[anzac] ONE PROPHET'S STORY

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From: "ANZAC Prophetic List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2004 09:57:20 +1300
"WILDERNESS - The School of the Prophet"
-by Michael Clark.  

Today we see many fledgling prophets trying to set the 
house of God in order, often creating disorder instead. I 
spent a couple of years in this category, standing in 
churches, "warning them" and being rejected. Rejection 
led to anger, and suppressed anger led to bitterness. 
Bitterness led to unforgiveness and pride. What started 
out as a gift given to a lowly believer, turned into the 
festering, stinking sore of pride. James wrote:  "God 
resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble" (Ja 4:6).

This is the story of how God dealt with me in His 
wilderness. One day in 1980 I was praying and seeking 
the Lord for direction on what He wanted me to say in 
my church home meeting, He showed me a vision of 
myself standing on a pedestal in a white robe with all 
the people in my home group on their knees around 
the bottom of the pedestal giving glory to God. As each 
word of praise went upward to heaven and passed me 
by, I reached out and grabbed it and tucked it in my 
robe next to my heart. After seeing this I cried out, "Oh 
God! Is this what I am doing to you? If it is, then Lord 
kill it!" The gift in me was releasing praises to God, but 
in my immaturity and desire to be recognized as valid 
I had sought to be exalted above others and thereby 
invalidated the gift He had given me. 

You see when one is truly dead to self and alive to Him, 
there is no offense taken when your word is rejected and 
no pride generated when it is received. There is only one 
way that I know that God can work so great a death in 
an individual and that is through tribulation and wilderness. 

Shortly after I prayed that prayer of death, God started 
answering it. First He asked me, "Michael, if I cease to 
move by my Spirit in your meetings, will you try to fake 
it?" I said, "No Lord, you quit and I quit." The next day 
two of the key families in the group called me and told 
me that they were not coming to the meetings any 
more. I blessed them and told them that I thought the 
Lord was telling me that I was to shut it down. The 
following meeting I announced to the group that it was 
the last meeting that we would be coming to, but that 
they were free to continue without us. They had one 
more meeting and it died. 

Next, the church that I was affiliated with was split by a 
prophetic holiness cult. As the leaders of this group 
called me in on the carpet and tried to rein me in and 
get me under their authority, I refused and came under 
attack and curses by them. My response was to say 
to them, "I have had all this fun with you Christians I 
can stand. I'm out of here! I'm heading for Midian on the 
back side of the desert. I'll see you in about 40 years!" 
The leader said a most curious thing, "Michael, it need 
not take that long." 

After that meeting I was mad at the Church and mad at 
God. The next thing I knew His clear voice, which spoke 
to me so often, ceased to be heard. The scriptures that 
had so nourished me seemed dead and dried up. I could 
not find meaningful fellowship with any other Christians. 
My prayers seemed to fall off the edge of my lip and hit 
the floor. I felt so alone and betrayed. 

Then the Sabean raiding parties started coming in 
(Job 1:15). I could not find work anywhere! I had three 
journeyman licenses in my billfold and was sure that I 
would always have a "meal ticket," but no way! I had 
been cut off form my supply. I was too proud to accept 
unemployment, and we (my family of six) were reduced 
to gleaning food from muddy farm fields and diving in 
supermarket dumpsters at night for food.  Some days I 
was so depressed I just laid in bed, curled up in a fetal 
position. 

About this time, my wife was near the end of her rope. 
She pray one day, "God this school for prophets is very 
hard. Why do I have to audit all the classes?" The Lord 
spoke to her clearly, "You are not auditing the classes. 
You are a matriculated student."  She saw me through 
my wilderness and now she is in her own wilderness, 
being purified by God. 

Finally when we were just about to get a third month 
behind on our home mortgage and the banker was about 
to foreclose, I found work. It was humbling to accept a 
job opportunity through my Mormon uncle, but it was 
work. The job was an electrician position on Akutan 
Island in Alaska's Aleutian chain, a treeless, wind swept 
volcanic rock on the edge of the Arctic Ocean. Now I 
was in a literal wilderness as well as a spiritual one, and 
my family was not allowed to come. 

I was cut off, dying inside, missing my family, but most 
of all missing my Lord. At one point in my tenure on that 
rock, sitting on my bunk in my depression I watched my 
consciousness get up out of my body and head for the 
door as if to say, "I can't stand to live with you anymore, 
I'm leaving." I cried out to Jesus to please hold me 
together long enough to get me back home to my family 
again. He did. 

From that point on it was a very slow and gradual ramp 
up out of that terrible pit, but for the next ten years He 
kept drawing me to Him with invisible cords, but not 
enough that I could perceive it. I spent 14 years in all in 
that spiritual wilderness. 

I had a significant encounter with Him in 1990 at a mens' 
retreat in Idaho. The pastor had another brother and 
myself stand in the midst of the men and explained to 
them that God had called us to the prophetic and that He 
had us in a time of wilderness, asking them to pray for us. 
The next day I confessed to the men and to God that I 
had been mad at God for letting Christians attack me and 
for taking away from me all things that were spiritual for 
all those years. I confessed that I had sinned by judging 
God and His church and asked for forgiveness. That 
started the "big thaw" in my spiritual winter. Things were 
finally coming back into perspective, "He is God, I'm a 
sinner," not the other way around. 

In 1991 I had my first real Holy Ghost encounter with 
God in eleven years. I was at a Vineyard conference and 
His presence came down on me with such intensity that 
I could hardly breathe. I was back at the Motel between 
meetings, sitting on the floor in the laundry room between 
two washing machines reading the book of Jonah. All of 
a sudden He filled the room! The book of Jonah came 
alive! Every word was jumping off the page and straight 
into my heart. 

There were more encounters with Him and more testings 
and trials at the hands of Christians after that, but I kept 
"short accounts" and had learned to forgive and keep 
seeking His face in each one. I had determined that I 
was tired of a diet of, as my friend called it, "roast pastor." 
I was not accepted with open arms back into church 
ministries for I still saw things from that prophetic 
prospective, but I didn't make it my duty to set all of 
them "right," either. 

Jesus said of the Pharisees, "They are blind guides 
leading the blind. Leave them alone, they will fall into 
the ditch." Sometimes, the best cure for a disease is to 
let it run its course. When one is on his back in a ditch, 
it might just be the first time that he has ever looked up 
and become humbled enough to seek help!  Saul the 
persecutor of the Church found this out.  "All good gifts 
come DOWN from the Father of lights." God opposes 
the proud and lifts up the humble. 

Well, I said all that to say this... You who are called to 
be prophets, study the scriptures and see the common 
thread of wilderness in the lives of God's prophets and 
invite His mighty humbling hand to prove your heart in 
His crucible of affliction, that He might truly use you as 
His purified instrument. Even after this period of 
wilderness, called by some "the dark night of the soul," 
I find that He continues to work His death in me as I 
continue to follow Him and speak His words. 

-Michael Clark.
<michael@...>
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