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Carrying the Cross

During a televised meeting of several thousand people one year in Anaheim, California, I was under conviction that I really didn’t understand much about ministry, or even how to preach. But that night, the Lord taught me a little bit about how His power can flow through any yielded vessel.

In the middle of my sermon, God interrupted me and directed my attention to a man dressed in blue jeans who had come down to the front of the auditorium. He had prostrated himself in front of the platform and was talking to God.

I quickly recognized the man on the floor as Arthur Blessitt, who had become well known for walking across the United States and around the world, carrying a ninety-pound, twelve-foot cross. At the time of this meeting in Anaheim, he had already walked more than twenty-one thousand miles, and today that number is more than forty-one thousand miles. Arthur’s life is one long testimony to the reality of living amazed.

I have walked the streets of major cities with Arthur, and I have seen total strangers begin to tremble and drop to their knees within three minutes after Arthur has started talking to them. This has included men in business suits and others who looked like gang members—it didn’t matter. Once Arthur started talking to them, it was as if the power of God fell on them from heaven.

I’ve been with Arthur in restaurants where he has ministered to one of the waiters, and then had several other waiters follow us out to the street to ask Arthur what he had just told the other waiter, because they had seen a supernatural move of God. And I’ve heard testimonies about the time in 1986 when Arthur and his son Joshua carried the cross into the middle of Johannesburg, South Africa, sat down in Oppenheimer Park, and began to pray. Almost immediately, and for the next seven days, people came up to Arthur to pray and be prayed for—and hundreds of people were saved, and others were healed of various disabilities. Some of these people were ones Arthur prayed for, but others were healed just by walking by, and later came up to Arthur to tell him what had happened.

After an amazing week in Johannesburg, Arthur repeated his fast in Durban and then in Cape Town, and many more people were saved and healed.

When people ask me why God would do such miraculous works through Arthur Blessitt and not through other dedicated and seemingly gifted people, I tell them a few things I’ve learned through my experiences.

Lesson one is that we don’t have to understand everything. The Spirit moves where He will, and we don’t always know why He chooses one vessel or another. He’s certainly not dealing with perfect people, and that’s why we don’t exalt individuals. None of us is perfect. Only God is perfect. So we’re not gathering around Arthur Blessitt or Billy Graham or James Robison or anyone else. We’re gathering around almighty God—and God alone. When we talk about living amazed, the amazing part of that equation is God—what He does with you and me; what we’ve seen Him do with others. We need to stop being amazed at the paltry gifts of our fellow men and women and turn our eyes to the all-surpassing power, wisdom, and grace of God.

I’ve also learned the value of relationships, and how vulnerable we are if we become isolated from the body of Christ. It is only in close, committed fellowship with other mature believers that we are able to discern and assess what God is doing in our lives. Alone, we lack perspective and true wisdom, and we become prone to discouragement, deception, and being drawn away.

Finally, I’ve learned that God’s blessing and anointing don’t insulate us from attacks by the enemy—all the temptations, doubts, and distractions he throws at us. We need to put on the full armor of God, and in His strength stand firm against the wiles of the devil.

On the night when we were together in Anaheim, Arthur Blessitt, the same man who had seen God work miracles all over the world, was in need of a miracle of his own. He later told me, “You will never know how much, at that very moment, I needed to be ministered to.” We all need Jesus to minister to us in our hearts. He uses other people—the members of His body—to touch us, love us, and heal us.

As I turned my attention to Arthur that night, somehow every burden, every pain, every heartache, every moment of loneliness that had ever passed through his mind and person came onto me, and I felt the weight of it as I began to minister to him. It was a powerful and unifying experience.

This was all being televised nationally on TBN, and the cameras zeroed in on Arthur, who was lying prostrate on the floor. As I began to pray for him, hundreds of people started coming forward, and people were falling on their faces before God all over the auditorium. It was unbelievable.

The next afternoon, Arthur and I returned to the empty auditorium to record some TV interviews for later broadcast. As we were sitting together at the front of the room, near the platform, people began drifting into the building and were listening to our interviews.

At one point, Arthur stopped and asked a few of them where they were from. When they said they were from all over the state of California, Arthur said, “Well, what are you doing here?”

“We just drove in,” said one couple, “because last night we were watching on television and the Spirit of the Lord fell here.”

“It certainly did,” Arthur replied. “What was your experience at home?”

“We fell on the floor of our living room in the presence of God.”

Another couple said, “The same thing happened to us, and we just had to come. We couldn’t stay away.”

Over the next twenty-four hours, the testimonies started coming in from tens of thousands of people who had been lying on the floor at home in front of the television, praying with Arthur and for Arthur.

May we all find ourselves prostrate in spirit in our hearts. And may we be God’s instruments to touch the lives of all the people around us with His love.

Living AmazedExcerpted from Living Amazed by James Robison. Copyright ©2016 by James Robison

Published by Revell, a Division of Baker Publishing Group

To order Living Amazed by James Robison, go to Livingamazedbook.com

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About James Robison 

James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International. He co-hosts the daily television program LIFE TODAY with his wife, Betty. Since entering public ministry in the 1960s, James has spoken to more than 20 million people in several hundred city-wide evangelistic outreaches and has personally inspired religious, political and social leaders across five decades.

For more from James, please visit his website at jamesrobison.com.


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