Nothing seemed spiritual. Temperatures were hot, and mosquitoes swarmed throughout the air. The chairs were uncomfortable. This was “BIG Sunday” in the middle of Zaire, and more than a thousand people packed the room. Believers from several villages had joined together to celebrate, worship, and baptize new converts.
That day, Brad Hill, a missionary from Evangelical Covenant Church, found himself seated at the front. When the service began, he had few expectations. Brad later recounted that, as “drops of perspiration rolled down into my eyes, down my nose,” he watched those who’d been baptized give their testimonies and sing songs.
Two hours into the service, the native pastor began to give his message. Speaking in a dialect Brad did not understand, the pastor preached on and on, and the service stretched into its third hour. Finally, the pastor invited people to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. “In these horrendous circumstances,” Brad thought, “nobody could possibly have heard any life-changing word.”
Then a woman “struggled to her feet, crying” and came forward. Soon a man began to move forward, and more responded. Brad eventually found himself “surrounded by people of all kinds,” all wanting to receive Jesus.
Then he felt the overwhelming conviction of the Holy Spirit, realizing how he had been dominated by the uncomfortable conditions. Brad admitted to himself, “I was the one who had hardened myself against the Word.”
He stood along with the new converts, tears in his eyes, convicted, cleansed, and renewed by the Spirit. He had witnessed how the Word “is living and active” (Hebrews 4:12) and how it acts like a hammer, able to penetrate hearts in any condition.
Today, don’t let circumstances dominate your life. Remember the power of the Word. Don’t limit God. Dare to believe!