In the early 1990s, I was a twenty-something-year-old pastor with a ton of questions.
Our church was beginning to average near a thousand on Sundays, and I was invited to preach a tent revival in Fremont, California, with Dr. Lee Roberson.
I was excited to get answers from an eighty-year-old veteran of the faith who had seen 60,000 people baptized in his forty years of pastoring the Highland Park Baptist Church.
As I traveled to and from the airport with Dr. Roberson, I brought with me a yellow pad with a long list of questions for him.
One of my first questions to Dr. Roberson was, “How did you stay in one place for forty years?” I’ll never forget his two-part answer:
1. Die to self.
Lest you think that was too simple an answer, I should give you the two “sub points” for application: die to criticism, and die to praise.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.—Galatians 2:20
2. Be filled with the Spirit.
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;—Ephesians 5:18
Now you might think these two pieces of advice are pretty basic—a good answer for a first question.
It turned out, however, that Dr. Roberson thought this was a good answer for every question. In fact, it was his answer to every single question I asked.
I can still hear him saying it, “Die to self: die to criticism, and die to praise. Be filled with the Spirit.”
It’s been some twenty plus years since that unforgettable conversation with Dr. Roberson, and I have found his advice to be the soundest I have ever received.