During a three-day revival in the city of Seattle, I witnessed a powerful move of the prophetic anointing.
During that revival, people received salvation, healing, and prophetic revelation from Heaven. But the revival did not begin with an ease in spiritual flow. It began with some demonic resistance. God tends to send His prophets to the spiritually dull places.
Prophets are God’s vessels for restoring color and life and for destroying stubborn spiritual obstructions.
It was day number one of the prophetic meetings. For that entire day, before I had even stepped foot into the church building, I had visions of myself ministering. The Lord kept showing me a vision of myself throwing the podium onto the ground. I couldn’t get that image out of my head. The Lord was speaking to me about it all day. As odd as it seems, I tell you that the Lord wanted me to throw that church’s podium on the ground.
So on the first night of the revival, before any of the miracles started flowing and before the prophetic was freely operational, while I was standing in the worship service, I heard the Lord speak. He said, “Rob, this church is stuck under the steeple of religion. The people need to be freed. I brought you here to shake the people from complacency and move them into a place of spiritual revival and awakening. They are stagnant.”
So there I was, ministering on that first night of revival, and the Lord spoke, “Rob, throw down their pulpit.” Because I was young, not only in age but also in ministry, I debated within my heart. I thought, “But that would be disrespectful. What will they think of me? I can’t do that. What if it’s just me?” I reasoned myself out of a response, and I simply refused to do it.
The service was nothing like what I was used to—there was just such a spiritual stagnation in the atmosphere. I preached the rest of my message, gave a few prophetic words, and went home.
When I got home, I felt a deep, heavy sorrow. I felt shattered within. It was an ugly feeling. I knew it was the sorrow of the Spirit that troubled me. I had broken His heart. I heard the voice of the Lord say, “You are My prophet. You have been called by My name. Trust in Me, and I will not fail you. Like Jeremiah, I’ve given you a face like flint. You do not have to worry about the faces or the actions of others, for I am in control.”
I wept and repented before God. “Lord,” I cried, “if this is really You, sometime later, give me another opportunity and I will obey You.” The Lord is truly merciful; He gave me another chance.
Saturday night, the church was packed. God was moving, and I was prophesying. I sensed the stirring of the Spirit deep within my soul. Like fire, a holy zeal arose in me. In that moment, God spoke again, “Throw down their pulpit.” That time, without hesitation, I took their pulpit and threw it to the ground. A gasp from the crowd filled the air, as the top of the podium broke off as soon as it hit the floor. The podium was broken into two pieces.
No longer worried about the opinion of man, I then took a pitcher of water and began to pour water over the pulpit. I prophesied, “That which has been dead will now come to life. The places where God’s presence has been removed will be filled again. I sprinkle water—it’s a sign that there is a refreshing and a revival now coming.”
Some people became furious. Their faces made that obvious to me. A hush dominated the room.
Just then, one of the oldest members of the church—he was a member of that church for generations—stood up and said, “Everything that this man has said is of God. When I saw him throw down the pulpit, I wanted to tackle him, but the Lord said, ‘Look!’ And out of the pulpit, I saw demons and unclean spirits fleeing. They came out of the pulpit and fled from the building.”
Revival was sparked. The meetings were set ablaze with a holy fire, and that church was taken out of stagnation. Thankfully, the pulpit was later repaired—you couldn’t even tell there was ever a fracture. But God used the prophetic action to break the power of a religious spirit.
Sometimes God will ask you to do something radical. When moving in the prophetic gift, you cannot allow the opinion of man to hinder your obedience toward God. At times what you say will be in the face of others and their stuff and won’t make sense. Sometimes it will shock or even anger people. You have to be ready and prepared for what God asks you to do. But when you do it in His love, the words that you say will be like a hammer set against stony hearts, breaking down walls and allowing God to enter.
But radical obedience doesn’t stop at overcoming the fear of man. Radical obedience will require that you overcome fear, period. Sometimes what God asks you to do will challenge you. But you have been called by His name. Your only concern should be whether or not you have obeyed what God has told you to do. Nothing should stop you from obeying God’s voice.
Being afraid is normal; everyone feels fear when God challenges them to do something. But the important thing is not allowing that fear to limit you or hold you back. Even Jeremiah was fearful when God called him as a prophet.
Then said I: “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.”
But the Lord said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord.
Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:6-10 NKJV).
God assured Jeremiah of His presence and the purpose in his life. You can also be secure that God will not leave your side as you walk out His purpose for your life. You are an overcomer.
The Eagle’s Nest Offering
In 1995, when I was 24 years old, I was a part of a ministry team called Imeon. On one occasion, we traveled as a group from Northern California all the way down to Southern California to attend a prophetic meeting and hear a man preach named Pastor Gary Greenwald. At first, I wasn’t going to go, but something in my spirit told me that I absolutely had to go to that meeting. So it was at the last minute that I decided to get my plane ticket and join the group.
During the service, Pastor Gary ministered a word called, “Lay Down Your Isaac.” It was a message about sacrifice, passing divine tests, and how God returned Isaac to Abraham. As an illustration for the message, Pastor Gary challenged everyone in attendance to give something of value in the offering. Pastor Gary wasn’t shy about it either. “Whatever you value; it doesn’t have to be just money. Give whatever God tells you to give. Lay it down like Abraham laid down Isaac.” He explained that he would then give away the items in the offering to others in attendance. He determined who would receive the items from the offering by a game of Bible Trivia. It was a different way of doing things, for sure. There I was with my camera strapped to my neck, because I did not want to miss the perfect shot during the meeting. I would soon wish that I had left the camera in Northern California.
During the offering, the Spirit of the Lord asked me a most challenging question, “Rob, do you love Me?” Without hesitation, I assured Him, “Yes Lord, I love You with all my heart.” As if to test me in what I had just spoken, the Holy Spirit asked, “Will you give Me your camera?” By that time, the offering buckets were being passed throughout the congregation. That camera, worth about $1,000 at the time, was precious to me. But I knew that God had spoken to me. As the bucket passed by, I wrote Canon Elan camera on a piece of paper and placed it inside.
Expecting a “Well done, good and faithful servant” from the Lord, I was instead further questioned by Him. I was shocked when the Lord asked a second time, “Rob, do you love Me?” I retaliated, “Lord, what do You mean? Didn’t I just give You my camera like You asked? I love You with all my heart.” He tried me deeper still. “Rob, will you give Me all of your camera equipment?” The words from two years prior rang in my heart, “You will put down your camera and never pick it up again.”
With a tear in my eye, I pulled out another piece of paper and wrote down a list of all my camera equipment—the portable studio, backdrops, lighting, lenses—at least about $5,000 worth of equipment. I finished writing the list, and whispered, “Yes, Lord, I love You with all my heart.” I called for the usher and explained to him that the list belonged with the camera.
Only minutes later, Pastor Gary was giving away items from the offering via the unique means of the Bible Trivia game. He would pull out an item and ask a Bible question. Whoever answered the question correctly received the item. It was a different way of doing things, but it was Spirit-led.
So Pastor Gary was asking questions. People were responding. And items were being given away freely.
Then, Pastor Gary pulled the paper from one of the buckets that had my camera (I mean God’s camera) written on it. The people gasped with excitement. Pastor Gary said, “This is a $1,000 camera, and it’s here being given away! For this one, I’ll ask a very difficult question.” I reasoned within myself, “Surely the Lord is testing me like he tested Abraham. He’ll return my Isaac to me. I’ll know the answer to the question! This must all be a test. I’m going to raise my hand, answer the question and win back what I just sowed. There’s no way God is just going to let me give this thing away. This is my career. How am I going to work? Pay my bills?” I visualized myself shooting my hand in the air and shouting, “I know the answer!” I imagined I would win back my equipment and all would be well.
Filled with faith, I already had my hand halfway lifted; I was ready to give the answer.
To this day, I still remember the question.
“Who were the only two men in the Bible to have ever had their wives given away?”
A wave of dread washed over me. I realized, “I don’t know the answer.”
Pastor Gary scanned the congregation looking for anyone who knew the answer. In the entire crowd, only one person knew it—one lady who was jumping up and down with joy. Pastor Gary called on her. She exclaimed, “The answer is Samson and David!” “You are right!” Pastor Gary announced. “And the camera is here. Who is the person giving away the camera? Both of you join us on the stage, please.”
The lady and I both walked onto the stage. She was crying with joy. I was crying with mixed emotions.
Pastor Gary asked me, “Why are you crying?” I was honest, “I’m crying because this is the biggest seed that I have ever sown in my life.” The woman told everyone present, “And I am crying because God answers prayers. I am a high school teacher. Every day, as I walk to my class, I pass by the photography room and I lay hands on the door. I asked the Lord to provide me with the best camera equipment possible so that when I go to Mongolia this upcoming summer, I can document the missionary trip. I am going to write about it and take pictures.”
It was at that moment that I told her about the rest of the seed I sowed, “God doesn’t only want me to give you this camera. He wants me to give you all my camera equipment. You now have the best of the best. Just know that God answers prayer.”
Sometimes God will move you prophetically in order for you to sow extravagantly. He’ll have you give things away and even be in specific places, because you are a part of His plan. You are a part of the fulfillment of prayers. You have divine appointments to meet. As prophetic people who radically obey the voice of God, we do not only speak prophetic words; we become the prophetic word in action. We cling to nothing but the Lord Himself and recognize that all we possess belongs to the Lord.
But don’t think this is the end of my offering story. Peter was asked the question three times: “Do you love Me?” I had only been asked twice. The third time came about a month and a half later. I had already given away my camera and all my equipment, so I had to borrow a camera in order to work. One day while at my job, the voice of the Lord spoke to me again. “Rob, do you love Me?” When I heard the question, all I could do was bow my head and cry. I said, “Lord, You know I love You. I’ve given everything You’ve asked of me. I really don’t know what more I can give.” The words I heard next stopped me in my tracks. The Lord said, “Rob, will you give Me your job?”
My job? “You will put down your camera and never pick it up again. You will become what you’re meant to be, an oracle.”
Without hesitation and before I could talk myself out of it, I finished up my work and drove back to the office. I sat with my boss and told him I would be quitting. My next paycheck was the last one I received from the company.
Now, I don’t recommend anyone doing that. But when a person hears the voice of God in the way I did, all I could do was obey. I will admit, it definitely wasn’t an easy road I chose to walk. I had just become engaged to Juanita, and there was a wedding to plan. She was finishing up school and only working part-time. My future in-laws went from loving me (my job paid me $60,000 a year) to hating me (I had no income now). How was I supposed to pay for a wedding and begin a new life with Juanita when I had no money?
All I could do was put my faith, hope, and trust in God and in the seed I had sown. If God asked for my camera, my photography equipment, and my job, then He had a plan to take care of me. And He did.
Juanita and I saw miracle after miracle take place for our wedding. Someone purchased our wedding cake. Another person took care of the food for the reception. And another person gave us the money to pay for our honeymoon. Other than little expenses, the main thing we had to pay for was the wedding photographer. God definitely has a sense of humor.
This prophetic attribute of radical obedience was something that developed out of a lifestyle of prayer and worship. I was hungry for what God wanted to show me, to hear what He wanted to speak to me. But most importantly, I was hungry for more of God Himself.
Spiritual hunger will cause you to do radical things.
As a young prophetic minister, I was driven by a spiritual hunger to seek out mentors and to search for anointed prophets of God. I studied them. I served them. I learned from them. I found one prophet, in particular, to be especially inspiring. His name is Ruckins McKinley. I would often attend his services and assist him.
In my earlier years of ministry, I attended a prophetic conference because I wanted to hear and serve under Ruckins. Even though Juanita and I were newlyweds at the time and finances were tight, I decided to drive from Southern California to Northern California just to attend that conference. The drive up to San Jose was about five hours long. I don’t know what surprised me more—that my car was able to make the drive or that I was able to afford the gas.
Either way, when I finally arrived at the church where the conference was being held, I was excited. My heart was filled with expectation. I knew that God was going to minister to me in a special way. I stepped out of my car, stretched my legs, and headed toward to church lobby. As I approached, I noticed that the conference attendees were all wearing wristbands. So I went up to one of the check-in tables to get mine. That’s when I was told, to my dismay, that there was a fee for the conference. The registration fee was $75 a person. I did not have $75.
So I tried to explain to the conference coordinators, “I am here to assist Prophet Ruckins McKinley. He’s one of your main speakers. I am here serving under his ministry. He knows I am coming. He’s expecting me.” They didn’t care. They were adamant about their registration rules. “Nobody gets in unless they’re registered. Sorry.” They just wouldn’t let me in.
Just then, I saw Ruckins walking through the lobby on his way into one of the side rooms where he was about to teach a smaller “breakout” session. I tried to get his attention. “Ruckins!” He saw me and approached. I was relieved to see him. We greeted one another and then I explained the situation. “Ruckins, they’re not letting me in even though I told them that I am here to serve your ministry.” Ruckins invited me to follow him all the way to the entrance of the side room. That’s where we were stopped by the conference staff. Not even Ruckins could get me through the door without a registration.
It was then that Ruckins decided to open a window inside the small conference room. He told me to go outside so that I could watch the session from the window. It was the only way that he was able to get me involved in the meeting.
So there I stood, outside of the window of a small conference room. I did not have a chair. It was hot, and I didn’t have the luxury of air conditioning. My only relief was found in the shade of a single tree. I literally just stood there as Ruckins and two other prophets ministered. They ministered for over two hours. The first two prophets who ministered merely glanced at me before continuing with their ministry to the people inside the building. They didn’t even give me a second glance, because I wasn’t in the room.
But Prophet Ruckins saw something in me that the others did not. When he looked at me, when he looked at my situation, the prophet saw hunger, godly desire, and pure zeal. Suddenly the prophet leaned himself outside of the window, reaching out toward me, and he grabbed me by the back of the neck. He shouted, “Everything I have within me, I impart to you!” And he released the prophetic anointing into my life.
There was no catcher standing behind me, and I wasn’t standing on cushy church carpet. There was nothing there to soften the impact of my fall, but I felt the power of God go through me. I hit the concrete, and I remained there until the end of the service. I stayed there until God finished imparting into me everything He desired to impart. That was a significant day in my spiritual journey.
When you hunger for something, you do not let the word no stop you. When you burn with the prophetic fire, you are an unstoppable blaze that dashes through the brush of fear and obstacles. Radical obedience, fueled by godly hunger, pushes you beyond the limitations of fear, delay, and obstruction. In fact, when you have a prophetic mantle on your life, it’s difficult to settle for anything less than radical obedience toward God’s commands.
Jeremiah, no longing wanting to speak the word of the Lord because of the consequences, was unable to stifle the voice of God for long.
When I speak, the words burst out. “Violence and destruction!” I shout. So these messages from the Lord have made me a household joke. But if I say I’ll never mention the Lord or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it! (Jeremiah 20:8-9)
When you are disobedient to what God asks you to do, it makes you miserable. There’s no use in holding back anyway. No matter what others say, no matter what it costs you, no matter how long it takes, radically obey what God has clearly spoken.