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Vantage point

Spirit-led witnessing

I stood on a Pacific Ocean pier, fishing rod in hand, watching the waves lap gently at the pylons. Gulls were catching wind currents as terns nose-dived into the surf for small fish.

I was in my own world. I had intentionally chosen a portion of the pier devoid of others.

And then I saw him coming. He was wearing loud slacks, patent leather shoes and a red-checked sports jacket. I hope he keeps walking, I thought. I was there for solitude and didn’t want to be disturbed.

And then I had another thought — one that wasn’t mine: Witness to him.

Your relationship by George O. Wood

Spirit-led witnessing by Ken Horn

Questions and Answers about the Holy Spirit

My spirit isn’t ready, I thought. I’d witnessed cold turkey many times before, but today I wasn’t prepared. If he just keeps walking I’ll know the Holy Spirit wasn’t telling me to witness, I reasoned. And I watched anxiously out of the corner of my eye as he reached where I stood — and continued walking to the far end of the pier. I was relieved. And I rationalized: If God would have had him come to me and begin a conversation, then I would have witnessed. Then I sank back into my emotional torpor.

Several minutes later, as I leaned on the railing, I caught a glimpse of red out of the corner of my eye. I turned, and there he stood, patent leather shoes glistening in the sunlight.

"Having any luck?" he said.

"Not much," I replied, my mind racing through conviction to repentance to prayer for direction. When I was selfishly disobedient, God didn’t let me off the hook. This guy had singled me out and I knew I had to witness to him. And when I did, I found a broken man whose marriage had been destroyed, who desperately needed someone to tell him there was hope.

And so I did. Before he left we exchanged addresses and I put my hand on his shoulder and prayed with him. He was wiping away tears as he walked away, then turned back and said, "Thank you."

This selfish fisherman learned several lessons that day some 25 years ago:

• The most important fishing is fishing for men. No matter what we may be going through, our problems never outweigh the spiritual need of the lost.

• The Holy Spirit does direct believers to specific individuals. We must obey.

• Our spirits must always be ready to respond.

The most effective way I know to witness is this: Know the plan of salvation, be prayed up and ready to witness, look for open doors.

If you are prepared and looking, the Holy Spirit will bring the opportunities your way. Make sure you’re ready.

— Ken Horn

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