There’s an old saying which states behind every good man there is a good woman. Now that may or may not be strictly true, but let me suggest that behind every saint that has dared to believe GOD and attempt great things for Him, there are others that have gone before and helped inspire them to do just that.
For example, Joshua had Moses and Elisha had Elijah. In both these cases it could be argued that the students were more successful than their masters. May we too, humbly learn at the feet of great saints in our day, so that we may accomplish the “greater works” Jesus said we would do as disciples of the Most High GOD.
Here is a list of the saints that have most impacted my life. I hope it will help inspire those who have never read these giants of faith and galvanise them into action for GOD. The lessons of these saints have stayed with me through the years. In each case I can point to life changing breakthroughs which occurred as a direct result of reading their works. These disciples will change your life if you allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you through their examples, and I still return to their books (especially Watchman Nee) to this day.
I remember reading of Smith Wigglesworth when only a young believer of twenty years old, and how glorious were the pages as they turned. They were like curtains being opened into another world entirely in which heaven became part of earth. What astounded me most was that the man through whom Jesus did incredible works, such as raising the dead, healing the blind and crippled and destroying cancer was a humble English plumber, who could not even read!
A plumber from Bradford in Yorkshire, Smith Wigglesworth was later taught by his wife Polly to read. After he had learned, we then get some insight as to why Smith held such astonishing authority in the realm of healing…he said he never went more than FIFTEEN MINUTES during waking hours without opening his New Testament and reading a small portion. No wonder his spiritual man was so strong that it could cast out devils and raise the dead because he was feeding on the bread of life all day long!
Biggest impact Smith Wigglesworth had on me?
- Baptism in the Holy Spirit
- How faith actually works
- The fact that GOD wants to use ORDINARY people to do His miracles like you and I
Favourite book by Smith Wigglesworth: Ever Increasing Faith (1924 version)
It is difficult to describe just how deeply reading the life of Rees Howells affected me. Many people do not even know who this great man of GOD was, especially here in Britain and yet it is a direct result of Rees Howells and his intercessors in the Bible College of Wales that the catastrophic Nazi of invasion of Britain was averted.
However, it was not his work in the Bible College that really arrested me. Most of all it was his amazing consecration and how the Holy Spirit led him to total surrender and a life of unquestioned obedience to the leading of GOD. Can you imagine fasting for weeks on end, yet still working ten hour plus shifts digging coal deep in the mines of Wales because GOD wanted him to fast and pray?
How to be led by the Holy Spirit, faith, healing the sick, believing GOD for supernatural financial provision, raising the dead, mission work, and above ALL… how to PRAY, so that results are as natural as breathing, surging forth from the wellspring of deep, deep communion with GOD are what you will learn from this precious life.
I warn you though, this is one of those books where in almost every chapter GOD will challenge you to surrender all and consecrate yourself in holy abandonment to let Jesus be in absolute charge of your life. It’s one of those books you never want to stop, yet is one of the most challenging books I have ever read. Later I went to Wales in the area that Rees Howells lived on the side of the Black Mountain… awe inspiring, like the precious life of this dear saint.
Rees Howells most impacted me regarding…
- How GOD calls a man and what it costs, yet the astonishing rewards for answering
- How to intercede and gain different levels of authority in the spirit over the enemy
Rees Howells Intercessor Just read it!
It was noted that the room in which Praying Hyde prayed had deep grooves in the floorboards where he knelt night after night (often the whole night through) in prayer, which evidenced this wonderful saints tenacity in spiritual warfare, prayer and intercession. It was Praying Hyde that formed the Punjabi Prayer Union, which then brought about the amazing Revival that swept the Punjab and Northern India, beginning in Sialkot.
This was then to go on and even impact the Welsh Revival too, such was the force of this man and the steely determination he and his prayer partners exhibited in prayer. I have been to this part of the the Punjab which is now in Pakistan and preached to descendents of those revival Christians his prayers brought to Jesus. Oh, that new “Praying Hydes” would arise in Pakistan to push back the forces of Islam that threaten to swallow up this remnant community of Christians.
Praying Hyde most impacted me…
- By revealing the power of prayer at night
- By his love for his family
- By revealing how GOD taught him that you could ask for and expect specific, direct answers to prayer, but you had to be specific and that was the way that you could build faith, small answer upon answer, which then inspired you to ask bigger in future.
- By showing that nothing was impossible if you would only believe, and AGREE in prayer with one or two other like minded saints.
Book I read: Praying Hyde by Francis McGaw (can get it in Amazon at the moment for £1.10)
From the moment I began this book I was transported to the heat and dust of the Punjab and the story of this humble man of GOD has gripped my heart ever since. Perhaps it is also because Sundar Singh came from a Sikh background to Christianity, that I identify with him so deeply because my mother was a Sikh too.
Cast out and even poisoned by his own family for his new faith, as a boy Sundar had to leave home with absolutely nothing and no one else to rely upon except for Christ Himself. However, the supernatural hand of GOD that guided, sustained and empowered him was to lead him into an astonishing life of mission and miracles, albeit at a terrible cost that few could bear.
Called “the Saint of the bleeding feet” because even in winter he sometimes went barefoot into the Himalayas to share the Gospel only clothed with the simplest of garments. He was last seen walking up into Tibet on a missionary journey from which he never returned, wrapped only in his orange “sadhu” sheet for protection, almost looking as if he were a Hindu holy man, yet… through him shone the Holy One of Israel, Jesus Christ in clothed in Indian skin so that Indians could receive the love of GOD without fearing it as a Western religion of colonial masters.
What I learned most from Sundar Singh:
- How GOD will take up all those abandoned to Him
- How to speak and commune with GOD and hear Jesus 24/7
- How to reply on the supernatural intervention of GOD
- The absolute reality of the unseen realm all around us
- How being alone with GOD for long periods means you will never be lonely
Book I read: Sadhu Sundar Singh
John G Lake
Extraordinary is just the beginning, here is the story of a man whose father’s family had seen such terrible suffering due to death and disease, then Jesus stepped in. So began an astounding revelation and ministry that continues to touch lives today.
In John’s own words…
“No one could understand the tremendous hold that the revelation of Jesus as a present day healer took on my life, and what it meant to me, unless they understood my environment.
I was one of sixteen children. Our parents were strong, vigorous, healthy people. My mother died at the age of seventy-five, and my father still lives and is seventy-seven.
Before my knowledge and experience of the Lord as our healer we buried eight members of the family. A strange train of sickness, resulting in death, had followed the family, and for thirty-two years some member of the family was an invalid. The home was never without the shadow of sickness during all this long period.
When I think back over my boyhood and young manhood there comes to my mid remembrances like a nightmare of sickness, doctors, nurses, hospitals, hearses, funerals, graveyards and tombstones, a sorrowing household, broken hearted mother and grief-stricken father, struggling to forget the sorrows of the past in order to assist the living members of the family, who needed their love and care.”
To see how John overcome such a torrid inheritance from the pit of hell through Jesus read his life story. You won’t regret it.
You will see the astounding authority that GOD gave to him over sickness, sin and demons. Powerful, but in a beautiful way that moves you to tears because you see the beauty of Jesus in this extraordinary life, consecrated for GOD.
What I learned most from John G.Lake’s Life…
- How to have absolute authority in Christ over Satan, sin and the demonic
- How Jesus longs to live in UNION with the believer and demonstrate His power in him
- The compassion of Jesus in this kind man who had suffered much but loved much
- How one man consecrated to GOD can inspire so many to trust the Almighty
Recommended Books (first link is a free PDF)…
Including this brother may prove controversial but there you go. For those that don’t like him, fine, don’t read about him, but before you start casting stones I would ask you some questions..
- How many churches that have over 200,000 people attend every Sunday have you planted?
- How many 24/7 all night prayer mountains have you built?
- How many countries prosperity and blessing have the Churches that you have planted have had a direct correlation with the economic miracle that resulted, driven primarily by prayer, in the same way that Yoido Church South has with the economy of South Korea?
- How many documented miracles and healings have the Church you planted got records of?
- How many souls has your ministry saved? At the present time, Yonggi Cho’s Church in Yoido is the largest in the world with estimates asserting a membership of one million souls.
Considering he started with five members in 1958 and nothing but the word of GOD and no backing whatsoever, he has not done badly. Is your ministry saving souls?
No, Yonggi Cho’s life has been a blessing to me, all the way from his salvation from Buddhism to a disciple of Jesus Christ and his miraculous healing by GOD of terminal tuberculosis which jump started his amazing story, to the amazing amount of souls coming to Jesus in South Korea. (Sixty years ago there were about 50,000 Christians in South Korea. Today it’s more than 10 million, and almost one-in-ten were baptized in the Yoido Full Gospel Church.)
I see a servant of GOD, whose ministry has almost single handedly turned back the tide of Godlessness, darkness and poverty that faced South Korea. Yes, there may be controversy but at least this brother DID SOMETHING with the calling GOD gave him. We can all sit and pick holes in anyone we choose, but at least this saint got up and got souls saved. That will count for a lot on Judgement Day.
What I learned from Yonggi Cho…
- The spiritual realm is real
- You can affect the spiritual realm by faith and applying the Gospel of Jesus Christ
- The power of home groups to affect whole communities and build strong churches
- The power of prayer and fasting to touch GOD because of Yoido Church Prayer Mountain
My favourite book…
Here we are then at the last saint on the list, and I really don’t want to say “I have saved the best until the last” but I am sorely tempted to. If you were to ask which of all the saints above had affected me most and given me the deepest revelation and insights into how to walk closely and intimately as a disciple of Jesus Christ then I would have to say hands down, Watchman Nee.
His works have profoundly affected me at the very deepest level. Sanctification, discipleship, deliverance, the authority and union of the believer with Christ, how to discern and defeat the powers of darkness, and above all the power of the Cross and Blood of Jesus Christ have all been opened up to me by the Holy Spirit through the work of this blessed servant of GOD.
It is impossible to weigh how valuable Watchman Nee’s teachings have been in my life.
If it is meat that you want, with no nonsense and practical Holy Spirit led teaching that will profoundly change you and your character for good, then start reading Watchman Nee’s works now. They are quite obscure, stupidly cheap and quite honestly some of the biggest bargains you are likely to pick up this side of heaven.
What I learned most from Watchman Nee:
- How to walk in union with Christ
- How to make Jesus your everything
- How to overcome sin through the power of the Cross
- What true sanctification is and how you can walk in it every day
- How to walk in holiness every single day of your life
- How to discern what is happening in the spiritual realm and how demons work
- How to know what GOD wants you to do and how to know when He does not want you doing something
- The difference between the soul, spirit and body and their relationship with GOD
Christ The Sum Of All Spiritual Things
The Spiritual Man
(Awesome, read The Spiritual Man at 20 years old, could not understand a word of it—yet after 35 years old it was if the Holy Spirit opened the entire thing to me from that point on).
Well there we go then…
I hope this overview of the great saints that have influenced my life will inspire you. Perhaps you have great Christians who have spurred you on to great things too. If so, please share them and we can build a resource of blessing to help us all run the race for His glory!