From the archives of Evelyn Roberts – Second of four parts
Temptations aren’t always temptations to do something bad. Sometimes they are temptations to choose a path that is second-best.
During the time after Oral had come to Texas and had proposed to me, and before we were married, I had two opportunities to marry other men. One of them drove from north Texas down to south Texas where I was teaching just to ask me to marry him. We had dated some in the past, and when he asked me to marry him, I said, “You’re a fine man and I admire you very much. We’ve had good times when we’ve gone out together, but I can’t marry you. I’m in love with another person, and I’m going to marry him and we’re going into the ministry.” He tried his best to tell me what a terrible life I’d have as a minister’s wife. And then a second man came along and offered me the privilege of marrying him and living on a wonderful large farm that his family had in Texas. I said, “No, thank you. I’m going to marry Oral and we’ll do what God tells us to do.”
Now, both of these men were fine young men. They had bright futures ahead of them. But, they weren’t God’s BEST plan for me.
At the same time, Oral was experiencing a similar thing in Oklahoma. A young woman who was very talented musically offered to sing with Oral at his evangelistic meetings, as a pretext for being close to him. One day she actually said to him, “That girl in Texas is not for you. I’m the one God has called to be your wife. I have the talent to really help you in your ministry.”
Each one of these people―even though they were Christian―was an adversary that came against Oral and me. They were temptations to keep us from following God’s BEST plan for us. No matter how much fun or wealth a temptation holds… no matter how right it may seem on the surface… continue to hold fast to God’s word to you. Don’t miss the best plan that God has for you and the door that He is opening.
From the archives of Evelyn Roberts – First of four parts
The Apostle Paul once wrote to the Corinthians: “For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries” (I Corinthians 16:9). This verse says to me that for every one of God’s great opportunities, the devil has an adversary he will attempt to put in our way to keep us from doing God’s will. Sometimes that adversary comes in the form of circumstances.
When I was a girl my parents were saved, and shortly thereafter, they decided to move from Missouri to Oklahoma so they could put their children in a Christian school and attend a church where the power of the Lord was real. I believe that was a vital part of God’s plan for my life. He knew that there, in Oklahoma, a young man was growing up who was going to have an impact on this world for God, and that I was to be his wife.
Circumstances, however, seemed to keep us apart. I first met Oral when I was 19 years old and had taught school for a year. We were at a church camp meeting and the minute I laid my eyes on Oral, the Lord spoke in my heart that he was going to be my husband. The Lord, however, didn’t speak anything to Oral’s heart at that time! After the camp meeting, he went home to southern Oklahoma, and I returned to my home in northern Oklahoma.
At the end of the summer, our church conference sent Oral’s parents to pastor in my little hometown. But, by that time, I had already gone to Texas to resume teaching!
I couldn’t see any way that Oral and I were ever going to meet again, much less begin to date. But, the Lord had a way. The people in my hometown started telling Oral about a girl named Evelyn, and Oral liked what he heard. He sent me a little book he had written. I responded with a thank-you letter. We began to write to one another. And in September of 1938, Oral made a trip with his mother down to Texas to meet me. We were together one weekend and he proposed, I accepted, and three months later we were married.
Are you in a situation today where you believe the Lord is opening a great door of opportunity for what God has planned for you, but circumstances seem to be working against you? Stand firm in your faith. Keep believing God. When God opens a door of opportunity for you, He will also provide a way through the adversary of circumstances!
From the archives of Oral Roberts
Luke 7:16 has a tiny verse that caught my attention one day. It says God hath visited his people. I believe the Lord wants to invade each of our lives and visit us individually and personally. Everything begins with an idea. And I believe God wants to enlarge our vision and give us creative abilities ― ideas, concepts, and insights ― that can change our lives and give us power to accomplish His will.
When the Lord first invaded my life and told me to take His healing power to my generation and someday build Him a university based on His authority and the Holy Spirit, I didn’t have the faith to believe I could do what He was calling me to do. That was a huge calling, and I knew that it would take a lot of faith to see it accomplished. But I felt as though I didn’t have any faith. I would believe one day, but the next day I would be overcome with doubts.
I’d been reading the New Testament over and over, and one day God spoke to my spirit and said, “Don’t you remember in Roman 12:3 where I said, “I have given to every man the measure of faith?”And I remembered! He continued, “Faith is not something you have to get; it is something you already have!”
Suddenly, I realized if I already had the faith I needed, I could do what God had called me to do. It’s the same for you. If you have the faith that God has already given you a measure of, then you can do everything God is leading you to do.
From the archives of Oral Roberts
What moves God to action? Contrary to what many people think, it isn’t our prayers. Prayer moves you and prayer moves me, but it is faith that moves God.
Prayer gets us into faith. Once I prayed in the Prayer Tower for seven hours before I felt faith being released out of my heart. Sometimes I can pray for just a few seconds and feel that faith is coming forth. It’s not a matter of how long or how short we pray, but that we pray until we experience faith moving in us and out of us toward God.
Prayer aims our faith. Paul taught that in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God (Philippians 4:6). You might say, “Doesn’t God already know my needs?” Yes, He does. Matthew 6:8 says that God knows our needs before we even ask Him. If He knows our needs, then why do we need to make our requests known to Him? So we can aim our faith precisely at our needs.
Jesus once asked a blind man, “What do you want Me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51 NKJV). Jesus and everyone else around could see that the man, Bartimaeus, was blind, yet Jesus asked, “What do you want Me to do for you?” He asked the question so Bartimaeus would focus his faith precisely on what he wanted from the Lord. Bartimaeus replied, “[Lord], that I may receive my sight.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.”And immediately he received his sight (vv.51–52).
What do you desire of the Lord? Pray until you feel faith rising up in you. Pray specifically and aim your faith precisely, because it is your faith that moves God.
I believe God is an “if-then” God. If we do our part, then God does His part. When Jesus died on the Cross to save us, He said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). There was nothing else that needed to be done… on His part. However, God doesn’t just stretch out His hand and say, “Poof! Now you’re saved.” Salvation comes by faith. If we repent of our sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, then we receive His salvation.
Also, in 2 Chronicles 7:14 God says, If my people … shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Clearly, we have a part to play in whether or not we receive the blessings of God.
“Is this some magic formula?” you ask. “If I do this, then I can make God do that?” No. I’m talking about God’s Word. And, according to Jeremiah 1:12 NASB, God watches over His Word to perform it. When we do what the Bible says, God is reminded of His promise to watch over His word and perform it in our lives.
When I pray, I love to remind God of what He said in His Word. I may say, “God, do You remember that You said if I’d bring my tithes into the storehouse, You would open the windows of heaven and pour me out a blessing so great there would not be room enough to receive it?” I can just imagine God smiling and saying, “Yes, I remember. And I keep My promises.” We often find our windows of blessing shut because we don’t do what the Bible says. But God says if we obey His commands and believe His promises, then He will fulfill His Word.
Some people think of God as an old man sitting on a throne up in heaven with a big stick in His hand, just waiting for us to make a mistake so He can whip us. But that’s not the God I know. The God I know is not a condemning God. He is not against us. He is for us. And He loves us. God showed how much He loves us when He sent His only Son to the Cross to save us.
Memorize John 3:16–17 today. It says: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Write those words on your heart, because they can help you know God better.
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.