I used to ride on the coattail of my grandmother’s spirit. I knew that whenever she moved into the glory world, those goose bumps would pop up on me as well. I knew that if I stayed close enough to her, she could “piggyback” me into the realm of the spirit. But one day, God said, “Now it is your fight. Now you will be held accountable for your own spirit.”
When that release came, I began to realize what my grandma had kept me from. I began to realize the protection she had been to me. Until that time, my mind had never been confused. I had never known what it was to be tormented by evil spirits because she kept them away from me.
I can remember times when I came home from school as a youngster, and Grandma would abruptly stop me and pray for me before I barely got my nose inside the front door! She saw into the realm of the spirit and saw when I had demonic spirits hovering over me. Thank God for Grandma!
The day came when I had to learn to pray and get into the realm of the spirit for myself. I began to realize that no person or ministry would ever succeed because of a great education, financial success, or connections made by man. These things do not entice the anointing of God to fall upon you because the Holy Spirit causes the anointing to fall as He wills, never as man wills. The Holy Spirit never takes directions from man.
God’s anointing comes upon yielded vessels—vessels who totally submit and surrender to the Spirit of God. I had to learn to yield to the Holy Spirit; and as I did, the anointing upon me became stronger. I have learned that yielding to the Holy Spirit and living in the realm of the spirit are progressive. As we mature in Christ, we can yield more fully to the Holy Spirit and live in that realm.
The only way to stay in the realm of the spirit is to spend time alone with God. During the first year that I walked my bedroom floor praying and weeping before God, I would look out the window and see my friends playing baseball. My flesh would say, You’re not accomplishing a thing! Go play baseball with your friends. You are not even getting a single goose bump, Roberts! (That is the kind of encouragement I received from my mind.)
The truth of the matter is that I did not receive even one goose bump for more than a year! I felt nothing. There was absolutely no response from heaven for more than a year. If most people do not hear from heaven within five minutes, they are ready to give up, quit praying, and start confessing, hoping that will bring immediate results.
Some people get into trouble because they are looking for feelings or because they are seeking the approval of men. You cannot go by feelings or men’s approval. The quality of your time spent with God is not based on goose bumps or feelings. Spending time in prayer develops a spiritual maturity which gives you a spiritual confidence—a supernatural knowing that you are doing something worthwhile.
My friends, confession will not work unless it is enforced with prayer. You can confess until you are blue in the face, but unless your prayer life is up to par, your confession will not avail.
I knew, however, that if I persisted with God, He would finally show up. My attitude was this: lam going to walk this bedroom floor until God shows up or I die!
Some of you need that kind of persistence to get hold of God. Some of you need old-time Pentecostal persistence that will cause you to pray all night until heaven hits earth. Dead, dried-up religion is not worth a thing. Religion kills the spirit and causes the flesh to prevail.
Criticism and persecution will come as you begin to separate yourself unto God, but you have got to get into the realm of the spirit where you belong. You have to get under the shadow of the Almighty and stay there. You have to get to the place where the winds of God will overshadow you and will carry you.
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.
When I was a teenager, I talked to God as I walked down the school hallways. I was not concerned about what others thought of me. I was not concerned about a social life or sports. I wanted more of God, and I did not care what it cost me to have a relationship with Him. I have to admit that some of the persecution bothered me at first, because my flesh was not completely dead yet. But I learned not to bow to the opinions of others, but to go with God. I knew that God would keep me and take care of me, because I was seeking Him first above all these other things that the world deemed important. God was most important to me.
At times, I would pray all night. Some people may say, “Oh, you are just exaggerating.” No! That is the way it was. I was persistent. After more than a year of praying, I walked into my bedroom one day and felt the presence of God. When you have walked your floor for that long with absolutely no feelings, you will come to recognize that it is God when you sense the power of His presence. I went for two or three months longer without any further response from God. I kept knocking on heavens door to see if someone would answer.
One day, when I walked into my bedroom and shut the door, God spoke to me, saying, “Here I am. Seek no more. I have come to hear from you.” When He said that, the power of God filled my room so intensely that I was thrown across the floor. All that night I shook under the mighty power of God. This is the type of experience people are seeking. They are seeking the real because they have had enough of the counterfeit. They are looking for God to show up and say, “Here I am.”
When God says that, He means, “I will be with you. I will go beside you. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will heal through you. I will speak through you. I will bless people through you.”
Not too many people have paid the price to get God to visit, but He is no respecter of persons. What He did for me, He will do for you. People try to get a visitation from God through great head knowledge. They try to reach God through money or popularity. But God is not influenced by any of these things. He is simply looking for ordinary, yielded vessels. You can be that yielded vessel. All it takes is dying to your flesh and learning to walk in the Spirit.