As I wrote in the previous installment, I had my doubts about all this apostolic and prophecy stuff. Now, what I expected was that the apostle would prophesy, but that is not what happened. The apostle had a woman speak to me.
Okay, for those from my neck of the religious woods, that was an issue for me. I was taught that men were to do the leadership, it didn’t matter that Philip had daughters who could prophesy or that Miriam was considered a prophetess. The reality is that my training was very much with men doing the leadership. So up until that point, I had not had a woman directly work with me in such a spiritual moment.
Like I said, I thought the apostle was going to prophesy. It was unexpected. In spiritual matters, that marked the first occasion that I really gave myself over to a woman’s leading. So, for me, it was somewhat uncomfortable, and I sure wasn’t certain what to do about it.
I participated. I listened. I doubted. But I cannot adequately state the amount of skepticism I took with me to that meeting.
Importantly, on that Monday, Mary took my digital recorder. It was used to record many of my lessons. She was forward thinking and took it with her that day. So we had an audio recording of the prophecy. Within a few days of our arrival back home, she had it transcribed.
In the subsequent days, Mary went through the prophecy with me. But I didn’t feel too comfortable. I wasn’t too keen on the apostle thing, let alone the prophecy. Now Mary wanted me to be serious about the events.
By traveling to see the fellow, I felt like I had given her enough. I entertained the idea. I was present. Now she wanted to become even more serious.
We talked. We went through the material, more than I will include here. But I had a truly difficult time coming to accept anything about that event. The only way that I have been able to truly accept that moment is that I have seen things come to pass. Without those events, I would still doubt and disbelieve.
Over the years, I have looked at that information several times. The immediate issue with prophecy is that it is general, mysterious, non-specific. And if anyone was to tell me different, you are in for a tremendous argument. Prophecy is not cut and dry and is not clearly discernible. If prophecy was that easy, then no one would be arguing about Biblical prophecies.
At first, I hated having the information. Almost despised it. Because I didn’t trust it. It spoke in circles, even if I could understand that they spoke to me in English words. It has taken me years to see the value of what I was given that day. I now share part of it with you.
The one lady, among three individuals, said to me:
Ray, I just really see the Lord bringing you to a new area of sharing your heart, not only of your passion, but of what’s in your mind, like as a professor would lay things out before a group of people and to break it down into a very, very specific skill. And I just see the Lord opening up new doors of opportunity for that, for you to profess not only the passion that’s in your heart, but the things that are in your mind that the Lord has revealed into your mind and your heart. I just hear the Lord saying, “Son, I’m going to begin to give you even more and more revelation, that as the words that come out of your mouth that there will be clarity and there will be even divine revelation that you haven’t even pondered or thought or considered.” But as the words begin to come out of your mouth, it will be revelation to the people that you are speaking to but even also to your own heart.”
It was difficult enough to engage in Biblical discussion with the congregation where I was ministering. So, when I received that, it sounded unbelievable and impossible. However, there is something profound, this lady didn’t know me. Even though we had introduced ourselves, I’m not even sure she knew I was a minister.
The first sentence spoke of a new area of sharing my heart. Let me tell you, that has become true. Five years ago I wanted to hide, but now I don’t mind sharing my heart. I was wounded, but in those wounds I have found a voice.
That same sentence also spoke of a passion. My passion is to understand the Bible. I study the Bible. I reveal the contents of my study and mind, sharing that information, enjoying the freedom outside the pulpit. That lady knew nothing about me, but she hit me spot-on, I do break things down into very, very specific detail, sometimes to the dismay of others. But God is in the details and the details are important.
In her second sentence, she spoke of new doors and opportunity so I could reveal what God has allowed my mind and heart to understand. I have definitely seen that come to pass. Now, it is not as a great big pulpit and ministry in tow, but I have been given the opportunity to work with people the pulpit would have never permitted. Sadly, congregations, even liberal ones, seek to have other Christians look just like themselves. But that is not how God works.
In her third and fourth sentences, she spoke of God giving more revelation to others and myself. Now that is something I can attest to. Oh my, has he. Now, one thing I will testify to is what she said about me speaking with clarity regarding things I never pondered. Prior to that prophecy, I cannot say that I ever had that experience. But afterwards, that circumstance came to pass, and occurs from time to time. It’s amazing, and words can’t quite explain it, except during conversations about God, wow, there is this amazing understanding that had not been there prior.
It’s okay, be a skeptic. I was, and am to some degree. But when you begin to experience the things presented to you, you either turn your back in disbelief or you give in. I have had to learn how to give in.
But her prophecy to me did not end there, she continued:
And the Lord says, “Son, I’m going to provide more avenues of financial blessing to you.” I see the Lord just opening up a faucet and just allowing things to just… it seems at this point that it’s kind of like a little trickle that’s providing, providing, providing, providing, and you’re thinking, “OK God, I’m doing fine, we’re doing fine, we’re doing what you called us to do and that’s all that really matters” and the things that He’s placed in your heart as a couple, and even as a family has not been something that has been about gain, financially, but it’s been about just fulfilling and stepping into your passion. But I see the Lord just opening the valve, and the water just pouring out, pouring out, not only to your family, but to your extended family. I see the Lord putting you in a position where you’re going to begin to provide financial blessings to family members that you have that you love and that you hold dearly to your heart, where you want to be able to provide for them in a way that they can’t provide for themselves. I don’t know that if it’s a parent, or a sibling, or niece or nephew… I see a family member that is very close to your heart, that in your heart you just wanted to be able to give to them financially and the Lord is going to allow you to begin to do that. And I just see that faucet just opening up – a financial blessing coming.
For about half of that she speaks about a financial faucet opening up. Well, that faucet has yet to open up. I’m still being provided for and we are doing fine. God has provided for our financial needs since we moved back to Texas. My brother had a dream about me driving a school bus, we both thought it was some type youth ministry. Turned out, I literally drove a school bus.
Since we moved back to Texas, Mary has had two different major employers. The manner in which she transferred from the first to the second was completely God’s providence. We prayed asking if she should depart the first. Our four individual prayers were unanimous, she was to leave. Then she was contacted about the opening at the second, and God provided.
We are doing as the prophecy says, but the faucet hasn’t opened up yet. Truly, what we did in ministry and how we have been living has not been about financial gain. But trying to determine what God wants us to do.
However, the back half of that prophecy has to do with passion and it seems that I have to fulfill and step into my passion, which definitely seems connected to what she called extended family. The prophecy speaks in mysteries, but here is what I think it means.
Back when I received this prophecy, I was thinking parents, in-laws, some other family member(s). But the last five years have lead me to believe differently. The extended family is my wife, my second wife and all of our children.
Now, some will think I am stringing together unlike pieces. But I say no.
Over the last five years, I have had to ask myself: What is God leading me to understand? What is my fulfilling and stepping into my passion?
God has led me to understand that a man can have two wives. God has led me to see that I would rather be a great husband and father than anything else.
But this financial thing is totally not what I was expecting. I don’t think I am to be the provider of financial blessings. I think that I am supposed to be in a position that allows them to be the person they are to be, and that in turn opens up financial blessings. That is inverted to what I originally understood. But if the last five years have taught me anything, my initial understandings have often turned out incomplete or completely wrong.
I am foreshadowing, but over the course of the last five years, God has helped me to see the value and benefit of remaining at home. I have been home for about two years, and I can see the immediate benefits of it. I expect my family to grow, and I can see how it would be helpful in ways unforeseen to have me be the one at home.
Was that easy to accept? No. Talk about hurt pride. There is a tremendous amount of self-worth I had put into being the “breadwinner” being the provider. But God has helped me reverse that thinking and become more of a servant to the house, helping others achieve, allowing them to become more of who they are destined to be.
If you notice, even the lady who spoke about the family spoke mysteriously, admitting that she didn’t know to whom God referred. She spoke about the family in plurality, not singularity. I would help family members and provide for them in ways they cannot provide for themselves. But she could see me helping members that I love and hold dearly to my heart. It took an ego death for me to remain at home. But in doing so, I can see how my children and my wife are actually spiritually and emotionally healthier. That alone is worth the price.
She closed out saying “I just see that faucet just opening up – a financial blessing coming.” For this, I wait.
Prophecy is God’s mysterious oration. Understanding prophecy requires one opening their heart to the unexpected possibilities, and allowing God to do a major reorganization of one’s life. What was, will not be; what was not, will be.
After giving me a prophecy, she then spoke with Mary. One of the things she told Mary is that Mary and I would be coming up to a new level of oneness, in goals, in dreams, in passion. Telling Mary that she would be just as equal in this as I, giving Mary a whole new level of confidence, and that it would be God who would bring these things together. The lady admitted she had no clue what it was that God was trying to tell Mary and me, so she said all she could do was call it a passion, but that there was a completeness that would be coming to the process.
There were two others there, one other male and the apostle himself. The man gave us what he saw for each of us. And lastly, the apostle wrapped up the moment, during which, in part, he said to me:
And [she, the lady who spoke] knows nothing about you, and the whole professor thing and being able to lay it out and teach it, see, God knows exactly where you’re at and He’s going to draw you into it, you just trust Him, because He’s led you this far, and He’ll bring you on, and all you have to do is open your heart to it and you’ll find out He’ll step right up and meet you wherever you’re willing to step. So, just don’t be afraid and you’ll see it.
Little did I know how much God would draw me to him. In the years that followed that moment, I felt despair and relief. But before I ever left Indiana, long before I found solace in God, I would receive two more prophecies. Like this one, I didn’t quite believe in them being real. But I must have to some degree, I kept them and went back to read them.
But I’ll admit, I have been afraid, because where God has taken me, I wasn’t looking to go. Reading the Bible, easy. Studying the Bible, easy. Bible School, easy. Ministering, easy. Marriage, easy. Fatherhood, easy. Opening my heart to God is the hardest thing I have ever done.
Blessings and Shalom