Some years ago, our family was staying on the seventeenth floor of a hotel in California when at 4:57 in the morning we were suddenly jolted out of our beds by a massive earthquake. Lamps crashed to the floor, and the walls shook violently. The windows rattled, and the floor rolled back and forth as the building swayed and shuddered uncontrollably. I could hear people screaming in the hallways. As Lindsay and I rushed to our children, the devil spoke to my mind and said, “The top floors are going to come crashing down on you, and you’re all going to die.”
But the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and reminded me that I was called to preach in forty nations. At that time, I’d only preached in seven, and He assured me, “You’re not going to die now in an earthquake.” I spoke that word out loud to Lindsay, and all of a sudden the room stopped shaking. Everything stopped rattling and rolling, and there was a calm. We went back to sleep, and the next morning we went to church and preached.
Out of that experience I learned about overcoming the shake, rattle, and roll of life. First, when things come to shake you, they come to cause doubt. Doubt tries to creep into everyone’s life—it’s no respector of persons. Satan is always going to try to shake something in our lives because he has an assignment against us. John 10:10 says, The thief cometh not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I [Jesus] am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
We don’t have to be shaken! We can stand strong in our faith in our times of shaking, because greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world! (See I John 4:4.)
Jesus gave us two impossibles¾maybe more¾but two in particular. First, He said that it is impossible but that offenses will come (see Matthew 18:7). He meant that we’re going to offend somebody, or somebody is going to offend us.
The second impossible Jesus mentioned is that unless we forgive, we cannot be forgiven (see Matthew 6:14,15). Unless I forgive someone else for what they’ve done to me, I cannot be forgiven for what I have done to them or others. Two impossibles.
There is something about offending someone or living in the strain of that offense and being unforgiven that is evidently too heavy for a human being to bear. It throws us off balance.
I remember once when our oldest granddaughter Brenda, who was ten at the time, came to spend the night with Evelyn and me. But her usual joy of visiting was not present. Then her mother, our daughter Rebecca, called, and we heard Brenda say, “Mommy, I’m sorry too.” Then, “Mommy, I want you to forgive me too.” Apparently, they’d had a dispute. After that conversation, Brenda relaxed, and we were able to have the marvelous time we always had when our grandchildren visited.
We are affected by forgiveness¾whether we have it or we don’t have it. I believe we should forgive and plant that forgiveness as a seed of faith. Whether anyone ever forgives us or not, we are to forgive. That’s what Christ did on the Cross. While the soldiers were killing Him, He said, Father, forgive them (Luke 23:34).
Forgiveness is one of the greatest seeds of faith you’ll ever plant because God can multiply it back to you. Through forgiving, you also can be forgiven.
In Amos 3:7 the Bible tells us, Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. And recently I believe God did just that when He revealed a “wake-up” vision to my dad of what He’s about to do in the earth.
God is sending us signs—or wake-up calls—as His Word said He would: I [God] will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke…before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And…whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Acts 2:19-21 NIV). God wants us to be prepared for Jesus’ coming!
Through His vision to my dad, God is giving us an opportunity not only to know what’s coming so we can be prepared personally and in our own families, but also so we can help wake up others and lead them to salvation and eternity with the Lord. He told us in 2 Peter 3:9 that He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
The following is just a small portion of what God revealed in a vision to His servant Oral Roberts. I encourage you to read and pour into your heart this important message of love from God.
Oral: In the midst of the turmoil, the fear, the anxiety that’s in our nation and in our world, I heard the voice of God. I’ve heard that voice many times, and there’s no way I can fail to understand that it’s His voice because I’m familiar with it.
I heard it, and then I saw with my eyes something I’d never seen. Suddenly in the clouds in the skies above New York City and the eastern part of the United States, I saw something which hung there for quite some time. Then it spread out across America without touching the ground. And then God defused it and moved it away from America.
What did I see? I saw something coming down from above: smoke and vapor and blood, or it looked like that to my spiritual eyes. There it was, hanging so huge until it almost blotted out the sky.
Instantly I thought about 9/11, when terrorists attacked the United States. I remembered the fear that struck my heart, and I knew that this was a preview of things similar to it that were going to happen.
Now in my vision I saw this thing hovering and great changes coming to where I couldn’t miss it. And then I heard…the sound coming into my ears penetrated my whole being.
When Oral and I married on Christmas Day, 1938, I knew I was marrying someone called to the ministry. But at the time, I never dreamed that he would take God’s healing message across the nation and around the world. And because Oral obeyed God’s call on his life, we’ve spent a lot of time apart during our marriage.
The longest moments of my life have been those when Oral was not with me. When he conducted his tent crusades across the country, he was often gone from the family for three weeks at a time. I can remember thinking as I drove him to the airport to leave for his first crusade, Goodbye, Oral. I’ll probably be doing this the rest of my life.
When Oral was home, it always meant twice as much work for me—more cooking, more straightening up around the house—but I loved having him home, and there seemed to be a peace in our home when he was there.
Keeping Love Alive
I believe a marriage is worth your attention, and it’s the little things you do that can help build up a marriage. Oral and I liked to raid the refrigerator before bedtime, and the late night snacks were usually the time for heart-to-heart talks about our future, the children, and just being in love. Over a glass of cornbread and milk we grew closer.
Our marriage is probably no different than most couples’. Through the years we’ve been married, there have been some rough spots, but we always worked hard to keep our love alive.
We were criticized for traveling by plane to see each other during the long crusades. When a friend suggested that the money spent on plane fares could be used for a better cause, Oral was quick to reply, “You can’t put a price on love!” To us, love is priceless.
Oral dearly loves his family, but I’ve always known that his love for Jesus is even greater than his love for me or the children. That deep, spiritual love doesn’t make us jealous, because Oral’s love for Jesus makes his love for us all the more sacred.
I’ve never been sorry that I married Oral Roberts. There were many lonely hours when he was away, but always our hearts were together in unity and love that transcended the miles. Over the years we’ve learned that there is no distance in love.
RC: No, I entered many pageants. My first pageant when I was 16 years old and I got third runnerup in a county fair queen pageant, you know, where you put the ribbons on the cows, you know, and the pigs, that pageant. But I got third runnerup.
LR: Start right at the top.
RC: And I entered again and I got third runnerup again, second year in a row. The first year I entered Miss Illinois National Teenager, I was so excited for this pageant, a whole weekend, you know, for that. And my father, I remember in the talent, I got my eyes off the Lord. I wasn’t centered on the Lord that weekend, and my father came over before I did my talent and said, “You know, have you prayed?” “Yeah, yeah, I prayed,” you know. It was just kind of like I was there and got caught up in all the pageant activity. And I messed up my talent. I forgot eight measures of it and just stood there and smiled. So that was the first year I entered. I got in the top 15, but I knew I had failed the Lord. I hadn’t done what He wanted me to. took your eyes off of Him.
RC: That’s right, that’s exactly right. So when I entered the second year, my goal was to be a winner in the Lord, not to win the National Miss Illinois, but to keep Him first and to be a witness for Him at that pageant. And when I went with that attitude, it wasn’t as much the competition, it was just the chance–we had prayer backstage with evening gowns, girls took hands and prayed, and I was, you know, “Who’s going to pray? Well, Rhonda, why don’t you pray?” And we prayed before we went out on stage, and it was so exciting the change. And something, my Miss Illinois National Teenager director, Martha Smith, said was, “Everyone has a crown in their heart.” It’s a crown that God has given us and we have to keep that polished. It’s not the external crown. I mean, we see the glory for the outside. But it’s what we are inside, and that’s an encouragement to the teenagers especially, that you have a crown in your heart and you need to keep that polished. Because it’s by actions, as we know. It’s not by our words. But when the teenagers see a difference, they want to know. Then they want to know why.
The bookstores of America are filled with books dealing with leadership, yet I believe we have fewer true leaders right now than at any time in our history. If God is calling you to be a leader, there are important character traits to develop.
I went to a leadership clinic not long ago, and the question was proposed, “What is a leader?”
One man said, “A leader is someone who can articulate his vision powerfully and forcefully.”
I said, “What about Moses? Moses was a man of such poor speech that God gave him somebody to talk for him.”
Another man said, “He’s a man of purity. He’s a man of holiness.”
I replied, “What about David? He was convicted of conspiracy
to commit murder, and he was an adulterer.”
I just wasn’t satisfied with those definitions of leadership. My definition of a leader is simple: someone who can get somebody else to follow him or her.
Now, there are righteous leaders, as in the case of Moses, and there are unrighteous leaders, as in the case of Hitler. Both were powerful leaders, one for the Prince of Light, and the other for the prince of darkness. But I believe there are specific traits a godly leader should possess in order to lead others in this end-time spiritual battle.
Focuses on one purpose
St. Paul said, This one thing I do…I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God (Philippians 3:13-14 KJV). Jesus said, “I only do the will of My Father” (John 8:28).
Godly leaders don’t try to do everything. They know that all they need to do is one thing—what God has called them to do—and do it well. God’s call is specific, and as we walk in it, He empowers us with His supernatural authority.
Endures the heat
The three Hebrew young men were told to bow before a statue of Nebuchadnezzar or be thrown in the fiery furnace. They refused, saying, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace” (Daniel 3:17 KJV).
At some point in our lives, God may allow us to be put in a furnace—a trial by fire—to see what we’re made of. If we have any quit in us, that’s when it will come out. But if we have the ability to endure the heat, as the Hebrew young men did, I believe God can use us in ways we never dreamed.
Responds with the mind of God
I believe God wants His leaders to be able to function under fire, and to be rooted in the Word of God to such a degree that even in the worst of times, the mind of God will be their first response.
When Moses and his people were escaping Egyptian slavery, Moses didn’t have time to call a committee meeting. Even as Pharaoh and his chariots were racing to kill them, Moses stood firm on the bank of the Red Sea and said, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord” (Exodus 14:13 KJV).
Moses had the ability, under fire, to see the mind of God for his people, and through his faith, God worked a miracle that allowed them to cross to the other side.
Leaves the past in the past
Paul said, “Forgetting those things which are behind me, I reach ahead” (Philippians 3:13). Paul had a lot to forget: he had sent Christians to prison, many of whom were later killed. In fact, he personally supervised the murder of Stephen, the first martyr.
I believe our success or failure in reaching the destiny God has for us is often based on our capacity to forget the past and to move confidently forward. God said, “Your sin and iniquity I will remember no more” (Hebrews 8:12). If God can forget our past, we can forget it too.
God is looking for leaders, young and old, who can lead others
in the good fight of faith. I believe as we develop the traits of a godly leader that God’s Word reveals, God will go before us and make the impossible possible in Him.
And the Lord gave me a word of knowledge that there was someone who was crippled in the crowd. I didn’t know that a young man of about twenty, by the name of Abdul, was there. I didn’t know that he couldn’t walk. I didn’t know that he crawled along the ground, pulling himself along. I didn’t know that his parents carried him to the post office each day to beg for money. I didn’t know that he’d never taken a step in his life, and I certainly didn’t know that everyone in town knew him, and he was known as the beggar of Jos. All I knew was, God gave me a word of knowledge, “someone crippled in their legs is being healed right now, rise up and come forward.”
Well, I gave that word, as I often do, and I may do something like that on this program in a moment. And when I gave it, I began to give other words, as God gave me utterance. Pretty soon I saw the crowd begin to part, and they began to cheer, and a young man was walking. He looked normal to me. Pretty soon he made his way to the platform, and came up, and began to run and jump.
Then, “Making room for the miraculous.” How do you make room for a miracle in your life? I’ll share that with you. And also, “How the Holy Spirit’s role is enacted,” and “How you pray in the Spirit,” how you pray in the Spirit and interpret back to you mind, as Paul taught the Corinthians. “Pulling down the miracle that you need from heaven,” and “What are the obstacles to healing, and how you overcome them.” I share all that in this book. And “How to look to the Lord of the harvest for your miracle.” There’s a powerful prayer of confession. There are healing scriptures. I hope you’ll get this book, He’s a Healing Jesus. Also, the different healing points of contact that we use, like this prayer cloth; you saw that spot about it a moment ago. This prayer cloth is your point of contact against cancer and incurable diseases. I’ve written Acts 19:11 on it. It’s yours; all you need to do is make contact with us.
If you have your Bible, turn over to John 9, and while you’re turning, let me just remind you folks in the West Palm Beach, FL area that on Saturday morning, March 24th, I’m gonna have a powerful partners meeting in West Palm Beach. That’s Saturday morning, March 24th. I’ve had more requests lately to lay hands on people. I’ll share a story about that in a minute, but it’s gonna be a personal time; a very up close and personal time. I want to wrap my arms around you, and pray, and believe God for a miracle in your life. So, if you’re in the West Palm Beach area, mark that down, there’s the information on the screen; March 24th, that’s a Saturday morning. I can hardly wait to get there on the 24th of March.
Richard Roberts: So, here’s what I’m asking you to pray about. I’m asking you to pray about sowing a special seed. We’ve not yet reached our goal of the additional two hundred thousand. I still want to give you an opportunity, and we’re only now a matter of a couple of weeks away from the crusade. Will you pray about being one of two hundred people to sow a thousand dollars? Or, would you sow five hundred, or would you sow a hundred, or would you sow fifty, or whatever the Lord laid on your heart? And would you do it quickly? And I set my faith with you in Jesus’ name that God will use it mightily for His glory, and then multiply it back to you in exactly the way you need it. Lindsay, the Bible says, “Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over.” And that’s the kind of harvest that I am expecting for every one of you that sows. Now, the number to call is 918-495-7777. There you see the prayer partners right there. You can give the card right…the gift right there over the telephone, or you can go online at oralroberts.com, or you can write Richard and Lindsay Roberts, Tulsa, OK; if you live in Canada, Toronto, ON.
LR: And don’t forget about your needs when you call. Ask the Abundant Life Prayer Partners to pray for you.
RR: It’s a praying machine up there Lindsay.
LR: I’ll tell you what, they’re days I just come in there and stand, and just absorb.
RR: I’ve seen her do it.
LR: I’m serious. I’m not kidding. And I want to encourage you, don’t just sow seed. Aim that seed against the need that you’re facing. And as you give them that need, whatever it is that you’re facing, believe that the seed that you’re sowing…God, as He promised, multiplies back, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. Begin to believe that, expect it, and then ask the prayer partners to go into agreement with you for that. 918-495-7777. I believe they will be a blessing to you.
RR: And as you’re calling right now, here are Jordan and Adrian to sing. Let’s give them a welcome.
JR: But, for somebody in Honduras, you know, living in an impoverished situation, this is something that is near and dear to them because they’ve never had it, and they’ve never had an opportunity to read it for themselves. They may have had an opportunity to go to church and hear the Word spoken, and that’s great…but maybe not. Maybe they’ve never had that, but they certainly have never had this Word in their home for themselves, to read and to learn.
AC: That’s right.
JR: And to me that’s very, very special.
AC: Jordan, right here it says, “I vita en Jesus.” That’s the very first thing they’ll see when they open up that package. And right there it says, “There is life in Jesus.” There is life in Jesus for Honduras, and all of Central America, all of the world. There’s life in Jesus for you tonight.
And so, we pray tonight that God will convict your heart that you can go with us by sending your seed, by touching a life for Jesus Christ.
Richard Roberts: Praise God. Would the two of you get ready to sing, and while they’re getting ready, let me just…
LR: Notice he didn’t say, “Will the three of us get ready to sing?” Every time, he leaves me out of…
RR: Lindsay, would you like to go over and sing with Jordan?
LR: I would love to.
RR: Are you going to?
RR: You’re not?
LR: Spare you right? That was the first massive act of kindness that you’ve had for me right this split second today. I did something wonderful for you by not singing, and you don’t even know how special that is. Thank you very much.
RR: Well, we had to make a little change in the schedule this week, and we had something planned with the family which we’ve had to postpone because of this special trip for…
LR: Very special family occasion.