He sat there deep in thought as he watched his three children playing. The fourth baby was sleeping in his little cot. Something was troubling him, but he was not a man to talk about his struggles. As he looked at his children he was saying under his breath, “I am not a bad father! I love my children and want the best for them. A deep struggle was going on in his heart. Why was this missionary struggling so much?
A few days earlier a well-meaning friend had visited him. As the missionary shared some of the details of the mission field, the man suddenly said to him, “Martin, you are a responsible father. You have to think about your children now. Look at all the opportunity they would have if you stay home. They would get a better education and they would not be put in the many dangers the mission field presents. Do the responsible thing and take a pastorate here at home.” Sometimes the devil speaks through friends.
This began a deep struggle in the heart of Martin. Again and again he could hear the words of that friend saying, “You are a responsible father…”. Was going back to the African mission field being irresponsible? Martin began contemplating abandoning his calling to be “a responsible father” but he just could not shake the calling of God on his life. The struggle continued in his heart for days until that one service.
Martin was invited to preach in his home church that morning. As he stood up to preach, the glory of God came upon him. When he had finished his message, the Holy Spirit was manifesting on him powerfully. He left the service quickly because he just could not talk to people in his state. He walked across the market place crying then laughing then crying again not able to walk straight. He was drunk in the Holy Spirit. He said later “I am sure people were saying, ‘What is wrong with that man’.” That encounter with God brought total clarity. He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was going to take care of his children. Martin and his wife, Hilde, went back to Africa and were on the field for 39 years. Many of the completely unreached tribes of Kenya were reached with the Gospel because God used them. All of their children love God and three of Martin’s sons followed in his footsteps.
An encounter with God changes everything!
These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams’. Acts 2:15-17 (NIV)