If you want someone to believe big, it is vital to give him or her something big to believe in.
This generation says, "Go big or go home!" This is better caught than taught, and it usually happens through personal example.
Growing up, I knew a family who inspired my faith to believe big. This family was honored in our home as heroes of the faith worthy of our respect, honor and our prayers, even though we did not know them.
I'm talking about the Oral Roberts family, renowned healing evangelists and founders of Oral Roberts University. Jan. 24, 2018, was the 100th anniversary of Oral Roberts' birthday.
Roberts was a visionary leader sent by God to awaken believers from a survival mentality to victorious living. He inspired a generation to hear God's voice and to push back global darkness with a demonstration of the Spirit's power. Through influence of the Roberts ministry, multitudes around the world understood that the Creator of the universe loves them and wants to bless them.
Roberts was famous for preaching:
- "Something good is going to happen to you."
- "Expect a miracle."
- "God is a good God!"
I not only want to honor Oral Roberts but also his entire family. This family has modeled lives of great blessing as well as lives marked by challenges, battles, pain and loss. I love this family dearly.
There is the life of the Oral Roberts family. I am told he personally laid hands on well over 6 million people as he proclaimed the healing power of Jesus Christ. From coast to coast, his healing meetings inspired this nation and people across the world to receive the supernatural power of God in their lives.
There is the legend of the Oral Roberts family. I have met people all over the world who have been impacted by this family's message and ministry. Millions have placed their faith in Christ because of their unwavering commitment to God's goodness.
Finally, there is the legacy of the Oral Roberts family. Oral Roberts University is as strong as ever, with record enrollment the past several years. Graduates from this university are among the most influential movers and shakers of our generation in the kingdom of God. I have yet to visit a place on this planet that hasn't been affected in one way or another by the alumni of this amazing institution.
Each of these attributes is rich, providing great content for many books. Yet that is not my focus. Instead, I want to write about the three extraordinary challenges this family continually faced. They are summarized in these three words: integrity, generosity and humility.
Oral Roberts Served God With Integrity
From the beginning of Roberts' ministry, both the world and the body of Christ often attacked his integrity. He was accused, maligned and criticized. Amazingly, the attacks didn't stop him. Instead, they seemed to propel him forward. He demonstrated the power of the Holy Spirit was to be taken into every sphere of our culture. Instead of waiting for the world to come to the church, the church was to go into the world with the Good News.
Oral Roberts Served God With Generosity
The Roberts family experienced great blessing, so much so that it incurred much resistance. However these attacks couldn't stop the birth of much of the modern church's understanding of generosity, as Oral Roberts introduced seed faith giving and that disease and sickness are not from a good God but a bad devil. The key for moving Spirit-empowered believers to the blessed life remains this truth of generosity. The result of this emphasis elevated the societal position of the Pentecostal/charismatic movement, as God immensely prospered His people.
Oral Roberts Served God With Humility
Despite the entire blessing on his ministry as God used him globally, Roberts never forgot the miracle in his body or his wife, his family and his roots. Many labeled his strength, courage and constant drive for excellence as "arrogant." Instead, it was a confidence that is rare in our generation, born in the fires of opposition. He remained humble and small in his own eyes.
It has been my privilege to know all four of the presidents of ORU:
President Oral Roberts
President Richard Roberts
President Mark Rutland
President William Wilson
All four of them are men of integrity, generosity and humility. They are inspirations to our generation.
To Richard and Roberta, thank you for your lives of faith.
Oral and Evelyn Roberts, your awesome marriage, extraordinary family, profound partnership and love for God demonstrated the supernatural power of agreement.
God bless the Roberts family. God bless ORU. You have blessed the body of Christ with integrity, generosity and humility. You have inspired me to go big and believe. Thank you.
"Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor" (Rom. 13:7).
"All things are possible to him who believes" (Mark 9:23).
Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the book of hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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