The great missionary evangelist T. L. Osborn came to my house. Twenty-seven young evangelists had flown in from different parts of the world to meet with him and learn from his lifetime experience of crusade evangelism. For three hours, he shared stories and insights from years of ministry.
At one point, a young preacher asked Osborn the question: “Is there a price to be paid to be in the healing ministry?” The young man wanted to discover how much prayer and fasting and Bible reading it would take to be successful in ministry.
“Yes, there is a very high price to be paid,” Dr. Osborn responded, but immediately continued: “And Jesus paid it all on the cross.”
In one sentence, Dr. Osborn completely changed my theology. When I was younger in ministry, I desperately wanted to see miracles happen when I preached. So I spent lots of time fasting and praying. But, as I gained more experience, I realized that no matter how much I fasted, I would never be able to heal someone through my own effort. By myself, I couldn’t heal a migraine, let alone cancer or HIV.
Healings and miracles and salvations, the anointing of God, a powerful ministry—none of these things have ever been the fruit of religious effort. All of these only happen because of what Jesus did on the cross. Dr. Osborn’s insight took the responsibility for miracles off my own efforts and put the responsibility directly on Jesus. What a relief!