Most of us as Spirit-filled believers would agree that we want God to get the glory. But do we make that the goal for our lives and our work?
I hosted M.G. "Pat" Roberston, founder of The Christian Broadcasting Network, Regent University and much more on a recent episode of The Strang Report podcast, where he told stories of how the Lord has moved in his life through the years. "I wanted Him to get the glory," Pat told me. In fact, he insisted his name be in smaller letters than "God" on the book cover because "I wanted this book to emphasize the fact that it's God ... He's appeared to me; He's led me," he said.
Pat has such a recognizable face that when our publishing company, Charisma House, told Walmart's marketing team about his new memoir, they said his picture must grace the cover. Although Pat bowed to our combined wisdom, the book's title expresses his heart: I Have Walked With the Living God.
"At 90 years, I've walked with the living God," Pat said. "I have seen miracle after miracle; I've seen a university. I've seen the international broadcast ministry; I've seen all the other things. I've had encounters with demonic spirits; I've seen millions come to the Lord. I mean, it's been an exciting life. And so I put it down and suddenly God began to just take charge. He wrote this book. I'd like to take credit for it, but I believe the Lord brought it to my mind."
Pat says he was groomed for public life from his earliest days. The youngest son of A. Willis Robertson, who served in both the U.S. House and Senate for many years, Pat told me, "I laughingly said, 'I first learned "Mama"; then I learned "Daddy"; then I learned "constituents." I used to always hear, 'Don't do that; what will the constituents think?' So I had to behave myself because of the constituents."
But this early exposure taught Pat valuable lessons about life in the spotlight, lessons that served him well in his own very public life, which included one political race, a failed presidential run in 1988. "I've got all the stuff in the book about the ins and outs of politics," he said. "I learned when you go for the presidency, they play hardball."
Holy Spirit Baptism
Pat's life has intersected with mine at many points along the way, and I spoke with him about his relationship with my mentor Robert Walker. I found it fascinating that Robert was one of the first people, along with charismatic minister Harald Bredesen, to talk to Pat about the Holy Spirit. But he wasn't baptized in the Spirit until a life-changing experience of prayer over his oldest son, then only 2 or 3 years old and seriously ill.
"He was burning up with a fever. And he was beginning to convulse. I thought he might be facing permanent brain damage," Pat said. "And I was kneeling beside him. We had a little apartment in Queens, New York, and I was praying, 'God, heal him; please, heal him.'
"And as I was praying, the Lord said to me, 'You think you love him. I love him thousands of times more than you do.'
"And I said, 'OK, Lord,' and I just lifted him up in prayer into the presence of God, and at that moment, the power of God came upon him [and] the fever broke," Pat said. "And the next day he was completely healed. And I was so happy, I just wanted to praise God. And I began to praise the Lord, and out of my innermost being came this new language that I didn't know, and I began to speak and praise unto the God.
"And that was my introduction into the charismatic movement. It changed my life radically. And it's been a series of adventures ever since," Pat said.
Those adventures have taken Pat through the launch of the Christian Broadcasting Network and many associated ministries, including missions arm Operation Blessing and the launch of Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia, now a top-ranking Christian college. They've also taken him into relationships with an array of politicians, celebrities and faith leaders, some of whose stories he shares in the book.
Pat told me one of these stories when I asked him about Jack (JFK) and Jackie Kennedy. He explained that he had been invited to a dinner at a hotel in Washington, D.C., by some people who wanted to influence his father, then chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. "I was there, and across the table from me was a young Congressman whose name was Jack Kennedy. And he was one of the most pleasant people. He was so kind and gentle, and I had a chance to talk to him. And his girlfriend was this kind of bright-eyed reporter from the Washington Times-Herald. And her name was Jackie Bouvier.
"And somebody said, 'What do you think of her?'" Pat recalled. "I said, 'Well, she's like kind of an ingenue, one of these young, bright-eyed actresses. She won't amount to anything. Kennedy is more serious than that.'
"And the next thing you know, they were married, and I missed it totally. My prediction was totally off the mark on that one," Pat said.
Pat's prediction may have been off, but his prayers were not the day a hurricane threatened to hit Virginia Beach and he prayed it away on live TV. Having heard the story, which he also shares in the book, I asked him to explain what happened.
"A lot of people made fun of me for that," Pat said. "But I was with a group of Full Gospel Businessmen, and this hurricane was coming after our area."
Pat had a deep concern for his brand-new company, The Christian Broadcasting Network, he said. "I knew that the tower would fall; I knew that the studio would be demolished. ... And I reached out my hand, and I had everybody in the audience, I said, 'Let's point out to the Atlantic, and let's command that thing to turn around.'
"And you know, we commanded that thing and spoke just like Jesus did to the waves," he said. "And do you know, it was like a great big hand went down into the Atlantic Ocean. And like a great big, dumb beast, that thing just slowly stopped its forward movement and began turning around, and then it slowly went back south, away from our area.
"It was a miracle. And it's recorded. You can look at the hurricane map that the weather service keeps, and it happened," Pat said. "People made a lot of fun of me about moving hurricanes, but it happened. I saw it; I was there; and the ministry we had was spared.
"And if that thing had hit, there would have been no CBN. I couldn't have had the money to come back. It was desperate, and I prayed in desperation, and God answered," he said.
I also asked Pat about an earlier bestselling book of his, The Secret Kingdom, which had a profound influence on my life and those of many others. Pat said that, as with his most recent book, he wrote under the Holy Spirit's direction. He said he asked God to show him "principles in Your Word that are universal principles that are as applicable to human existence as the law of gravity. And He began to show me these rules." Pat shared the 10 laws God showed him in The Secret Kingdom which, he said, "was a runaway No. 1 Christian book of the year."
I know it impacted my life, as has Pat's brand-new book, I Have Walked With the Living God. And that's why I wanted to share this episode of the Strang Report podcast with you that contains even more stories from Pat's memoir.
"I'm hoping that this will be a book that will transform not only America but China and India and other countries where people are desperately seeking God," Pat said. "And they will say, 'All right, if this is what this guy's been through, and this is what God's done for him, He'll do it for me.'"
I hope you'll share this episode of my podcast and this article with anyone who might need to hear of the ways Pat Robertson has walked with the living God and how God has proven faithful throughout his 90 years of life. You can find his memoir, I Have Walked With the Living God, at patroberstonbooks.comor wherever books are sold. Here at Charisma Media, we inspire people to live in the power of the Holy Spirit, and I believe Pat's story will challenge you to do just that.
I also hope you'll visit stevestrangbooks.com where you can find many special offers exclusive to my readers on my own brand-new book, God, Trump and COVID-19 as well as the bestselling God, Trump and the 2020 Election along with God and Donald Trump, which President Trump brandished at the World Economic Forum, and Trump Aftershock. As the election draws near, we must pray, prepare and vote—and encourage our fellow believers to do the same.
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