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It was a rainy mid-week afternoon. I was running errands in my pick-up truck when I noticed a man pushing a bicycle down the road. His bike had a flat tire and he kept looking back over his shoulder to find someone to give him a ride.
Rarely would I pick up a hitchhiker these days, but I felt the leading of the Holy Spirit to offer him a ride. I pulled over. He put his bike in the back and got in. He looked a little disheveled as he gave me directions to a nearby apartment complex where he was headed.
The Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “Feed him.”
I hadn’t planned all of this, but I followed the Holy Spirit’s leading and offered my rider lunch at a nearby fast food restaurant. As we sat in the parking lot eating burgers, the Holy Spirit impressed upon me to witness to him.
I asked the hitchhiker, “Do you know Jesus as your personal savior?” He didn’t, so I explained the plan of salvation to him.
He said, “I really need this man.”
So we prayed and he asked Christ into his heart. As we finished lunch and were about to leave, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said, “Give him the money in your wallet.”
I thought, “Whoa! Is this really you Lord?”
He said, “Give him the money in your wallet.”
Taking a deep breath, I replied silently, “OK Lord.”
Reaching into my wallet, I couldn’t remember what was there, a five a ten? “Oh no,” I thought to myself, “it’s a twenty!”
I obeyed the Lord and took the twenty dollar bill from my wallet and handed it to the hitchhiker. I told him, “This is from Jesus. He wants me to give it to you. He loves you man.”
The hitchhiker sat there stunned. He held the twenty in both hands staring at it in amazement. After a moment he spoke and said, “Nobody ever did anything like this for me before. It must be God.”
Then he slowly lifted his head up toward me and looked directly in my eyes and said, “I was on the way to kill my estranged wife.”
Suddenly the whole situation changed. It took my breath away. Like a man on the edge of a cliff, I suddenly realized that a life was hanging in the balance. We were only two blocks away from the apartments where she was and I knew that I had to get him away from there.
He continued and told me how this encounter was a miracle and he knew that God was stopping him. He agreed to go in the other direction and leave her alone. I drove him far away from that neighborhood.
I’m reminded of another chance meeting on a road as described in the Bible (), involving a follower of Jesus named Phillip. An angel told him to go down a certain road where he saw a man sitting in his chariot reading the scriptures. The Spirit told him to go to him. After a brief conversation, Phillip explained the plan of salvation to him and even baptized him.
The man turned out to be a very important government official. There’s no telling how many people that man influenced in his life, all because Phillip followed the leading of the Lord and reached out to him.
We just don’t know whom we’ll meet that needs Jesus. But if we are open to the Holy Spirit and sensitive to follow His leading, He will use us in amazing ways.
A friend of mine was in line at the grocery store when the Holy Spirit told her to pay for the groceries of the woman in front of her. Going back in forth in her mind for a moment she wondered, “Is this really the Lord?” She was just coming out of a tough financial situation herself. But with fear and trembling, she stepped up, swiped her own card into the machine and paid the woman’s grocery bill in the name of Jesus. She didn’t know the amazed woman’s financial situation. She just obeyed and displayed the love of Christ. Later at home, the Lord gave her a hallelujah blessing.
A routine moment to us could be a moment of life or death to someone else. God can make our ordinary day an extraordinary day of service. So be open, be prepared, and be used of the Lord!
Copyright © Gene Markland, used with permission.
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