Back in the 1960’s, a group of theologians made a statement that made headlines across the nation: “God is dead.” I had just given my life to Christ, and when I heard them say that, I thought, Who killed God? Who signed His death certificate? Who was so well acquainted with Him that they could identify His body? Why didn’t anybody call me, since I’m a member of His family?
Of course, we know God isn’t dead. He will never die. He is “the Alpha and the Omega … who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8 NIV). But if you should get discouraged and feel that maybe God isn’t in control of the world situation, as well as your personal circumstances, take comfort in these scriptures:
Psalm 89:8–9 & 11 NLT – Where is there anyone as mighty as you, Lord? You are the one who rules the oceans. Then their waves rise in fearful storms, you subdue them. The heavens are yours, and the earth is yours; everything in the world is yours – you created it all.
Hebrews 1:10, 12 AMP – You, Lord, did lay the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the works of Your hands … You remain the same, and Your years will never end nor come to failure.
Psalm 90:2 NLT – You are God, without beginning or end.
God isn’t dead! He is alive, and He cares what happens to you! He reigned yesterday… He reigns today… and He will reign forever!
From the archives of Oral Roberts
My home state, Oklahoma, was once known as the wildest of the Wild West. The story goes that one day a prospector came out of the Ozark mountains of eastern Oklahoma, rode down into a little country town, and hitched up his mule by a saloon. Some half-drunken cowboys came out of the saloon and upon seeing this old prospector, pulled out their six-guns and said, “Old man, have you ever danced?” He said, “No.” They said, “Well, you’re going to dance now.” And they began to unload their pistols at his feet. I tell you, he danced!
When he noticed that the cowboys had emptied their guns of all the bullets, he reached back toward the saddle on his mule, pulled out a double-barreled, sawed-off shotgun, walked over and laid the cold steel of that gun against the ear of the cowboys’ ringleader. He said, “Cowboy, have you ever kissed a mule?” The cowboy gulped and said, “No, but I’ve always wanted to.”
Sometimes I think the devil has his six-shooters out, trying to make God’s people dance to the tune of the world. The time has come, however, for us as God’s people to pull out our spiritual weapons, which, as the Apostle Paul wrote, are “mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds” (II Corinthians 10:4). It’s time we remind the devil that one day every knee ― including his own ― must bow to the Name of Jesus. (See Romans 14:11.)
I can remember when the joy of the Lord came upon Richard in a powerful way and his life was transformed. Many people had been praying for him at that time because he really needed a breakthrough. But being filled with the joy of the Lord was something I hadn’t yet experienced. I told the Lord, “You can do whatever You want with Richard, but count me out.” It’s not that I was skeptical…rebellious was a better word.
Week after week I’d sit in church watching people being filled with the joy of the Lord. I’d sit there saying, “Isn’t that great!” What I really meant was, Don’t get near me with that wacky stuff!
It was a while before I was filled with the joy of the Lord myself. The morning it happened, I fell over the front row pew where the pastor and his wife were sitting and rolled down the aisle, laughing hysterically all the way. I can remember saying, “This can’t be happening to me.” The Lord knew that there were things in my life that He had to break down, and He was using His joy to do it.
Maybe you’re like I was. Maybe you think that certain things of God are good for other people, but not for you. James 4:6–7 says, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God.
I believe there comes a time in all of our lives when we have to bypass our logical minds and our opinions and pray, “Lord, if You have something for me that I haven’t received yet, I ask You to break down all the barriers in my life and manifest it.” A prayer like that can open you up to God and transform your life.
The following Bible stories illustrate that the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit are necessary for us to accomplish God’s plan for our lives:
Before Saul became king of Israel, God told the prophet Samuel that he would meet a young man whom God had anointed to be king (1 Samuel 9:15–16). When Samuel met Saul, he anointed him with oil and began to prophesy, saying, The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy (1 Samuel 10:6 NKJV).
First Samuel 16 is the story of David and how he became the king of Israel. Jesse paraded his sons in front of Samuel, but when Samuel saw David, the Lord said, “This is the one; anoint him.” …Samuel…poured [oil] on David’s head. And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him from that day on (vv. 12–13 NLT).
When Elijah was being taken up to heaven, his mantle – which represented the Holy Spirit and his anointing – fell off. His young protégé, Elisha picked up the mantle and the Spirit of God came upon him (2 Kings 2:9-15).
The first time Jesus spoke in the synagogue after His baptism, He stood up and read, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me…” (Luke 4:18 NIV).
In each of these instances, the Spirit of the Lord came upon them. If Saul, David, Elijah, and even Jesus Himself needed the Holy Spirit, then how much more do we need the power of the Spirit of God to empower us?
If you’re a born-again believer, the Holy Spirit resides in you, and He brings the presence and power of Jesus to you so you can accomplish all that God has called you to do.
From the archives of Evelyn Roberts
One of the first things I heard Oral preach when he began the healing ministry was “God is a good God.” I’d never heard anyone say that before, and I asked him how he knew God was good. Oral said, “Evelyn, you know He’s a good God because He healed me from tuberculosis.” I knew that was true. And I’ve seen the Lord heal thousands of people through this ministry. The healing miracles are evidence that God is a good God.
Oral also said, “Evelyn, the Lord has saved you and me.” That was true too. God didn’t have to save us, but the Bible says that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). It is a good God who saves us!
These Bible verses also prove God is a good God:
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.” It’s a good God who came to give us not just ordinary life, but abundant life!
In James 1:17 NKJV we read, Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Everything good in our lives comes from our good God!
And Matthew 7:11 NKJV gives us these words of Jesus: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” God is a good God, and it is His nature to give good gifts!
Let’s praise God for the good gifts He has given us and the good things He has done for us. God is a good God!
From the archives of Oral Roberts – Third of three parts
To live a victorious life, recognize that the battle is the Lord’s. David didn’t go against the giant Goliath in his own strength. He said, “The Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:47 NKJV). David knew not to trust in himself, but to place his faith in God. The stones he chose for his slingshot were the tools for the battle, but the answer was in the Spirit of God dwelling in David. With faith released from his heart, he threw the stone, and God guided it to the forehead of the giant, killing him.
Every battle for right is the Lord’s battle. We can never win a battle by ourselves. The Bible says, The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds (II Corinthians 10:4 AMP).
Are you facing a battle? Maybe you’ve gotten a bad report from your doctor. You may have a loved one who is in trouble. Or your business may be having great difficulty. Whatever your battle, it can be won! Victory can be yours! Fortify your faith with these words:
The Lord is my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid? The Lord protects me from danger – so why should I tremble? When … my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will know no fear. Even if they attack me, I remain confident … For He will conceal me … when troubles come; He will hide me … Then I will hold my head high, above my enemies who surround me (Psalm 27:1–3,5&6 NLT).
From the archives of Oral Roberts – Second of three parts
Next, to be victorious in the battles of life, choose the right weapons. On that fateful night in the Garden of Gethsemane when Judas led the mob to take Christ, Simon Peter whipped out his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant. Jesus rebuked Peter and told him to put away his sword. Then He healed the servant’s ear (Matthew 26:50–52; Luke 22:49–51). Jesus was saying, “Peter, a sword is not the right weapon. If you live by force, some day someone’s greater force will destroy you.”
Using physical violence or physical retaliation is not the right weapon. Some people double up their fists to do battle; others fight with their tongues, which can wither an individual. But Jesus said, “If you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24 NKJV). According to God’s Word, even if we are not at fault, we are to go to the person battling us and be reconciled.
The weapons you choose to use should be among the nine gifts of the Spirit that Paul spoke of in 1 Corinthians 12. These gifts are the characteristics and actions of Jesus. They include the gift of the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, the gift of faith, the gift of healing, the working of miracles, the gift of prophecy, the discerning of spirits, the gift of tongues ― and you have access to them in a Spirit-filled life. They can be a balm for your life when satan is using people to attack you on all sides!
From the archives of Oral Roberts – First of three parts
Throughout our lives, we must learn to face each new day with confidence and faith that God is in control, that prayer changes things, and that faith works miracles. Yet at the same time, we should recognize also that we will encounter many battles. So how can we successfully defeat these forces that come against us?
First, learn to identify your enemy. The apostle Paul said, We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand (Ephesians 6:12–13).
Paul is saying that there are negative, evil forces that fill people with satanic power determined to destroy the good around them. He explains that your battle is not against “flesh and blood” – or against people. When people do things against you, they are not really battling against you as a person, but against what you are doing and what you represent as a Christian. You are not battling them, nor are they battling against you; it is the powers that control them that are battling.
You can’t go against these people by force or retaliation, but by the Holy Spirit within you. It is only the Spirit of God that can enable you to identify who your real enemies are and give you the power of God to overcome them. To be victorious, recognize that Jesus is the Strength of your existence, the Guide for your life, and the Power through which you can overcome.
Vantrice is a Partner who was saved through this ministry many years ago when she was an alcoholic. A friend gave her a copy of Oral’s book, Miracle of Seed-Faith, saying, “Here, read this – but it probably won’t do you any good.” Vantrice tried several times to throw the book in the trash, but each time something made her keep it. Finally she read it and got saved and was delivered from alcoholism. God totally transformed her life, and she now has a ministry to alcoholics.
Some time ago, Vantrice wrote me and said a “hit man” had come to see her. “He didn’t think God would accept him,” she wrote. “I told him the same thing Oral told me: Jesus loves you exactly as you are. Then I showed him that even the apostle Paul had been a murderer, a hit man, before his conversion. The man accepted Jesus as his Savior, and God turned his life around. Now he has nightly meetings at his house and shares his miraculous deliverance.”
If, like the hit man, you think God can’t love you or that He won’t accept you, believe God’s Word. It says, Neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus (Roman 8:38-39 NKJV).
If you’ve done anything to separate you from God, all you have to do is ask for His forgiveness. It doesn’t matter if you are a hit man, an alcoholic, or how you may have strayed off the path. God is merciful and forgiving, and He can meet you wherever you are and set you free.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (2 Corinthians 10:4).
What are strongholds? They are anything that comes against you that is unlike God and that gains a “strong hold” in your life.
Sin is a stronghold. Fear, depression, worry, dread, and heartache can be strongholds that the devil tries to put on your life. Illness and pain can be strongholds that get a grip on your life. Financial problems can put their talons into your life and become a stronghold. Anything that is unlike God can become a stronghold against you.
What does a stronghold do? It keeps you from experiencing the miracles and good things of this life that God has for you. A stronghold pulls you down, holds you back, and pins you against the wall.
The good news is that God has given us weapons of warfare to pull down these strongholds. Four of the most powerful weapons I know are these:
- Our faith – with which we believe God to act for good on our behalf.
- The Word of God – the Bible and all the promises of God within it.
- The power of prayer – that spans all distance and touches all manner of sickness, hurt, or trouble.
- And the seed planted in faith – from which God can grow a miracle harvest.
More good news is that each one of us has access to these weapons! They are ours to use against the devil and his strongholds. You have faith ― God said He has given you the Word of God ― read it and use it as your sword. (See Ephesians 6:17.) You have access to God through prayer. If you want someone to pray with you, you may call the ABUNDANT LIFE PRAYER GROUP (918) 495-7777. And, you have the ability to plant a seed according to God’s Word, for the Bible says that God has given seed to the sower. (See Isaiah 55:10.) There’s something you can do today.
Does something unlike God have a “strong hold” on your life today? Begin to use your God–given weapons of warfare!