Smith Wigglesworth- Overcoming the Spirit of Intimidation
In Paul’s writing to Timothy his spiritual son, he addressed an issue that most believers at some point will need to overcome.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore do not ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the Gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.”
2 Timothy 1: 7-9
The context of this attack of intimidation and fear is the call. All who truly seek to serve the Lord will suffer persecution, and all too often, that is in the church. I have ministered to many people who have experienced severe attacks in the church, where they have been preached and pressure applied to get you to quit. The bottom line is the enemy wants you to quit the call and will do everything he can to intimidate, harass and hinder you.
So, how do we overcome this? Smith Wigglesworth said:
“Only believe. To so hear the Word of God by the Spirit’s power. Changed by the grace of God. Changed by the revelation of God. Only believe. Other refuges have I none.”
It is critical that we understand that our validation comes from the Lord. Paul wrote:
“For you were once in darkness, but now you are in the light of the Lord. Walk as children of the light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lod. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness…”
Ephesians 5: 8-11 a
As a child of God, you are a member of His family, and His family speaks His language. That which honors the Lord drips with the fruit of the Spirit. As believers, we are called to walk in submission and respect leadership. But remember, we are to submit one to another as well. Good leadership should reveal the fruit Paul was talking about and not be mean, cruel, and controlling.
Remember this as Smith explained:
“The Lord wishes to bring before us a living fact which shall bring into action a principle within us, so that Christ can destroy every power of Satan. We need to stir ourselves so that we understand the mighty power God has for us. Not a dormant position, but a power, a revelation, a life. The possibility of man in the hands of God.”
The mighty work of the Holy Spirit is always to build up and not destroy the call. Now we must be careful not to walk in a spirit of rebellion or stubbornness, but at the same time, we must not walk manipulated and oppressed.
A good church should bring you great joy and a building up of that call. The good fruit leadership should show includes:
- Goodness- (agathosyne) meaning uprightness of heart, goodness, and kindness
- Righteousness- (dikaiosyne) means being in the state of what we are supposed to be and being found acceptable before the Lord
- Truth (aletheia) means the truth in light of His truth
Many believers walk in a vision they managed to make up in their heads, and they get into all kinds of trouble. I know countless people who are persuaded they are apostles yet have no evidence or signs confirming such a high call. True leaders exude the fruit listed above and seek to help you fulfill your high call from the Lord.
True humility is seen in our abiding relationship with Him and the transformation that occurs in our lives. We should become more and more like him. Smith explained:
“God can never do all He wants to do, all that He came to do through the Word, until he gets us to the place where he can trust us, and we are in abiding fellowship with Him in the great plan for the world’s redemption.”
This process often takes time, and we must be willing to be patient. Stay in your lane and stay in your season. Smith explained:
“We have illustrated this in the life of Jacob. It took God twenty-one years to bring Jacob to the place of contrition of heart, humility, and brokenness of spirit.”
Jacob was always trying to make things happen, and while he was often sincere, he was often sincerely wrong. But his heart was right and seeking the Lord. Learn from Jacob and never make a decision based on emotions and learn the lesson that what you run from you run right into.
Decisions should be made in the Secret Place of His Presence and secured through the Word.
“Likewise you younger submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, ALL of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
1 Peter 5: 5-7 Emphasis added
This is a verse that abusers carry in their toolkits to abuse the sheep! True leaders walk in humility and are an example to follow. They don’t demand submission but rather demonstrate submission and humility. Remember, you will become like your spiritual father so do you see in them the Christlike characters that you want in your life?
In reading these verses, the central key is humbling ourselves before the Lord and casting our care onto Him. This is done in the Secret Place of His Presence and abiding in His Word. A true leader teaches you how to do this because the transformation comes as you learn to abide in His Presence. So, true leaders point you to Christ. Smith explained this true humbling of ourselves:
“Look at the Master at Jordan, submitting Himself to the baptism of John, then again submitting Himself to the Cross.”
Obedience to Him comes at a cost but know as you draw nigh to Him, He draws nigh to you, and furthermore, the ministry of the Holy Spirit is not to accuse you but confirm to you who you now are in Christ. So, as you spend time in the Secret Place, you learn to walk and respond by the Spirit and not your natural man. Responding out of our natural man always creates problems and sows seeds for harvests we don’t want.
If we descend into the natural all goes wrong, but when we trust Him and abide beneath His shadow how blessed it is. Oh, the times I have experienced my helplessness and nothingness and casting my care upon Him have proved He careth.”
God wants you to know He cares about you and that He has good plans for you. As you abide in the Secret Place, we learn when we must leave the wrong environments and when we must endure a difficult season. All such decisions should be taken carefully by listening to the Holy Spirit and seeking the wisdom He richly gives. Many believers linger out of fear in a caustic spiritual and even natural environment that only seeks to kill the call and bring you into oppression.
Step back and look at the fruit.
Again, we must not act naturally or emotionally, or we will allow hurt to scar us and unforgiveness to hinder us. As you spend quality time with Him in the Secret Place, you discover your true value in Him and that you are called to be blessed to be a blessing. If we are walking in fear and in truth, more fearful of man than the Lord, then something is wrong.
Humble leaders are easily broken and demonstrate a life of being a Secret Place dweller.
“The strongholds f God are stronger than the strength of man and he never faileth to interpose on behalf of His own.”
True leaders are intercessors and those who interpose for the Sheep. They are not quick to judge, accuse and condemn but quick to stand in the gap for and stand up for the Sheep.
We seek His face, His approval, and His acceptance. He is the One who calls us, anoints us, and he is the One who opens the door. If we seek a man to open the door, we have missed it.
“There are some of us here that would be faint-hearted if we thought we had to be perfect to get the blessing with God… Our actions, our mind, covered by the blood of Jesus, and as we yield and yield we find ourselves in possession of another mind, even the mind of Christ, to cause us to understand the perfection of His will.”
The enemy wants to accuse you and convince you that you must be perfect before God can use you. Wrong leadership will use every mistake or their opinions of mistakes to discourage and control. But keep your mind and actions under the blood by how you respond towards such people. Pray for them! Bless them! Intercede for them! Give them honor as you should. Submission is a heart attitude. We walk submitted to men but obedient to God!
Remember, as Smith explained, that you stand secure by being established in Him in the Secret Place.
“You must be established in the fact that it is His life, not your. Faith in His Word, faith in His life; you are supplanted by another, you are disconnected from the earth, insulated by faith.”
Your strength is in the knowing that it is not by your might or your power but by His Spirit! Smith said:
Strengthened in the fact that God is doing the business, not you, you are in the plan, which God is working out.”
So keep your ears open to the Lord and walk abounding in the fruit on this earth. Don’t bow to the spirit of intimidation or control. Don’t let the world, your flesh or the devil steal your call. The call is without repentance. Pursue Him and trust Him.
“There is nothing in itself that can bring out that which God designs. What God intends is always a going on to perfection until we are like unto Him. It is an establishment of righteousness on His own Word.”
Finally, learn to be settled and unmoved. Don’t allow people or circumstances to constantly steal your joy or change your direction. Many believers can stand strong in the summer but, in the challenging seasons, become unstable.
What is it to be settled? A knowledge that I am in union with His will, that I am established in the knowledge of it, that day by day I am strengthened.”
“I live for His glory, that there be no withdrawal, no relinquishing, no looking back, but going on, on, on, for His glory now and forever, until as Enoch, we walk with God and are not, for God has taken us.”
Never get into a debate with a controller and manipulator. Seek good counsel and stay focused on Him in the Secret Place. There are places we must shake the dirt from our feet and places we claim the dirt as our home. No, going back, but always pressing on in holy fear!