Meditation Moments 96: "BIRTHDAY SERVICE"

         Someday I'll softly go
         Into the arms of Jesus
         He Who has loved me so.

         Toiling will all be ended
         Shadows will flee away
         Sorrows will be forgotten
         Oh what a wonderful day!

         Over the sunset mountains
         Heaven awaits for me
         And Jesus my Savior I'll see

I WANT TO GIVE YOU A TESTIMONY OF SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED TO ME. My heart has been so full of gratitude, I have been praising the Lord every day since it happened. I believe there's somebody who's really needing this testimony, I believe there's someone out there that God wants to have it because as I've prayed about this, He has laid it so definitely upon my heart.
IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY AND THEY WERE HAVING A SPECIAL SERVICE FOR ME IN THE PLACE, in the beautiful banquet rooms of the Villa Sweden where I had my Sunday services. So they were celebrating this particular Sunday and there was quite a group there, and nearly every place was filled. I was sitting at the speakers' tables, facing everyone when suddenly I found, as I went to reach for the cup of coffee to put it to my lips, that I couldn't move my right arm! I had had a stroke!
THERE I WAS, THE SPEAKER FOR THE OCCASION, AND A SPECIAL OCCASION, A BIRTHDAY PARTY, AND FRIENDS HAD COME IN FROM DIFFERENT POINTS AROUND THE COUNTRY AND NEARBY CITIES, AND HERE I WAS PARALYZED! Soon I found out that I couldn't move my tongue at all either. Well, I just quickly looked to the Lord. At first, of course I was tempted to have them take me out of there in some way, or motion for someone else to speak, but you know, I felt in my heart that God didn't mean this thing to be this way.
I FELT A DEEP ASSURANCE THAT IF I WOULD LAY HOLD OF GOD IN REAL FAITH AND UTTERLY TRUST HIM, THAT GOD WOULD BRING ME THROUGH and would glorify Himself, and that He would heal me, that He would let me give the testimony I had intended to give. -- Because that day I was going to give my life's story, of my wonderful healing so many years ago when I'd been an invalid for five years and God answered prayer -- quite a miracle! -- that launched me out into evangelistic work and set me free in God's service, the very thing that caused me to go into the Lord's definite service; and here I was being hindered in giving this testimony. I couldn't believe that that was what God wanted.
I SAID, "LORD, YOU BRING SOME OF YOUR PROMISES TO MIND THAT IN THIS CRISIS TIME I CAN STAND UPON, YOUR WORD. The first promise that came was, "Call upon Me in the day of trouble and I will deliver thee." -- Psa.81:7. So I said, "All right, Lord, I'm going to make it very definite." I believe in being definite when we deal with God. At a definite moment taking a definite stand and on a definite promise. So I said, "Well, I called, You said You would deliver. This is a day of trouble and You said that You would deliver. Now I'm going to trust You to deliver me." I felt my faith and my strength rising, and then I looked to the Lord. I said, "All right, that brings fresh faith, deeper assurance that Thou art in this."
I LOOKED FOR ANOTHER PROMISE, AND THIS ONE CAME: "WHEN THE ENEMY COMES IN LIKE A FLOOD, THE SPIRIT OF GOD RAISES A STANDARD AGAINST HIM." -- Isa.59:19. I said, "Well, Lord, the Enemy surely has come in like a flood, now I look to thee to raise a standard against Him, Lord, that's Your part of the contract, I'll do mine. Certainly, Lord, the Enemy has come in like a mighty flood and I stand upon this Lord and I believe You for it. I trust You that You'll raise a standard against him." And so my faith was mounting up on God's Word.
OH, HOW THE PROMISES OF GOD DO REFRESH US AND STRENGTHEN FAITH WHEN WE BELIEVE IT'S SO, BECAUSE GOD SAID SO. Then the next one came: "As they went they were healed." -- Luk.17:14. I thought that was a strange promise, because I couldn't go, I just wasn't able to move with that paralysis on my right side and unable to speak. I tried to life the coffee cup two or three times and put it to my lips. The first time I tried to do it, why I spilt the coffee all over my blouse, and friends sitting near me saw what happened and were so concerned and frightened for me.
BUT WHEN THAT VERSE CAME, I MADE THE EFFORT TO MOVE. You remember the man with the withered arm, Jesus told him to stretch forth his hand-arm. Well, he couldn't do it, but by faith he made the effort, he put forth the effort of a believing will and his arm stretched forth. And remember the man on the bed. Jesus said, "Take up thy bed and walk." Well, what a strange commandment when the man couldn't pick up his bed, he was on the bed as an invalid, and a very sick man. But he believed that he could if Christ said so, and so he made that effort of a believing will, and he took up his bed and walked!
SO WHEN THE LORD SAID THIS TO MY HEART, I MADE THE EFFORT AND MY RIGHT SIDE BECAME FREE, and I moved toward the microphone! Sort of a gasp of relief came from some friends around the table near me. Now I stood in front of the microphone and asked the Lord for another verse, and this verse came: "They overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of their testimony!" -- Rev.12:11. I said, "Well, Lord, I can't talk, my tongue is paralyzed. I've tried to speak and I can't speak."
AGAIN CAME THE VERSE, "THEY OVERCAME WITH THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB AND THE WORD OF THEIR TESTIMONY." I said, "All right, Lord, Jesus paid for it on Calvary. He paid for my liberty and He paid for my healing, and by His stripes we were healed, Thy Words says. So Lord, I take that which belongs to me, that was paid for on Calvary, and I claim Thy healing power. They overcame with the word of their testimony, so I will overcome by the Word of His testimony."
SO I BEGAN TO TRY TO SPEAK, BUT I JUST MADE SOME LITTLE GURGLING NOISES. It was so garbled, and friends said they thought something was the matter -- that strangers thought there was something the matter with the microphone -- but they knew that there was something that had happened to me, and perhaps a stroke. But I kept right on. In my mind I kept saying, "They overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of their testimony," so I'll give my testimony, Lord, and by that I will overcome.
DO YOU KNOW THAT MY TONGUE LOOSENED AND I BEGAN, AND I TALKED FOR A STRAIGHT 45 MINUTES WITH MORE POWER THAN I HAD SPOKEN WITH FOR YEARS, and with more unction that I'd had at any meeting up in those beautiful rooms where we had our "Upper Room Fellowship" meeting each week. The power of God seemed to come down upon my life and touch my tongue with a coal from off of the Altar, and I did overcome by the Word of our testimony, but mostly it was the precious blood of the Lamb, the price that Christ paid for that all things might be ours through Jesus.
IN FACT, JUST A DAY OR TWO BEFORE THIS, I'D GOTTEN THE FINAL REPORT THAT THERE WAS A MALIGNANCY IN MY BODY. I had known that there was something wrong and I'd gone just for a check-up. I trust God in all things, and always trust Him for my body, but I wanted to know fundamentally what was wrong. So I'd had this report and the doctor had engaged a bed in the hospital for me. Then this following Sunday, this stroke happened.
MY FAITH WAS SO LIFTED, SO ENCOURAGED BY HOW GOD MET ME, AND HOW HE SPOKE THROUGH ME AND HOW I WAS PERFECTLY DELIVERED there in front of that microphone and such wonderful results came from that meeting, that you know I started on a speaking tour for the Lord for four months, working for Him, and I had to live under the most rigorous circumstances sometimes.
I WENT BY FAITH BECAUSE I DIDN'T HAVE THE MEANS FOR SUCH A TRIP. I crossed the United States both ways twice, went across Canada to Montreal, down to Miami, and from Miami took a boat to the Abiconian Islands. I ministered in the Abiconians and in a leper colony there, and God wonderfully blessed!
TO THINK OF THAT! GOD HEALED MY COMPLETELY OF EVERYTHING ON THAT TRIP. I've often wondered who got my bed in the hospital. Now if God can do this for me, what can't He do for you?
HIS PROMISES ARE REAL, THEY'RE SO TRUE! GOD IS BEHIND EVERY ONE AND ALL THE POWER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH IS IN THE HANDS OF JESUS! God bless you and help you to have the faith to take hold of those promises. Jesus, bless each one. May faith be lifted, so strengthened, Lord, that they will reach out for the desire of their heart. Draw them to Thee with cords of love, and reveal Thyself afresh, we pray, Jesus. Thou was there when this happened, and Thou dost know it is true, Lord. That which You did for me, such a humble one, You can more than do for these that are reading. In Jesus' name, amen.

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family -- This file has not been proofread.