On April14, 1865, after President Abraham Lincoln had been shot, thousands of people wandered aimlessly through the streets of Washington. They were like lost children, waiting for someone to tell them what to do. In the middle of the confusion and tears, a man stood on the steps of the U.S. Capitol and proclaimed, “God reigns, and the government at Washington still lives!” That calmed everyone down, and soon they all headed home.
When something bad happens, whether to our nation or in our personal lives, many of us are tempted to act like those people did—wring our hands and worry and wonder what to do. The problem looms so large in our minds that we can’t see beyond it. But if in the midst of our problem we proclaim God as Lord and King of our lives, we can see things in better perspective. The problem doesn’t just disappear into thin air. But when we remind ourselves that God is King in every situation, things are never quite as bad as they seem at the moment.
Because God reigns, life can and will go on.
Everything in the heavens and earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything (1 Chronicles 29:11 TLB).
From the archives of Evelyn Roberts
“Come, follow me,” Jesus said. — Matthew 4-19 NIV
Years ago I attended a retreat, and during the devotions-in-motion portion, our leader asked us to find a partner, close our eyes, and let our partner lead us around the room while we sang, “Where He Leads Me I Will Follow.”
My partner was a dear lady who began to lead me around the room as I sang. I was following with my eyes tightly closed when I began to realize that the room was full of people who were doing the same thing we were doing. Fear gripped me. I thought, What if I run into someone or trip over someone’s foot? Then it hit me. Sometimes I doubt Jesus’ leading in the same way. I prayed, “Lord, do I fear following You this much? Do I not trust You to lead me the right way?
“Where He leads me, I will follow. I’ll go with Him all the way,” came wafting across the room. Tears were streaming down my face by that time. I was having my own battle right in the midst of the service. My guide sensed something was wrong, so she stopped. “Evelyn,” she said, “when I was legally blind, I took hold of a person’s arm like this to be led.” Legally blind! I had no idea she’d ever been legally blind. No wonder she was so sensitive to my moves and my spirit. It was as if Jesus were saying to me, “Oh, yes, Evelyn. You can trust Me! I even chose the right person to be your partner.”
As I took my guide’s arm and followed her, my confidence began to return. “Yes, Lord,” I said. “I am now free to follow You without fear. I may bump into problems along the way, but I have hold of Your everlasting arm, and I’m leaning on it!”
From the archives of Oral Roberts – Third of three parts
When Peter and John returned to their company of believers and they began to lift their voices to God with one accord, they prayed: “And now, Lord, behold their threatening: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of your holy child Jesus” (Acts 4:29˗30).
This was not a prayer of retreat. This was not a group that wanted timid leaders. This was a group that cried out to God, “Lord, don’t let us lose our boldness! Give our leaders boldness! Let bold preaching continue. Let miracles continue!”
When threats are coming against you…when you are starting to feel afraid…that’s when you need to pray for boldness and the supernatural power of God in your life.
The Bible tells what happened when they prayed: “The place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul… Neither was there any among them that lacked” (Acts 4:31˗32, 34).
Many people haven’t encountered the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, but I tell you, there is a baptism of the Holy Ghost with signs and wonders… with speaking in tongues and interpretation…with the infusion of divine power that’ll shake your life and the enemy’s life, too.
Boldness returned in the presence of the threats. A new oneness in the faith was established. And, God completely supplied the needs of the believers. Not only did God take the sting out of the threats, God gave His people boldness and peace among themselves and total provision for their needs.
Isn’t that the way you want to live? You can — as you overcome the enemy’s threats against you by refusing to give in to them, by calling upon people of faith to pray with you and agree with you, and by asking God for boldness and the power of the Holy Spirit in your life.
From the archives of Oral Roberts – Second of three parts
After Peter and John were threatened and then released by the religious leaders who had commanded them never to speak in the Name of Jesus again, Peter and John went immediately “to their own company” (Acts 4:23). In other words, they went back to their fellow Christians who believed like they believed, and they told them what had happened. And the Bible says, the people immediately “lifted up their voice to God with one accord” (Acts 4:24).
Is the enemy threatening your life today? Then, go to the people of God. Don’t go to your critics or to nonbelievers. Don’t go to those who would discourage your witness for Jesus. Go to people of faith who are filled with God’s Spirit!
Peter and John went to a group of people who had come out of the founding of the Christian Church on the Day of Pentecost. They were people who believed in the supernatural intervention of God. If you are being threatened by the devil today, make a decision, “I’m not going to make contact with somebody who denies God. I’m going to seek out people who believe and who can add their faith to mine.”
Richard and I are proud to stand with you today as men who are anointed by the Holy Spirit to pray with you and to agree with you that God will meet your need. We’ll stand in faith with you. We’ll pray! Take action against the threats of the devil against your life. Call the Abundant Life Prayer Group and say, “This is the threat that is coming against my life. Please pray with me for God’s deliverance.” Do it now and believe God to act in your circumstances!
(The Abundant Life Prayer Group – (918) 495-7777)
From the archives of Oral Roberts – First of three parts
Are you being threatened by something today? Is your back to the wall so that you’re about to give up hope? Do the odds seem insurmountable?
The disciples of Jesus knew this feeling. In Acts 3 and 4, we read how Peter and John had gone to the Temple to pray and on their way they met a man who was begging for alms. Peter had said to this man, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee; In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6). As Peter took this man by the right hand and lifted him up, by faith, the man began to ask what had happened. Peter used that opportunity to preach the Gospel.
While Peter was preaching, the priests and leaders of the Temple came and put Peter and John in prison. The next day, Peter stood to preach before these religious leaders, and after he had finished, the Bible says that the priests and rulers and elders and scribes marveled and “took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).
When you’ve “been with Jesus,” there is a boldness that comes on your life. You’ll get the attention of those who don’t know Him like you do. These religious leaders didn’t know what to do because they couldn’t deny the miracle that had taken place, and so they said, “Let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus” (Acts 4:17˗18).
How did Peter and John answer them? They said, “We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).
Friend, the devil comes to threaten your life for one main reason: to get you to stop talking about Jesus. What must our response always be to those who threaten our lives because of the Gospel? “We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard!”
In the hills of Kentucky there was a coal mining town where the houses were built so close together that one family could sit on their front porch and carry on a conversation with the family next door. The families of this town were also no strangers to hard times, since layoffs could occur at the mine at any time.
Bright and early one morning the wives of two laid-off workers who lived alongside each other sat on their porches, each with a large pile of mending. One woman said to the other, “What are you mending?”
“I’m sewing patches on my husband’s pants,” the woman said. “He’s been worrying and fretting so much since he’s been off that he has completely worn out the seat of his pants.”
“It’s interesting you should say that,” the other woman said. “Since my husband has been laid off he’s been out searching for any odd jobs he can find. When he’s home, he spends time down on his knees in prayer! Now, I’m sewing patches on the knees of his pants. But because of his prayers, I believe we’re going to make it!”
Prayer is powerful. James 5:16 says, The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
In one instance, when the disciples were gathered together praying, the building where they were gathered literally shook and there was a mighty move of the Spirit of God (see Acts 4:31). I believe that when we pray, the devil’s world begins to shake and tremble because our prayers are dangerous to his kingdom! Let’s begin to pray without ceasing, as the Bible tells us to do in 1Thessalonians 5:17, and see what miracles God can do.
From the archives of Oral Roberts
We can learn a lot about the power of not giving up from studying the Old Testament. For example, in I Kings 18:42˗44 AMP, we find the prophet Elijah on the top of Mount Carmel, praying for rain. There had been a terrible drought in the land for 3 1/2 years, and Elijah knew that it would take a great rain to alter the suffering and affliction that had come upon the land because of it.
After praying for a while, Elijah told his servants, Go up now, look toward the sea (v.43). The servant went up, looked around, and reported back to Elijah that he saw nothing. Continuing to pray, Elijah told him, “Go again.” The prophet sent his servant back not once, not twice, but seven times! Elijah’s persistence paid off. The seventh time, the servant reported, A cloud as small as a man’s hand is arising out of the sea (v.44). And the next verse says, In a little while, the heavens were black with windswept clouds, and there was a great rain.
Many times in our lives we go through droughts of one kind or another. Perhaps we’re hurting for a financial breakthrough, a healing, or a restored relationship. We’ve prayed about it, but the report is the same – “I see nothing; there’s no change.”
Let Elijah’s refusal to give up encourage you to do the same. The Word of the Lord says, “Go again, and again, and again.” In spite of what the circumstances may look like, hold on in faith and keep believing until you get the breakthrough you’re looking for.
My father-in-law, Oral, once told me a story about a woman who wanted to attend one of his healing crusades. She didn’t live in the city where the crusade was going to be held, and she didn’t have the money to make the trip. It was her heart’s desire to see Oral Roberts. She wasn’t sick, and she didn’t need a miracle. She just wanted to shake his hand. Her friends knew how much she wanted to attend the crusade, so they purchased a bus ticket for her.
She took the bus to the crusade, attended the meetings, and returned home. Her friends asked, “Did you see Oral Roberts?”
“No,” she replied.
“Did you meet Oral Roberts?”
“No,” she answered.
“Well, did you even go to the crusade?”
“Yes,” she told them, “but I never saw Oral Roberts.”
Her friends were confused. She had attended the crusade, but she hadn’t seen Oral? How could that be? Her friends wanted to know. She told them, “That man held Jesus so high that I never saw him for seeing Jesus!”
One of the most powerful witnesses for Christ is a lifestyle which so reflects Jesus that people don’t see you and your shortcomings; they see only Him. The word Christian means “little Christ.” We’re to act like God and talk like God (see Colossians 3:12˗14 & 2 Peter 3:11). Even our faces should be mirrors reflecting His glory (see 2 Corinthians 3:18). We should live in such a way that people can’t see us for seeing Jesus in us. When that happens, lives can be touched and changed.
Has something bad ever happened to you that shook you to the core of your being? When John the Baptist was arrested by King Herod and thrown into prison, John’s faith was shaken to its core. As he lay in a filthy jail cell, waiting to die, doubt began to creep in. He became discouraged and disillusioned and began to question what he believed about the Lord.
So John sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you really the one we are waiting for [the Messiah], or shall we keep on looking” (Matthew 11:3 TLB)? John needed fresh evidence for his faith. He was crying out, “Jesus, are You the Messiah, or am I going through all of this for nothing?”
Jesus sent the message back, “Go and tell John…The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them” (vv. 4˗5 NKJV). He was saying, “John, just keep on believing because I’m the real thing!”
When John asked Jesus for fresh evidence for his faith, the Lord began to tell him about the miracles. Why? Because a miracle settles the issue! A miracle gives us evidence that Jesus’ power is real and that He can do something about our situation. John was going back to the basics of his faith. And right in the middle of his jail cell, Jesus gave him fresh evidence to help overcome the trials he was facing.
When we encounter a detour in life, when we’re down and hurting, it’s important for us to go back to the basics of our faith. All of us need fresh evidence for our faith at some point in our lives. We serve a God who is real, and He stands ready to give us the fresh evidence we need to face each new day with overcoming faith and victory.
From the archives of Oral Roberts
The mother of little Moses raised him up to a certain age, until the daughter of Pharaoh took him, and he became the son of Pharaoh, heir to the kingdom and the future Pharaoh, in a land that knew not God, but enslaved some two million people of the Lord.
If the people looked to the right or to the left, there were the taskmasters. Every door was closed; every entry was shut. There is no doubt in my mind that every one of us, from time to time, has felt that very feeling. No matter where we look, there is no way out.
But, you know, faith does not recognize the impediments, nor the walls, nor the opposition. Faith looks up to God — the limitless God, the incomparable God, the God who scooped out the bed for the oceans, who flung the stars from His fingertips, who sculpted the mountains, and hung the stars in space.
Faith looks up and over the opposition and sees there is a way out. Faith believes that God is alive in the now. Faith believes He’s alive; right by your side, in your heart, in your spirit. Faith believes that God can do it, even if you haven’t believed it yet. So get hold of a little faith in your heart. You don’t have to have a whole lot; just a little bit will enable you to walk on the water.
Faith is the power through which you believe God. You turn your attention away from the world and look to God.
Hebrews 11:27 says that Moses saw “Him who was invisible.” Fifteen hundred years before Jesus was born, Moses saw Jesus. He had a vision of the coming of the Messiah. He penetrated the black darkness of the fall of man, and saw that glimmering light begin to emerge in the far distance, until the stature of Christ was in his view. And seeing Him, Moses could choose the imperishable. He looked at Egypt’s wealth and at the suffering of God’s people and said, “I’d rather suffer with them than have all the riches of Egypt.”
By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land; which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned (Hebrews 11:29). By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days (Hebrews 11:30).
And Moses led the two million slaves out of Egypt, across the howling wilderness to the Promised Land. By faith, by faith—Moses did the impossible.