Monday, May 25, 2009
Thinking again of Smith Wigglesworth (1859-1947) and a curious internet entry entitled, "The Sad Legacy of Smith Wigglesworth".
Sad? What could be sad about a world-wide service for Jesus shining with episodes of divine healing, salvation experiences, deliverances, creative miracles and call-backs from death?
[I remember one account in the book "Smith Wigglesworth Remembered" (Harrison House Publishers) where the author W. Hacking told of his first encounter. He and friends were late for a meeting and walked in to find the message in progress. The evangelist was speaking of the Transfiguration of Jesus (Matthew 17:1-9) and illustrated with both hands fingering above his head. Back-light from an upper window was giving this gesture a glorious effect. A little bottle of Smith's anointing oil was on the platform floor and in the speaker's wanderings in the heat of the message the bottle remained unharmed. The author was mesmerized by the bottle and Smith's feet. Was every movement and sentence of the speaker according to a heavenly plan?]
But I digress. The curious internet entry above told the tale of some "full-Gospel" youths with a sick friend whom they took to a crusade featuring healing. They ushered the friend to the fore-front. He received prayer. Nothing happened. They told him of progressive healings as an alternative sometimes to instant miracles.
The friend went home and believed as he had been instructed. Over the weeks he was reminded that he had to press in harder, perhaps call a fast, recite the healing verses, "only believe" etc. His encouragers began to sound like his critics.
The outcome was a disaster. The affliction remained. The youth came to doubt the faith in general and walked away from Jesus. He had tasted, but ultimately he would not enter in.
So much for imitating what we see done by others. God will have original marks on each servant. Anointings will be different. Healings are not inevitable this side of Glory. God will be no man's errand boy just because a particular Bible verse is cited.
Praise God for the wonderful fruit of Wigglesworth. Praise God that the Christian annals are full of the mercies of healing. But praise God even louder for the better outcomes of His sovereign will.