Back on March 1, 2010 Mary and I began a fast. According to my notes, we even had the kids participate with us. They were young, so it looks like we kept their part of the fast to include prayers. It looks like I began my part of the fast around 5.00pm on March 1, and I told myself to take notes, with most of them occurring through the night.
According to my notes, it appears that we fasted based upon an email that Mary received that day. The contents of the email told us to fast and to ask specifically for revelation, discernment, and wisdom. I noted that discernment was seeking an “understanding of your heart being enlightened”.
Throughout my notes, I constantly remind myself of those three things: revelation, discernment, and wisdom. One of my notes says that I reminded myself of those things, and “the apostolic concept came into my mind” but my notes provided no clarity as to what that meant.
During one of my prayers, I noted that I prayed that God would allow me to work on my family and work on [as in for] his people. Telling myself to pray, believing – praying not only believing that God is, but that God would give me revelation, discernment, wisdom, and whatever I was considering regarding apostolic.
After praying in the midnight hour, my body had a light buzz, giving me a feeling of being somewhat numb that lasted for several minutes. After going back to bed, I woke and wrote, “just remembered that I saw flashing lights, like bright explosions of light in my head, not fireworks, but armament type – not scary, just bright”.
About an hour later, I woke, having a vivid image, and failed to write it down. But made the note I forgot. Seems like that should have been a lesson, but nope, it takes me many years before I learn to pay better attention.
The next morning, when Mary awoke, she informed me that she had been prayerfully asking questions and was led to understand that we should read chapters 30-39 of Isaiah. Based on one of my notes Isaiah 38.2-8 stuck out to me, I wrote, “Hezekiah was given a sign that approved, that verified, his message.”
When I look back at that day, I am grateful for my notes. The notes capture that I understood little and that Mary was willing to go into places uncomfortable to have better leading from God. I made a note about Mary “looking for a true apostle of Jehovah that had a true message for her and/or us until we learn[ed] to better receive leading for ourselves.”
I wrote: “Another thing, I find myself reserved about this apostolic concept, so I find myself mimicking the behavior of the church, unwilling to learn, unwilling to follow. If it is true, it will be proven. If it is false, it will be proven. Either way, it seems that I should pursue this pathway, especially in light of Mary’s 10 + 12 = 8 dream.”
I wrote: “Mary says I don’t have to be timid with her in discussing these things.” But I sure was, unsettling it was, for she challenged everything I thought I knew about the church, its organization, and its leadership. I wrote: “She feels led to set up an appointment with this apostolic leader – is that okay with me? I suppose.”
From that, you can see I was not too keen on the idea, and probably had next to zero faith in it. Truth told, I thought she was off her theological rocker, chasing things that should not be. Now, years later, I can see how those early days of reaching out for help, yet having no concept of what I was experiencing, affected me in ways that I still have difficulty putting to words to explain the power, intricacies, and mysteriousness of God’s leading.
My final note of the fast included this:
I had a thought about something [a preacher friend of mine] said in a message last night, [my preacher friend] said, “There are several of us breaking free from the bondage of legalistic fear and fundamentalism. Mary has taken this step though you may feel alone in a sense, there are ‘7,000’ more who have not bowed their knee to Baal.”
His idea conjoined with the phrase “come out from among them” that occurred to me earlier in the day, conjoined with Mary’s singing the song ‘You can dance’ and conjoined with my sermon on last Sunday about being set ‘at liberty’ regarding Rehab’s name, I ask the question ‘What is holding you back?’ in my mind then, of course now, but perhaps then I thought of ‘doctrines of men’ but I also in some way, even if small, feel that I should be working with people spiritually – maybe the apostolic leader will send me in the right direction to be free but to work with people. Hmm?
Interestingly, early on the day we started our fast, after being asked to pray a very specific and difficult prayer, I made the oddest note: the gift and blessing of death. Admittedly, I was completely unprepared for the amount of “dying” I would experience in the coming years, almost all of it dealing with my own personhood and selfworth, the proverbial ego. All beginning with the death of my ministry.
Just days after our fast, within a week I think, we went to see the man that I referred to as an apostolic leader. But before we, as a family, visited him, I made a note that included:
If yesterday [which seems to have been March 7, 2010] means anything the coming days/weeks are going to be tough.
Afternoon yesterday, I woke up to the word ‘tradition’ in the sense of 2 Thessalonians, it seemed to help me connect to the tradition of the Seder – making me think we should be keeping it [the Seder].
In my next installment, I will discuss the day we traveled to see the apostle.
Blessings and Shalom