Smith Wigglesworth: The Apostle of Faith
"All things are possible, only believe." - Smith Wigglesworth
"Faith is the audacity that rejoices in the fact that God cannot break His own Word. Faith is not agitation; it is quiet confidence that God means what He says, and we act on His Word." - Smith Wigglesworth
Smith Wigglesworth was one of the most anointed men of God that lived in his time. So much so that he was given the title of "the apostle of faith". He walked in the presence of God which meant he did not want to do anything other than what God told him to, and by doing this, miracles followed him. God worked through him greatly. People who were born blind, deaf, crippled, and even people with cancer were healed by the mighty power of God through him. God even raised the dead through him.
Smith Wigglesworth was born into poverty in 1859 and was converted by Methodists at the age of eight. Even at a young age he was hungry for God, and his heart started beating for lost souls. This hunger grew in him and he began to search for God more and more, and the longing in him was not fulfilled until later on in his life. There are five key ingredients in Smith Wigglesworth's walk of faith and authority. They are the baptism of the Holy Spirit, boldness in God, obedience to God's word, humility before God, and intimacy with God.
Smith Wigglesworth was not born a legend but he was actually a man filled with insecurity. He was known to stand at the pulpit and preach no longer than two to three minutes without having a breakdown. He would start tearing up and someone else would have to finish his preaching for him. His wife Polly was actually the preacher in the family. Until the year 1907, this was when he was baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues.
When he was baptized in the Holy Spirit he claimed he was sanctified. Before this event he claimed he was baptized in the spirit but he didn't speak in tongues. He heard people in Sunderland were receiving the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues and he decided to go and see it with his own eyes. After visiting and seeing what was happening, a hunger grew in him to speak in tongues. For four days he sought after this gift and did not receive it yet. He then decided to head home but before leaving he wanted to say good-bye and stop by the vicarage. Mary Boddy, the vicar's wife, said, "Brother Wigglesworth, it is not the tongues you need but the Baptism. If you will allow God to baptize you, the other will be all right." He protested that he was already baptized, but Mary asked him if she could lay hands on him and pray for the baptism of the Holy Spirit anyways, he agreed.
After she did, she unexpectedly left the room, and the spirit immediately fell. This was Wigglesworth's reply, "The joy was so great that when I came to utter it my tongue failed, and I began to worship God in other tongues as the Spirit gave me utterance." When he got home Polly doubted what happened and told him that she was just as baptized in the spirit as he was, even though she didn't speak in tongues. And she told him that she has been the one preaching for years and he just sat beside her on the platform. Then she challenged him saying that the coming Sunday he will be the one to preach and said, "I'll see what there is in it." The next Sunday Smith Wigglesworth came before the congregation and what happened was shocking to his wife. He preached on Isaiah 61:1-3, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings..." When Polly heard his preaching she was startled and she said to God, "That's not my Smith, Lord, that's not my Smith!" Smith Spoke with so much authority and boldness and it was evident that the insecurity and fear was broken off him. After that preaching Polly was filled with the Holy Spirit. The ministry that her and her husband had led changed drastically. This preaching is what ignited Smith's preaching ministry that eventually took him around the world. It just shows how you can do so much on your own but with the baptism of the Holy Spirit you can do the impossible. Smith got rid of his fear of speaking in front of crowds and having a break down after two or three minutes of speaking before the congregation. He now knew that the power came from the HolySpirit and not him.
The baptism of the holy Spirit was key to Smith Wigglesworth's ministry and without it he would not be the same Smith that we read about in history.