Nicky Cruz: One of God’s Generals
Over the course of history, there have been many men that have had amazing ministries impacting the lives of multitudes of people. Many of these great men like George Whitfield, Charles Finney, John Wesley, Billy Graham, and many more were considered to be “God’s Generals”. From the moment they were saved, they began to be some of the most powerful and dynamic preachers of their time.
Like many of these men, Nicky Cruz’s life began with an upbringing filled with sorrow and despair. He was born in Puerto Rico, where he lived under the roof of his witchcraft-practicing parents in his early childhood. Death was spoken over him constantly. He was even called the “Son of Satan”. He grew up believing the wrong things about life and himself. At 9 years old, Nicky had experienced such incredible hardship that he turned to suicide as the answer. Thankfully, he was unsuccessful in his attempt.
By the age of 16, he had left his parent’s home in Puerto Rico and was running on the streets of New York. Filled with the anger and rage from his childhood, he turned to one of the worst gangs in New York. In this time in his life, everything he did was filled with gang violence and the condition of his heart worsened.
There was one man that he met during this time in his life. This was a young preacher named David Wilkerson. David met Nicky and pleaded with him that Jesus loved him. After a series of events, Nicky encountered God and his heart was completely transformed. Ever since that day, Nicky Cruz has gone around telling the powerful testimony of what Jesus has done in his life. Today, Nicky Cruz is known as a world-renowned evangelist and one of God’s generals. He has spoken for 60 years, in many different countries telling his testimony to anyone who will hear.
Nicky is a father in the faith as he has walked with the Lord for such a time. One thing on his heart to preach continually is how to hear the voice of God. In view of everything that’s going on in our world, if there’s anything we need now: We need to hear and know God’s voice.
Many Noises: One Voice
There are so many voices speaking out in the world today that it can be hard to know God’s voice. Many voices and noises are competing for our attention. From taking care of our families, technology, work-life, and anything else that we do. We hear a lot of voices in our daily lives and have many things vying for our attention.
In the gospel of Luke we see the story of Martha and Mary. Martha, distracted by many voices and tasks, misses Jesus standing in her midst. Luke 10:38-42 says this:
“But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
We, like Martha, can be so consumed by the hardships of daily life that we can drown out the still voice of God. The noises of life are loud and penetrating: They want us to hear them and to be the center of what we focus on. In verse 42, Jesus tells Martha “one thing is necessary”. At this time, Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus, for she had found the one thing that was necessary.
God wants us to listen for His leading and follow Him. There is only One Voice that is necessary and essential for us to listen to.
So in the middle of every distraction of life, how can we hear God’s voice?
1. Reading the Word of God
If we are going to know how to listen to the Lord, we need to know the kind of things that He would say. God will NEVER disagree with His Word and we can recognize His voice by understanding who He is. This happens by the reading of the eternal word of God. It is similar to how we know the voice of a loved one when they call out to us. We don’t have to ask who our spouse is on the phone when they’re speaking to us! We know their voice!
2. Praying the Scriptures
Nicky Cruz instructs us to not to pray first and then read the Bible, but to read the Bible and then pray. When we read God’s word, we will then have something to pray about. It is essential for us as believers to use the scripture as the foundation of our relationship with God! His presence and His Word go hand in hand. To know God’s Word is to know Him!
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