Knowing the Will of God (And doing it) Part 4 “How Jesus speaks to me'
Should you have not read the previous columns on this subject I encourage you to please do so. I will continue in this column to share how Jesus speaks to me. These are a sampling of different ways that God has shown me clearly His Will in my life.
The man in the upper room:
A dear friend of mine and fellow evangelist Leo Humphrey went out to witness one night in Hollywood, California where I was the Minister of Sunset Strip. It was in 1969. Leo was driving as we left my home. Suddenly in my mind I saw a vision of a man sitting by the window with a light from a lamp shining down on him. It was the second floor and I could only see the top of his head as he was looking down. The Lord spoke to me “go to this man he is ready'!
I told Leo about what I saw and for him to follow my directions. As he drove I would say turn left, then straight ahead, then turn right, etc. After about 15 minutes Leo shouted, “there he is!' Then stopped the car. On the second floor we could see a man with his head down reading with a lamplight on his left side shining down. We walked up to a door and then walked up a stairway to the second floor. We knocked at the door and a man opened the door. I said, “Jesus showed me you sitting at the window, “Oh, I know, I have been reading the Bible and could not understand how to be saved so I cried out to God to help me.'
We went in and showed him from his own Bible how to be saved and receive Jesus and follow Him. We prayed and Jesus came into his life. It was an awesome work of God.
Why was he sitting at that window? He was a dispatcher for a small taxi company.
My call to carry the Cross:
I was preaching a crusade in Garland, Texas, the first week of September 1969 at the First Baptist Church and at the Garland Stadium. As was normal for me, I also went into a nightclub to share Jesus Christ. There was a chain of nightclubs called "The Cellar". That night I was preaching on the stage at the club in Dallas. The Cellars are notorious for their dancing girls, the drug addicts and rednecks the girls attracted. I had preached in the smoke-filled, loud and rowdy club on stage for 15 minutes, and then talked to the customers until very late. That day I had spoken at a school, then church, then the club, then in my room as I got ready to go to bed Jesus spoke to me and said “I want you to pray all night.' As I knelt by my bed with only the sound of the air conditioner in the small one-story motel, I prayed. I was 28 years old, only weeks away from my 29th birthday on October 27th. For years I had traveled America preaching youth crusades in churches, parks, beaches, bars, and parking lots then God led me to minister on Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California. I often wonder what would have happened should I not have obeyed just went to bed. Would God have called again?
As I prayed suddenly Jesus spoke to me ... not in an audible voice, but in my heart and mind. I know His voice. In a clear revelation of witness to me, Jesus said, "I want you to take the cross that is hanging on the wall in HIS PLACE and put it on your shoulder and carry it on foot across America!"
I was stunned. The words lingered in my mind and then wave after wave of the power of the Holy Spirit swept over me, from the bottom of my feet to the top of my head like ocean waves. It seemed as though inside of me my inner being was aglow. I was immersed in that incredible call, bathed in the Holy Spirit's lingering presence. I was crying. Tears were pouring down my face, even as I was smiling, praising God and laughing, saying, "Thank you, Jesus, wow! Yes, Lord! Thank you, Jesus."
The Lord spoke more. "I want you to take the cross to the roadsides and streets of the world to identify my message in the streets with the common man. I am sending you into the secular world. I am going to put the gospel on television, on the radio, by your walking. I want you to bear witness of My life and My love, proclaim My peace in the streets."
As I thought on these things it seemed the Lord was telling me, "When I was here in the flesh I was in the streets with the common man, that is where my message has to be identified, in the streets." I didn't question the call, only thrilled that Christ had spoken to me.
When I was in Mississippi College as a student, one night I was praying in my dorm room. As I lay on the floor I remember praying, "Lord, I may not be able to preach like Billy Graham, or sing like Beverly Shea, but I'll be your garbage can. If there is anything somebody else won't do, I'll do it. I volunteer."
I think time and time again God has called the good, the mighty, and the best qualified, but then somehow they refused and He got to the bottom of the barrel and there I was and He'd say, "Blessitt, come on, boy," and I'd jump out thrilled, happy and excited, just to do anything the Lord says.
I raced out of my motel room to the next room and began to pound on the door. "Wake up! Open the door!" I cried out.
I could hear stumbling toward the door and then it opened. "What in the world are you doing, Blessitt!" It was O.J. Peterson and Jim McPheeters, my singing group; they were on the staff of HIS PLACE in Hollywood. O.J. had been a nightclub piano player and was now converted. Jim had been in the Marines in Vietnam and had been converted at HIS PLACE. They were in their early twenties. I turned on the light as they stood rubbing their eyes.
"Praise the Lord, God wants me to take the cross that is on the wall at HIS PLACE and carry it across America from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. and spread the Word of Jesus across the land. Jesus is the answer. He is the way out of our troubles. He is the solution"
"Blessitt, are you crazy?" they said, trying to get awake.
"Can we go with you?" they asked. "We can sing and you can preach across America."
"Praise God!" I said. I knew it was right for them to go with me. I sat down at the foot of their bed and we began to plan the trip in the early morning hours. We'll need a flatbed truck to preach on, a public address system, an electric generator, gospel materials, and a trailer to live in. We prayed, planned and were filled with excitement at the call to carry the cross across America on foot.
In all my wildest dreams I never thought my life would be indelibly imprinted with a twelve-foot wooden cross.
That was in 1969 and I am still living in that call. Never questioned or doubted the Voice of Jesus in my heart that night.
A step, no peace:
It was 1972 and I had carried the cross from the English Channel at Dieppe to Paris, France. I was heading east toward Germany. As I put the cross on my shoulder that morning and started to walk out of the campground. I never will forget. Just as I was in that first step I felt 'no peace' but very troubled. I stopped in mid step. I knew something was wrong.
I asked the Lord 'I walk on toward Germany or Italy?' No peace.
“I go north toward Denmark?' No peace.
“I go back to England?' No peace.
I stood in shocked silence. The only way left was south to Spain and Africa. That was the way I did not want to go. Then I said, “ Lord I will go south? Wow! I can feel it even as I type this.
“Yes' and the awesome Glory of the Lord covered and filled me. Peace, like peace beyond words filled my heart.
I immediately headed south through France, Spain and Portugal then into North Africa and a two-year walk across Africa. I knew and never doubted that call that day.
The way of Glory:
I was sitting in church in 1991 listening to the music and message. Suddenly I saw in my mind a large map of Russia and the USSR. The communist world of the USSR was collapsing and I was praying about going there but had no call or plan. I had carried the cross in Moscow in 1988 but not through the country and not in all the Soviet Republics.
As I saw this map there was a line mapping out the route Denise and I were to go. It was in detail and clear. I can still see it. Jesus told me go now and the way was open and He said to me that this route was “The way of Glory'.
What I want to say is that we went and carried the cross and drove all along that route until we arrived in Georgia and was about to cross in to Azerbaijan. I was studying the map and saw that the country of Armenia was very close by. I prayed but just felt it was a great idea to carry the cross in Armenia since we were so close by. We left the main road we were traveling and took this very rough and rugged road over the mountains into Armenia. After driving a while and near a city we stopped and I began the cross walk to the capital about a weeks walk ahead. Denise drove up to the city ahead to wait for me. I laid down and prayed but felt very strange. Then as I walked I felt very troubled in my spirit and had no peace. People began to stop and tried to talk and then a man came out who spoke some English and I prayed with him and he wanted us to spend the night at their house. Others gathered as I arrived in the town. But I had no peace. I felt I was in the wrong place. This awful feeling of having done something wrong was in me. I was asking Jesus to cleanse me, etc even as I witnessed and carried the cross. When I arrived where Denise was parked I could see in her eyes that she too was troubled. She said “Arthur do you feel like I do'. “Yes' and then we talked and both felt we were in the wrong place and time. I put the cross on the Land Rover and we left the city driving on toward the capital. However the more we drove the worse we felt. We stopped at a church about dark and stayed in the parking area. We were in a pop up tent on top to sleep but as we talked and prayed we knew that when we left the 'road of Glory' we had left the way Jesus had told me to walk and travel. This was a good idea; to carry the cross in Armenia was a good thing. Only one problem, Jesus had not called us to go that way.
That was the most fearful night I have ever spent. More fearful than nights I've spent in the battlefields. At the first light of dawn we started driving back to Georgia. When we arrived at that road from Georgia to Azerbaijan the Glory returned and we began to shout and rejoice. This was the road into war-torn Azerbaijan and Islamic nations but it was the way of Glory. Peace had returned and stayed.
Give your life to carry the cross in every nation before the year two thousand:
I was preaching some youth rallies in Germany in 1988. A German evangelist and I were sitting at an outdoor cafe talking. As he was speaking and telling me a story about something Jesus began to speak to me.
Jesus said these words to me: “I want you to give your life to carry the cross in every nation before the year 2,000.' This was like a bomb exploding. I was totally shaken. I did not speak of this to the person talking to me. That night after the meeting I went to my room in a hotel and lay in the floor praying. It was one of the few times I did not respond yes in the first moments when I knew Jesus was speaking but I just had to be sure. Laying in that floor I knew the almost impossible task of carrying the cross in the remaining nations of the world. Remember this was 1988 with the Iron Curtain and Communism, etc. I knew all about the nations difficult to get into. I had been on the road with the cross almost 19 years. There was my mind and facts and history and the almost impossible clashing with the simple call of Jesus. With my face bathed in tears and trembling in fear I said “Yes, Jesus, I will give my life to carry the cross in every nation before the year 2,000!' Again as at other historic moments of my life waves of the Glory of God swept over me. I got up wiped my tears and then sat down to make a list of the nations I had been in and the nations I had yet to do to complete this mission of Jesus before the year 2,000. May I add this fact? That mission was completed by September 1998! Jesus did it.
You are not finished yet:
After completing carrying the cross in every sovereign nation in 1998 Jesus then spoke so clearly to me. Now give your life now to carry the cross in every major inhabited island group in the world, every US state and other places in the world I will show you. Jesus said, “You are not finished yet!' Ha I could only smile and press on. Glory.
It is in this call and anointing that Denise and I am living now in 2003. Praise God. By the mercy and grace of God we will go forward as He wills on His Mission to the world with the Cross.
I am extending your life for the nations:
It was back in 1985 and I had been having some health problems. Paul and Jan Crouch contacted Oral Roberts the president of ORU for them to give me a check-up at the ORU Medical Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This medical center is no longer open. I was in the hospital for most of a week as they did test after test on me. At the conclusion it was determined that I had two brain aneurysms in my brain. They wanted to do one final test to confirm this before surgery. I refused this because I had a terrible reaction to the dye in my brain back in 1969 when such a test was done shortly before I began the cross walk. I even have a letter the doctor later wrote that said, “You are a walking time bomb!' One of those aneurysms could burst at any moment.
When they asked at the hospital what I was going to do I said 'Go to India to carry the cross'.
Rev. Oral Roberts came by to visit me and I told him I was leaving. He said I could fly with him and his wife Evelyn on their plane out to Los Angeles. As we flew Dr. Roberts and I were talking. He is one of the mighty men of God of this time and God has used him in powerful ways in healing. We discussed my aneurysms and then on to many other things. I was blessed to have hours of private time to ask him many questions about the Bible and how God is working in the world today. At one point we had a time of prayer.
As we prayed Jesus spoke these words to me: “I am extending your life for the nations'!
I know His call and am committed to it. Jesus did not say He was healing me. Still had the problem I had in '69. But Jesus said He was 'extending my life'. Why? 'For the nations'.
This mission that I have set out on Knowing the will of God and doing it is going far beyond what I first had in mind. However the e-mails have been encouraging. Thanks to all of you for the wonderful response. Please keep it up. I respond back to each one that writes.
I am praying that you are learning and now hearing more clearly the leading of the Lord in your life and that you can now say you know the will of God for your life or for this day or for this moment! Glory.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt