J.O. Fraser was a great man of God used in the China Inland Mission as a missionary. Here is an account of his early on in his missionary work before a great outpouring of conviction and revival on the people in China where he was stationed.
A strange and sinister shadow fell over James's whole spiritual life. He was perplexed, and found himself in deepening gloom. At first he put it down to his isolation: a sense of lonelness engulfed him from time to time, but he knew it was not that. Then he wondered if it was the poor food: rice and vegetables made a seriously deficient diet. But it was not due to poor food; he was used to that. He looked out on the curtains of mist and rain and wondered if the depression was their doing. But gradually he became aware of an influence more far-reaching and soul-destroying than these physical discomforts. He was assailed by deep and treacherous doubts. Yea, *hath* God said? The question came to him again and again, as clearly as it came at the dawn of time.
Your prayers are not being answered, are they? No one wants to hear your message. The few who first believed have gone back, haven't they. You see, it doesn't work. You should never have stayed in this area on such a fool's errand. You've been in Chine five years and there's not much to show for it, is there? You thought you were called to be a missionary. It was pure imagination. You'd better leave it all, go back and admit it was a big mistake.
Day after day and night after night he wrestled with doubt and suicidal despair. Suicidal? Not once, but several times he stared over the dark ravine into the abyss. Why not end it all? The powers of darkness had him isolated; if they could get him now they could but an end to the work. The rain fell steadily. The hut was something of a quagmire even though Old Five repeatedly tried to stuff branches into the roof. But one day when the clouds were at their darkest, some letters arrived from Tengyueh, brought up the mountain by a weary, bedraggled runner. James opened the letters carefully, lest he should tear the wet pages. One of the envelopes from England contained a copy of *The Overcomer*, a magazine he had not heard of before. He settled down to read it, rain dripping on all sides.
"I read it over and over -- that number of *The Overcomer*. What it showed me was that [b]deliverance from the power of the evil one comes through a definite resistance on the ground of the Cross[/b]. "I am an engineer and believe in things working. I want to see them work. I had found that much of the spirital teaching one hears does not seem to work. My apprehension at any rate of other aspects of truth had broken down.
"The passive side of leaving everything to the Lord Jesus as our life, while blessedly true, was not all that was needed just then. Definite resistance on the ground of the Cross was what brought me light. For I found that it worked.
"I felt like a man perishing of thirst, to whom some beautiful, clear cold water had begun to flow. People will tell you, after a helpful meeting perhaps, that such and such a truth is the secret of victory. No: we need different truths at different times. 'Look to the Lord,' some will say. 'Resist the devil,' is also Scripture (James 4:7). And I found it worked!
"That cloud of depression dispersed. I found that I could have victory in the spiritual realm whenever I wanted it. The Lord Himself resisted the devil vocally; 'Get thee behind me, Satan!' I, in humble dependence on Him, did the same. I talked to Satan at that time, using the promises of Scripture as weapons. And they worked. Right hen, the terrible oppression began to pass away. One had to learn, gradually, how to use the new-found weapon of resistance. I had so much to learn! It seemed as if God was saying, 'You are crying to me to do a big work in Lisu; I am wanted to do a big work in you yourself.'"
James was never able fully to put into words just how much that little magazine meant to him at that time. The long dark night in that poor hovel in the mountains ended in the dawn of victory. He was led in the *train of His triumph:* a triumph finished and complete. The victory was, of course, a spiritual one. The outward circumstances were the same as before. The people of Little River were still not interested.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon