“This harvest that God has in this hour is so important to Him that He weeps over it. He says it’s great, but the labourers are few.”
The image of a weeping God was what drove Ben Fitzgerald’s message at the Impossible Conference (Dec 9–11), which urged believers to arise, step out in joy and boldly lead souls into the kingdom.
Speaking to conference attendees live from the United States, Fitzgerald, who is also director of Awakening Europe, affirmed that God is on the move in the world today.
There have also been constant questions on his heart: If God is on the move, shouldn’t we be too?
If God’s heart moves towards the lost, shouldn’t ours do likewise?
JESUS THROUGH THE GENERATIONS
Fitzgerald then shared an inspiring example of “a man whose heart moved with God’s”.
That man was Dale Moody, a Southern Baptist preacher who was so compelled by the Spirit that he literally chased after someone to share the gospel with them.
As a young adult, Moody was at a bakery when he saw a young teenage girl. He felt the Spirit tell him to speak to her — that she really needed to know God.
That day, he told her about God and invited her to his church. She was open, but didn’t come that week. They happened to meet at the same bakery the next week, where the Spirit moved him to speak with her once again.
While speaking to her, she ran away, but Moody was compelled to run after her. Catching up with her, Moody shared the gospel with her and she received Jesus.
Many years later, a now 75-year-old Moody met a young man. He recognised Moody as the man who shared the gospel with his mother many years before, who had grown up and become a committed disciple.
Together with her husband, they discipled their son, who had grown into a young man preaching the gospel around the world.
What Fitzgerald took away from the story was this: “When you lead one soul to Christ, you didn’t lead one to Christ. You led generations.”
Referring to Paul’s conviction in Acts 20:23-24, Fitzgerald urged a similar determination to seek the lost: “It didn’t matter to Paul that he would face persecution. What moved Paul’s heart was that people needed God.”
“Nothing in this world should move us more than people who need God,” he added, before noting that many believers are crippled with a fear of sharing the gospel.
“If I asked, ‘Who here considers themselves a worshipper?’, every one of us will put our hand up,” he said confidently. “But if I asked ‘Who here is called to preach the gospel and evangelise?’, not every hand will go up.”
Fitzgerald then observed that the “worship pillar”, which is one foundational element of church life among others like prayer and taking care of the poor, has been established throughout the centuries in the Church.
But there are other pillars that may perhaps be in disrepair: “Satan has affected another pillar that’s also meant to be in every Christian — the pillar of evangelism.”
“For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!”
Reading from 1 Corinthians 9:16, Fitzgerald affirmed that preaching the gospel is a “necessity”.
Of course, it is normal to not always want to share the gospel; Fitzgerald shared that there are times when he feels afraid or weird about talking to strangers in the supermarket who the Holy Spirit prompted him to speak with.
But what Fitzgerald understood from Paul’s words is that if we push past what we want and do what God wants, God gives us “power and authority” as we serve Him.
“I’m 60-70% introverted when I take personality type tests. I love being alone,” revealed Fitzgerald. “But when I do go out, I have the Lion of Judah in me. I don’t have this kitten that is terrified of life.
“So even if Ben Fitzgerald is afraid, the person of Jesus inside me is not afraid!”
That is why Fitzgerald believe it is so important to live a life free of the fear of man — to live with boldness, conviction and a love for the lost because God loves them.
In an age when minds are more cynical and hearts are colder towards the gospel, Fitzgerald believes now, more than ever, must believers overcome fear and boldly share Jesus.
As someone who has struggled with the fear of man, Fitzgerald’s message forced me to re-examine how I’ve been sharing Christ.
“The enemy wants the church to shut up, to be quiet,” said Fitzgerald. “He wants the church to lose its voice. He wants the most powerful thing in Earth to be silenced, to be dialled down.
“The most powerful thing is Jesus in your mouth. It’s Jesus in your heart, it’s Jesus in your prayer.”
The enemy wants the church to shut up, to be quiet. He wants the church to lose its voice. He wants the most powerful thing in Earth to be silenced, to be dialled down.
As such, if the enemy is using fear to silence us from proclaiming Jesus, we cannot continue to succumb to it.
What then shall we do? Fitzgerald shared the answer from Scripture in Jeremiah 17:5-8. “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. That person will be like a bush in the wastelands…”
Fitzgerald put it simply: “The people who trust in flesh and make flesh their strength, these people are weakened when they make flesh their strength.”
That is why trusting in the Lord and putting our confidence in him is so crucial. Fitzgerald pointed out that those who do “will be like a tree planted by the water” (Jeremiah 17:8).
“You are free from any human opinion,” he stressed. When we truly understand that, we become bold preachers of the gospel, undaunted by the fear of man.
Fitzgerald also highlighted another issue: many have grown numb to the joy we had when we were first saved.
“The Bible Institute has done studies where they found that 96% of the Christians surveyed had not led a single soul to Jesus Christ,” he remarked.
What about the 4% who did? What made them different? Fitzgerald noted from the study that many among the 4% had been saved for “less than one year”.
They had the joy of salvation. I can’t believe that God has done this for me. How can I keep this to myself?
This same joy is what desperately needs to be rekindled by the Holy Spirit — only then will we be able to tell others who need to know Jesus.
Fitzgerald then read from Psalm 51. Restore to me the joy of your salvation.
As I heard it, I wondered if I was guilty of being complacent with my salvation. Had my joy of salvation diminished?
Fitzgerald continued: “Freedom is not just meant for us, freedom is meant to be transferred. The prison key you received to get out of prison, you are meant to stick that key into other peoples’ prisons.”
Freedom is not just meant for us, freedom is meant to be transferred.
That is why Fitzgerald believes Christians cannot and must not live in isolation, doing their own things. Instead, what is truly important is to “testify and speak about Jesus… to talk to somebody and give this gospel away.”
“But I fear we’ve forgotten that mandate to go off and to go after reaching people. That mandate has taken a backseat,” Fitzgerald lamented.
Pointing to the early church in Acts, Fitzgerald noted that all of them became witnesses: “Every Christian was using their mouth to talk about God and using their life to give their heart to people.
“God the Father is out there trying to win what He has paid for, what belongs to Him. He’s trying to lead us but some of us feel disempowered. And it’s keeping us from this posture of ‘I’ll still win some’.”
2 TIPS FOR SHARING THE GOSPEL
Having laid down the whys, Fitzgerald then turned to the hows. Recognising that attendees may need some handles in sharing the gospel, Fitzgerald began to lay down some practical tips.
Tip #1: Don’t be “Christian weirdo”, be yourself
Fitzgerald’s first tip was candid but profound. He stressed that one beautiful thing about sharing the gospel is that we don’t have to change who we are; God uses our different personalities to speak to different people.
Notice people. Be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading. Just talk to people. Steps like these are all part of Fitzgerald’s motto and method: “Be naturally supernatural.”
He broke it down further: “You can begin by speaking about things that aren’t ‘Christian’. You don’t have to make it all ‘Christian-ese’.”
“But what we are to do, is to look out for moments to bring Jesus into the conversation and to pray for them.”
Fitzgerald also offered a simple example: “You can just go: ‘Hey man, I noticed you have a shoulder brace. I’m a Christian and God has changed my heart. I love praying for people, can I release a blessing of healing over you?’”
Ultimately, it helps to look for opportunities to pray for others. That, Fitzgerald believes, is when the Holy Spirit will flow through you to show up for that person.
Tip #2: Start with one
“Find one person. Start with just one,” encouraged Fitzgerald.
Then, it’s about committing yourself to that person and being intentional in friendship — one great way to do that is by praying for them.
Fitzgerald shared his experience about having 10 people on his list, and praying for all 10 people daily.
He also suggested that attendees could put up pictures of their friends on the fridges, so as to pray for them and their salvation each time they open the fridge.
The end result of such daily prayer?
“In one year, all 10 received Jesus Christ,” Fitzgerald declared. “Every single one.”
Find one person. Start with just one.
Fitzgerald’s encouragement was to continue praying “until you see a change happen in their heart”.
From that point onwards, it’s about bringing them into our world by inviting them to Christian spaces.
“Invite them to stuff with other believers so they can see that we’re not weird, that we love God and we love them,” urged Fitzgerald. “Invite them to places where they can experience the love of God through other people.
“Just commit yourself to be their friend and to come close to them. It’s about getting into someone’s world, targeting that person so they can experience the glory of who God is.”
Finally, reiterating his message on boldness, Fitzgerald concluded: “If you live by what people think of you, you’ll always be thinking about what they think of you. You’ll lose peace.
“If you try to be like anybody else, you don’t accept that God made you.”
His point was that each person has something unique to contribute to the kingdom of God; it is imperative we find out what our part is.
“God is not showing you that person because maybe they’ll be saved. He’s showing you because He desires that none should perish,” affirmed Fitzgerald, speaking about the friends on our heart who do not yet know God.
“He’s going to use your life and your ‘yes’ in the same way he used Paul’s. He’s going to use your life to win some!”
Missed the Impossible Conference? You can still catch up on the sessions by heading over to Impossible 413’s YouTube page or read the rest of our coverage:
Finally, if you want to watch Ben’s message, here’s the recording below!
- Who is someone God has placed on your heart who does not yet know Him?
- Will you commit yourself to that one person in friendship?
- Based on Ben Fitzgerald’s tips, what is one practical step you can take to win this person for Christ?
- Do you know someone struggling with the fear of man or sharing the gospel? Encourage that person this week as you both tell the world about Jesus.