to see our new baby delivered. We want to hold and nurture our new child, to experience both the pain and joy of childbirth. When it finally happens, when our new baby is born, we don’t want to put it down. All we can think about is helping our child grow and flourish and take on the image of Christ.
If only every follower of Christ felt this same sense of passion and urgency to bring a new child into God’s kingdom! What if the desire burned within our hearts until we finally cried out to God, “Give me a spiritual child, or I will die!”? You and I both know what would happen: God would honor those prayers.
But everywhere I go I meet Christians who have never felt the joy of leading a soul to Christ. They come to me asking for advice, sometimes embarrassed by the confession. I tell them not to be ashamed by this fact but instead excited that the Holy Spirit is convicting their hearts.
“The first step in sharing your faith is developing a burning desire to do so,” I tell them. And we can count on the Holy Spirit to ignite this desperate desire within us, if we ask and allow him to.
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 bookRun, Baby, Run.