While I was at Biblical Seminary, I joined a fledgling group called Christian Soldiers, which maintained a telephone ministry in a one-room office in midtown Manhattan. Through Christian Soldiers, I met Harald Bredesen, a Lutheran minister and one of the most unique people I had ever met.
He was absolutely fearless in witnessing for the Lord. At the same time, he was a total eccentric. Those who knew him well can bring forth hundreds of so-called "Harald stories." Harald gave himself over wholeheartedly to the service of the Lord, yet at the same time, he had to have an assistant with him to make sure he didn't get lost in some foreign country.
One tour group in the Middle East had lost sight of him so many times that they sang a song, "Where's Harald?" Yet in all that, Harald and I would spend an entire day just crying out to God for more of His presence. He was serving the First Reformed Church of Mount Vernon, New York. He rode a bicycle to my apartment in Queens to tell me more about the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
We developed a warm friendship, and I would pray with him all day long on a Saturday. On other occasions, I'd meet him in Mount Vernon, walk the halls of his old Gothic church and cry out for more of God. I doubt if I've ever had more intense hunger for spiritual things in all of my life. It wasn't just in Mount Vernon. I went to other churches and attended other prayer meetings, asking for God to fill me with His Holy Spirit.
Then one evening my toddler son, Tim, contracted a severe illness. His temperature was running sky-high, his eyes rolled back in his head and he was having convulsions. My wife Dede, a registered nurse, put cold towels on him, but to no avail. Tim was lying on the couch in the living room of our apartment, and I was on my knees next to him.
"God, please heal him! Please heal him!" I cried out. But then I realized that God loved my boy thousands of times more than I ever would, so I stopped begging and lifted him into the hands of a loving God. As I did so, a miracle happened. The fever broke, and Tim got up and went to the bathroom. He came back and lay down, and by morning he was completely healed. I was so grateful that I began to praise God.
Then something from the depth of my being was given a voice, and I started to speak in a language that sounded like some African dialect. My spirit was in touch with the living God, and I knew that I was entering into a new dimension of spiritual reality.
Dede was sitting in a nearby chair. Her first thought was, "How long has this been going on, and why didn't he tell me?" In her wonderful Midwest wisdom, she said, "I told you that you didn't have to go to all of those churches to receive the Holy Spirit. You could receive the blessing sitting in your living room."
And that is what happened. I had now walked into the book of Acts and was no longer a spectator but an active participant in the works of a miracle-making God.
This article is an adapted excerpt from I Have Walked With the Living God by Pat Robertson. Copyright © 2020, published by Charisma House. Used by permission.
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