Distance: 4.53 miles Time: 41’40”
Another early morning run after a fasting day.
At 35 minutes I suddenly ‘hit the wall’, just zero energy left, legs feeling like lead, could feel myself getting slower and slower, just nothing I could do.
I suppose it was just down to the fact that my body had run out of ‘fuel’. I pushed through and continued to the end; but a tough run.
Knowing when you have run out of fuel is a vital element of self-knowledge in the spiritual life too.
I remember reading about Smith Wrigglesworth, a Pentecostal preacher in the early 20th century, who had a powerful healing ministry.
After he had preached people would come forward and he would pray for them. So great were the crowds that this took a long time.
At one service he had preached and then prayed for people for hours and he was exhausted. Then a woman came and asked him to pray for her.
He refused her, saying that all the anointing of God’s Spirit upon him was gone and that if he were to pray for her now “It would only be in the natural”.
He knew himself well enough to know when he was spiritually empty and he would not continue beyond that point.
Smith Wrigglesworth recounts a further story which demonstrates the same point;
I know a man who was full of the Holy Ghost and would preach only when he knew that he was mightily unctionized by the power of God. He was asked to preach at a Methodist church. He was staying at the minister’s house and he said, “You go on to church and I will follow.” The place was packed with people and this man did not turn up and the Methodist minister, becoming anxious, sent his little girl to inquire why he did not come.
As she came to the bedroom door she heard him crying out three times, “I will not go.”
She went back and reported that she heard the man say three times that he would not go.
The minister was troubled about it, but almost immediately after this the man came in, and, as he preached that night, the power of God was tremendously manifested.
The preacher asked him, “Why did you tell my daughter that you were not coming?” He answered, “I know when I am filled. I am an ordinary man and I told the Lord that I dared not go and would not go until He gave me a fresh filling of the Spirit. The moment the glory filled me and overflowed I came to the meeting.”
There is deep wisdom here.
- The self-knowledge that understands and accepts our human limitations.
- The refusal to minister out of any other power than that of the power of God.
- The spiritual sensitivity to know when God’s power fills us and when it doesn’t.
I am an ordinary man
and I told the Lord
that I dared not go
and would not go
until He gave me a fresh filling of the Spirit.
This is the place that I need to get to.
 Smith Wrigglesworth, ‘Ever Increasing Faith’, Springfield, Missouri: Gospel Publishing House, 1924, Chp 13