“…His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not” (Jeremiah 20.9)
My name is Chris Pruitt, and owner and creator of SpiritMoved.com.
At the age of 16, my interest in the Bible led me to study with the local evangelist of a congregation I attended as a child – a man named Brent. Through this study, there were two things that really impressed me.
First of all, I was deeply impressed with how serious Brent was in reference to staying true to the Bible. He did not twist the scriptures or take passages out of context. He was bound and determined to explain the Bible as it was meant to be understood in context.
Secondly, and most important, I realized my need for the blood of Jesus. Brent asked me if I had been baptized. When I told him that I have not yet been baptized, we agreed that it was time, and that very hour, in accordance with Mark 16.16 which says, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved”, I became a Christian.
For the first time, things seemed to make sense. I decided that more than anything else, I wanted to help people get to heaven by sharing the gospel, “for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1.16).
The thought of so many without the knowledge of whether they are lost or saved, so many even within the walls of the church building not living their lives by the principles and standards of the Bible evoked in me a passion to preach the gospel.
Like Ezra, who “prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel” (Ezra 7.10), so I prepared my heart to know the Bible, so that I can teach the word of God to others.
I wanted to do what the Levites did when they, “helped the people to understand the Law; and the people stood in their place. So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading.” (Nehemiah 8.7,8).
With all my heart I wanted to help people to “understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5.17), by helping them understand the Bible.
At the age of 18, I preached my very first sermon. I was visiting a congregation in Taft, California. A friend of mine used to say that Taft is so bad, he could see lizards with backpacks leaving town. Some else said that Taft is not the end of the world, but you could see it from there.
Anyway, while I was listening to the sermon, the preacher looked right at me and said that he heard I was interested in preaching. When I told him that I was, right on the spot, he arranged for me to preach the next Sunday.
Apparently word got around. Next thing I knew, I was getting phone calls from congregations all over California asking me to come and fill in for their preacher who was sick or our to town. I was driving up and down California three out of the four Sunday’s each month.
At the age of 23, I had enough of my home town of Bakersfield and saw an opportunity to do some local work in the city of Salinas. I knew the preacher in Salinas very well and knew that there was a good chance I could learn from him.
Then the most amazing thing happened. I was tired of being the one congregations called to fill in for their preacher who was away. I wanted to start working with a congregation full time. Even while I worked with Salinas, I still had a full time job working for Pacific, Gas, and Electric Company. I wanted to devote my life to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I started researching to find if there are any congregations which had training programs, apprenticeships, or preaching colleges. I had a list of about 10 different opportunities. I sat down at the computer, wrote a cover letter, a resume, put everything in an envelope and was about to mail off several copies to various congregations.
Before I stopped at the post office, I decided to stop at the church building to check the mail. Sitting in the mailbox was a letter from a congregation in Cayucos who just started up a preacher’s training program and was inquiring if anyone was interested in applying for the program.
As it turns out, this preacher's training program was being offered by Brent, the same evangelist who baptized me almost ten years ago. I couldn’t believe it. There I was with my resume and cover letter in hand ready to be mailed off. I stop by and check the mail and sitting in the mailbox was in invitation to apply for their preacher training program. That’s what I call providence!
I promptly mailed it off, and within a couple of weeks, I was invited to come to Cayucos for an interview. About a month later, I received a call from Brent saying I have been accepted in the program. In February 1999, I moved to Cayucos with my beautiful supportive wife, and began a rigorous program.
This program is more like an apprenticeship. It was me working under Brent. It was a program that had me working 14-16 hours a day, studying a two year course of Greek and Hebrew, memorizing hundreds of passages including entire chapters, writing term papers of a variety of subjects, visitation, outlining the entire Bible, etc. It was both grueling and rewarding.
After the program, I was immediately offered a position to serve as the evangelist for a congregation in Taft. Looks like my life went full circle. My first sermon was preached in Taft when I was 18. My first job as a preacher was in Taft at the age of 28.
I worked with that congregation for three years before I left to start working with a congregation in Las Vegas where I have been preaching the gospel for the last 17 years.
Preaching for the last thirty years with the last 17 years working with the congregation in Las Vegas, I have learned so much about the Bible and what it teaches in reference to the Holy Spirit.
I hope that you will trust me as you seek to know more about what God has to say concerning the Holy Spirit and how it can help you be a better person.