Written by Kenneth Copeland
One of my heroes of faith is Smith Wigglesworth, an early 20th-century healing evangelist from England.
Mr. Wigglesworth was perhaps one of the boldest men of faith ever to walk this earth. But he wasn’t always that way.
Being raised in a poor family, and forced to work hard-labor jobs from the time he was six years old, Mr. Wigglesworth had no formal education and didn’t learn to read until he was an adult.
He became a plumber by trade, and a successful one. But when he married a woman who was called to preach, Mr. Wigglesworth soon came face-to-face with the calling of God that was on his life as well – a calling which he did everything he could to avoid.
You see, Smith Wigglesworth was extremely introverted, and very embarrassed of his lack of education.
When he first entered public ministry with his wife, Mr. Wigglesworth was scared out of his wits just to stand on a platform and say his name. When he read scripture out loud, he would stutter and stumble through the reading. Afterward, he would say, “If anyone has anything to say, let them say it now – I’m done.” Then he would walk off the platform and sit down. His wife usually ended up doing the preaching.
Nonetheless, deep in the heart of this stuttering introvert was great conviction and passion for God. Mr. Wigglesworth absolutely refused to let the sun go down without his having witnessed to and won at least one soul to Jesus each day.
So where was all that boldness for which Mr. Wigglesworth became so well known?
Well, when Mrs. Wigglesworth passed away, she left her husband after having done all she knew to do to get him to yield to the call of God on his life. But he just would not give in to it – at least, not while she was around to do the preaching. So before she died, she made an agreement with the Lord that she would go on to heaven in order to get Smith in the will of God. But even that almost didn’t work.
On the day Mr. Wigglesworth’s wife died, he prayed for her to be raised from the dead…and she was.
“You’re not leaving me!” he told her when she came back to life. “What will I do?”
“Smith, you are going to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ!” she said. “I’m leaving now do the will of God!”
Then she laid her head down on the pillow and left.
Once she was gone, Mr. Wigglesworth repented and repented and repented and repented, and finally accepted his call.
But that was only the beginning. The real change in Smith Wigglesworth did not come until he started getting up every day at 4 a.m. to take Communion.
Like clockwork, every day he would begin the day remembering his covenant with Almighty God by taking the bread and the cup. Every day, he lived under the influence of that covenant. And every day, he became more and more bold – until, finally, he became one of the boldest men of God in history.