Transformed By The Spirit’s Indwelling
During the early years of his work with the Uganda Mission, the translation of the Bible had made great progress in the hands of George Pilkington. The number of readers became so great that their eagerness for books could not be satisfied. These external results might have satisfied some missionaries, but they were not enough for him. The dearth of spiritual results was to him and his fellow missionaries a keen disappointment.
Pilkington was so much discouraged that he spoke of giving up missionary work altogether, unless some change took place. In this state of mind he went alone for a visit to the island of Kome, and it was there that he learned the great secret of the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, which transformed his whole life.
Speaking of this in 1896 he said: “If it had not been that God enabled me, after three years in the mission field, to accept by faith the gift of the Holy Spirit, I should have given up the work. I had consecrated myself hundreds of times, but I had not accepted God’s gift. I now saw that God commanded me to be filled with the Spirit. Then I read, ‘And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive,’ (Matt. 21:22). Claiming this promise, I received the Holy Spirit.”
Pilkington returned from Kome, and everyone noticed the wonderful change in him. Right away he began to conduct special services, and the power of God was upon him. A missionary who attended these services records: “December 9th. We have had another great day of spiritual blessing. At each service God was present, and souls were brought into union with Jesus Christ. December 10th. We are in the midst of a great spiritual revival. Our joy is beyond expression. After the morning service, fully 200 stayed to be spoken to, and I believe the majority went away rejoicing in the Lord.”
Pilkington said that the results of this revival were: “100,000 souls brought into close contact with the Gospel; twenty buildings raised by native Christians in which to worship God; 200 native evangelists and teachers entirely supported by the native church; the power of God shown by changed lives; and all this in the centre of the thickest spiritual darkness in the world.” In 1899 there were over 400 churches, more than 17,000 baptized members, and nearly 900 native workers. These were some of the results of one man being filled with the Holy Spirit.
– From Bulletin on Revival, South Africa.