As a little girl I had such a simple understanding of what having faith in Jesus meant. It was very clear to me that Jesus could do anything and when I asked, I asked simply, believing that He would sort whatever it was that was troubling me. I lived carefree because I was young but I also understood that He was in charge. When I went to University I had my first real experience of anxiety and in that time I lost a little bit of who I understood Him to be, I lost sight of the simplicity because I took my eyes off Him and it has never been quite the same since.
It appears we live in a world where wisdom seems to come with age, but I am finding that actually I know less now in some ways than I did as a child. I think I understood more then about how big God is. I know He’s big but with age and so called ‘wisdom and understanding’ have come limits because I think I’ve got things sussed and actually, I don’t know anything much! The God that I talked to as a girl is exactly the same. He is a God of miracles. Why then do I forget to pray prayers and simply leave them with Him to sort out?
Smith Wigglesworth is one of my biggest inspirations. I love to read stories of what God did when He prayed. He was also, at one time, in need of a life saving miracle. Have a read of the account in his own words:
At one time I was so bound that no human power could help me. My wife was looking for me to pass away. There was no help. At that time I had just had a faint glimpse of Jesus as the Healer. For six months I had been suffering from appendicitis, occasionally getting temporary relief. I went to the mission, of which I was pastor, but I was brought to the floor in awful agony, and they brought me home to bed. All night I was praying, pleading for deliverance, but none came. My wife was sure it was my home call, and sent for a physician. He said that there was no possible chance for me- my body was too weak. Having had the appendicitis for six months, my whole system was drained and because of that, he thought it was too late for an operation. He left my wife in a state of broken heartedness.
After he left there came to our door a young man and an old lady. I knew she was a woman of real prayer. They came upstairs to my room. This young man jumped on the bed and commanded the evil spirit to come out of me. He shouted “Come out you devil; I command you to come out in the name of Jesus!” there was no chance for an argument, or for me to tell him that I would never believe that there was a devil inside of me. The thing had to go in the name of Jesus, and it went, and I was instantly healed.
I arose and dressed and went downstairs. I was still in the plumbing business, and I asked my wife, “Is there any work in? I am all right now, and I am going to work”. I found that there was a certain job to be done and I picked up my tools and went off to do it. Just after I left the doctor came in, put his plug hat down in the hall, and walked up to the bedroom. But the invalid was not there. “Where is Mr Wigglesworth?” he asked. “Oh doctor, he’s gone out to work,” said my wife. “You’ll never see him alive again,” said the doctor; ‘they’ll bring him back a corpse.”
Well, I’m the corpse.
Since that time the Lord his given me the privilege of praying for people with appendicitis in many parts of the world; and I have seen a great many people up and dressed within a quarter of an hour from the time I prayed for them. We have a living Christ who is willing to meet people on every line.
Smith Wiggleworth: The Complete Collection of His Life teachings, pg 351-352
This man was a plumber! A husband! The doctor said he would not make it but he did, and then he spent his life believing God for miracles and he saw them in abundance. It is simple, he was dying and Jesus brought him back to life because someone understood the power in the name of Jesus. Someone saw the evil spirit and forced it to bow to the highest name.
I believe that we need the gift of discernment in this area and I believe too that God will give you that gift if you ask for it. I hate giving the devil too much credit but we have to acknowledge that he is working with his spirits to destroy and disable us. He will not win. We need to be people who are able to discern evil spirits and cast them out in the name of Jesus. Sickness will leave people if an evil spirit is at the root of it and we will see the power of God in our everyday lives if we understand this.
The other gift that we can ask for is the gift of faith. Romans 12:3 tells us that there is a degree of faith apportioned to all of us and Matthew 17:20 tells us that faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain. A mustard seed is very small but if used well it can move a mountain. The Holy Spirit distributes spiritual gifts but imagine what would happen if you were given the gift of faith. I need more faith but also if faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain, and I dare say anyone who believes was given that, perhaps we all need less doubt. Doubt tells us it can’t be done; faith tells us anything is possible. So we actively need to combat doubt. We need to work against it as though it were something that was working against us.
When we read stories of God’s miraculous works it builds our faith and pushes doubt out of the picture. When I read Smith Wigglesworth’s stories I find myself longing for an opportunity where God will show me what He can do. Actually these opportunities are all around me and I miss them because I don’t want to look silly, or I arrogantly assume there will be another opportunity to pray or I just don’t see them! I want to pray that God will show me these opportunities. I love to read old stories but I believe we can read stories from yesterday and today and tomorrow, and I know that around the world these things are happening but I am desperate to see these things before my eyes.
The God of Smith Wigglesworth is the God of Jacob, of Abraham, of Joseph. He is the same God who told Noah to build an ark; who parted the red sea for Moses; who gave Hannah a baby; who shut the mouths of lions for Daniel. He has not changed. He is the God of our ancestors and the God of the generations to come. He is your God. He is my God and He has not changed. His power is available to us today.
I believe in miracles. Miracles happen everyday, look for them and look for opportunities to pray for them. Be thankful for seemingly small miracles because they prove God’s faithfulness and they are evidence that He is working, but pray with faith that we will see things beyond our wildest imaginations. Can you make yourself wholly available to Jesus and dedicate yourself to Him? Can you work on His behalf? It is simple, we want to do what Jesus did and He performed miracles. The disciples saw it. In Mark 6:6-13 Jesus sends out the twelve disciples and the account says in verse 13:
‘They drove out demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.’
All this is possible for those who believe. It is as simple as that.
Going back again to when I was little, if I hurt myself or had tummy ache, my Mum would very often pray at bedtime that Jesus would make it better. I went to sleep with great confidence; there was no doubt in my mind that God had done what we asked Him to; that I would wake up with no concerns. In fact I expected Him to so much that I believe often I received healing straight away, I didn’t think of it like that though, in fact I didn’t even give it another thought most of the time. I do not remember any point where God did not answer our prayers, there might’ve been some, but I don’t remember them. I know that life is so much more complicated now but the simplicity of my understanding then is still somewhere inside me. ‘Jesus can make this better’ still stands simply and powerfully on top of any sickness, or problem, or trouble. I don’t get why sometimes He doesn’t do what we hope for but I do believe our time would be well spent trying to do the things that Jesus did, instead of opening a door to doubt. Pray prayers of faith and believe that miracles do happen!