Walter Lewis Wilson, medical doctor and Christian, agonized over his fruitless efforts at witnessing. One day in 1913, a French missionary visiting in the Wilson home asked the doctor, “Who is the Holy Spirit to you?”
Wilson replied, “One of the Persons of the Godhead … Teacher, Guide, Third Person of the Trinity.” The friend challenged Wilson: “You haven’t answered my question.” To this Wilson replied sadly: “He is nothing to me. I have no contact with Him and could get along quite well without Him.”
The next year, on January 14, 1914, Wilson heard a sermon by James M. Gray, Reformed Episcopal clergyman and later president of Moody Bible Institute. Speaking from Romans 12:1, Gray leaned over the pulpit and said, “Have you noticed that this verse does not tell us to whom we should give our bodies? It is not the Lord Jesus. He has His own body. It is not the Father. He remains on His throne. Another has come to earth without a body. God gives you the indescribable honor of presenting your bodies to the Holy Spirit, to be His dwelling place on earth.”
Wilson returned home and fell on the carpet. There in the quiet of that late hour, he said, “My Lord, I have treated You like a servant. When I wanted You I called for You. Now I give You this body from my head to my feet. I give you my hands, my limbs, my eyes and lips, my brain. You may send this body to Africa, or lay it on a bed with cancer. It is your body from this moment on.”
The next morning, two ladies came to Wilson’s office selling advertising. He promptly led both to Christ, and that was the beginning of a life of evangelistic fruitfulness. Wilson later founded Central Bible Church in Kansas City, Flagstaff Indian Mission, Calvary Bible College, and he wrote the bestselling Romance of a Doctor’s Visits. “With regard to my own experience with the Holy Spirit, the transformation in my life on January 14, 1914, was much greater than the change that took place when I was saved December 21, 1896.”
Dear friends, God is good. So I beg you to offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing. That’s the most sensible way to serve God. Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him. (Romans 12:1-2)
Robert J. Morgan, On This Day: 265 Amazing and Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs & Heroes, electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000, c1997). Jan. 14.