Birthday Service

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Greetings! This is Meditation Moments, and we say again, the dear Lord bless you and may He use your life, making you a real blessing.

I want to give you a testimony of something that happened to me recently. My heart has been so full of gratitude, I have been praising the Lord every day since it happened. I believe there’s somebody that’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 particular broadcast, 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 that particular Sunday and there was quite a group there, and nearly every place was filled. I was sitting at the speaker’s table, 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, a special occasion, a birthday party, and friends had come in from different points around the country, nearby cities, and here I was paralyzed. Then soon I found that I couldn’t move my tongue at all either. 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 I was going to give that day 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 in God’s service, the very thing that caused me to go into the Lord’s definite service. And here I was to be hindered in giving this testimony. I couldn’t believe that that was what God wanted.

So I looked up to Him and I said, “Lord, You bring some of Your promises to mind. I don’t want to try to think up any promises. I want You to present them to me from Your Word, promises, Lord, that I can in this crisis time stand upon Your Word.”

The first promise that came was, “Call upon me in the day of trouble and I will deliver thee” (Psalm 86:7). 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 on a definite promise. I’ve always said that, and so I said, “All right, Lord, You give me the promise.” He gave this promise, so I said, “I called; You said that 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.”

So 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.” So I looked for another promise, and then this one came: “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of God raises a standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19). I said, “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 and I believe You for it. I trust You that You’ll raise a standard against him.” So my faith was mounting up on God’s Word.

How the promises of God do refresh us and strengthen faith when we believe it’s so because God said so. Then came the next one: “As they went, they were healed” (Luke 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 lift the coffee cup two or three times and put it to my lips. The first time I tried to do it, I spilt the coffee all over my blouse, and friends sitting near saw what happened and they 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 arm. 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.1 And you remember the man on the bed. Jesus said, “Take up thy bed and walk.”2 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 and, as I say, the effort of a believing will, and he took up the 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. There was such a gasp of relief that 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” (Revelation 12:11). I said, “Lord, I can’t talk; my tongue is paralyzed. I’ve tried to speak and I can’t speak.”

But 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 Word says.3 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 little gurgling noises. It was so garbled, and friends said they thought something was the matter. 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 with 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 straight 45 minutes with more power than I had spoken with for years, and with more unction than 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 blood, the precious blood of Calvary, the blood of the Lamb, the price that Christ paid for, that all things might be ours through Christ Jesus.

Do you know what happened, although a couple of weeks before this—in fact, just the very day 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 for just 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 happened, this stroke.

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. Such wonderful results came from that meeting that I started on a tour, a speaking tour and a tour for the Lord for four months, working for Him.

I have just come back from that four-month tour, the most rigorous circumstances I had to live under 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 the Dominion of Canada into Montreal and down to Miami, and from Miami took a boat to the islands, the Abaconian Islands.4 I ministered over there in the Abaconians and in a leper colony there, and God wonderfully blessed and I just came home last week.

To think that God healed me completely of everything and healed me 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 the Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you and help you to have the faith to take hold of those promises.

Father, bless each one. May their faith be lifted, so strengthened, Lord, that they will reach out for the desire of their hearts. Draw them to Thee with cords of love, and reveal Thyself afresh, we pray Thee, Father. Thou wast 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 listening. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  1. Matthew 12:13.
  2. John 5:8.
  3. Isaiah 53:5.
  4. Two islands of the Bahamas.