I was ministering at a church in Washington State.
The prophetic was so clear that I was able to call people out by name. During that sensational time of ministry, I was moved in my spirit to call out someone by the name of Autumn. The uniqueness of that name struck me. I called out, “Autumn, are you here? Raise your hand. Let me know if you are here.”
I persisted, “I have this name, it’s so strong in my spirit. I must pray for you, Autumn.” Still, nobody signaled me. A bit perplexed, I settled for, “Is anyone here perhaps praying for an Autumn?” My question was met only with more silence, but I knew that God had given me that name. I was definitely supposed to minister a prophetic word to an Autumn. I decided to let it go for the time being. I told the people, “Well, I am going to move forward and keep ministering to other people. But I’ll keep praying for Autumn. I believe Autumn is here.”
Not wanting to miss my prophetic assignment, I finally just said to myself, “Lord, show me Autumn.” I continued to minister to others, but as I did I moved around the building.
Eventually, I found myself standing in front of a young woman. She couldn’t have been more than 23 or 24 years old. She was wearing a lot of makeup and she looked dejected, downcast. I moved the microphone away from my mouth, looked the young girl in the eyes, and said, “Autumn?”
She reluctantly explained, “That’s not my name. Well, that’s not my real name. It’s my stage name. I’m a dancer.”
I responded, “Well, Autumn, the Lord has sent me here to deliver you. You will live and not die. I see the suicide letter that you have written, but even if you take those pills, you will not die. The Lord has sent me to save you and to deliver you from the lie.”
As the prophetic word was being spoken over her, she began to weep and cry. She laid her head on my shoulder, and I began to pray that God would deliver her from oppression and sadness, that God would spare her life. When she picked her head up, she had left a fair amount of makeup on my shirt. When she noticed what she had done, she looked mortified and cried, “Oh, I am so sorry!”
I replied, “Autumn, this is the greatest gift you could have ever given me.” You see, in my eyes, her tears represented her deliverance. Looking at her again, I declared, “Autumn, hear me. You will live and not die.”
She then confided, “My family has rejected me, and I feel like I have nothing to live for. I tried to make ends meet as a dancer. I just came to church this morning to ask God for forgiveness.”
I prayed over her and declared life to her. She had already written the suicide note that morning before service, and even though she received the word, she still tried to commit suicide later that day, hours after the service. And although she had put the plan in motion, God foiled her plans. I was told later that Autumn lived.
A season for a name—it seemed strange to most of the people in attendance, but God knew what would get her attention. Prophetic revelation will reveal details about people’s lives that are so specific that they seem odd to others. But those little details, personal touches the Spirit puts on each ministering declaration, add to the weight of what is being said. Often, the seemingly strange is where the power is the greatest. These peculiar words—because they are so personal—can be the most memorable.
Freedom from a Frog
In 2001, I was visiting the United States Penitentiary in Florence, Colorado. I was holding special prophetic meetings for the inmates. During one of the services, I received a prophetic unction and prophesied, “There’s somebody here who’s been so addicted to a high of drugs that you have gone out to find a frog, and you’ve been licking that frog. And God wants to set you free.”
As I called out that prophetic word, a man responded. He was small in stature, wore glasses, and had blond, wavy hair. He carried himself with a certain frailty. He waved at me and said, “That’s me! I want to be free.”
When I laid hands on him, I felt the power of God rush through my body. The power of the Holy Spirit instantly set that man free from that addiction.
The man later revealed that he had kept a Colorado Horny Toad in captivity. The man would squeeze the toad causing it to release a toxic secretion. He would then lick the secretion for a high. The man compared the high to an acid trip.
Right after the meeting, he and a few of his friends released the frog.
Had I not been keen to hearing the voice of God, I would have thought, “A frog? That’s random. I doubt that means anything significant. This must just be my own thought.” If we’re not willing to embrace the strange and the random, we will miss many powerful prophetic moments. I wonder how many times we’ve missed divine appointments simply because we ignored the stranger prophetic unctions.
In 2012, during some of my ministry meetings in Taiwan, a high-ranking government official came to see me minister. The man told me that he had a friend, who also worked for the government, whom he wanted me to meet. So I was taken to a government facility where I met with both men.
I sat there, listening to them speak to one another in their native language. I couldn’t understand a word they were saying. However, judging by their tone, I was able to surmise that there was some sort of minor conflict or point of disagreement between the two of them.
The man who had come to my meeting was trying to convince his friend to be receptive to me. The friend was very skeptical. He was a believer, but he did not believe in prophets; he also believed that men shouldn’t be given titles. He did not believe that I could see into the future or hear from God. So he was not very open to hearing from me.
After arguing for several minutes, the skeptical man looked at me and said, in English, “If you are a prophet, tell me what I said to my wife last night.”
Under the prophetic anointing, I ministered to the man. As I shared my vision with him, I held up my fists close together as if I were handcuffed. I told him, “Well, I had a vision of you. And I see you holding your hands together in front of your wife saying, ‘I am tired of being handcuffed. I am tired of having my hands tied. I accepted this position in government because I wanted to make a difference for God’s Kingdom. But they keep blocking me. They do not allow me to do what I need to do.’”
I continued, “And you told your wife that you were going to retire, but the word of the Lord to you is that it is not your season to leave government. God has put you here with a purpose and has destined great things for Taiwan. You will be a major part of it.”
The man was amazed at how I heard his words and even saw his hand gestures in the Spirit. He went from being a skeptic to being completely open. He admitted, “That’s exactly what I spoke to my wife last night. Nobody knows that but her. I am frustrated because I am being prevented from doing what’s in my heart to do.” As he began to cry, he called for an administrator to enter the room. The official spoke something to his administrator, then the administrator walked out. He returned after several minutes with something in his hand, which he handed to the man.
The official gave me what was called “The Hat of Favor.” Because I wore that hat, I was honored everywhere I went in that government facility. When they saw that hat, the people would stop and bow in reverence. The hat represented favor from someone of importance. He gave me many other gifts as a sign of honor, but what brought me the most joy was this fact: A man who was once filled with doubt had become filled with faith.
When you know the voice of God, you can be instructed to say and do odd things. Who would have ever thought that pretending to be handcuffed could change someone else’s perspective in life? But those who do strange things in obedience are also favored. Rejoice in the peculiarity. In the scripture, prophets did strange things all the time. You are among God’s great company.
Isaiah the prophet wandered around prophesying naked for three years.
Then the Lord said, “My servant Isaiah has been walking around naked and barefoot for the last three years. This is a sign—a symbol of the terrible troubles I will bring upon Egypt and Ethiopia” (Isaiah 20:3).
At the command of God, Hosea the prophet married a prostitute.
When the Lord first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, “Go and marry a prostitute, so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord and worshiping other gods” (Hosea 1:2).
Ezekiel was commanded to cook a meal over human waste.
Prepare and eat this food as you would barley cakes. While all the people are watching, bake it over a fire using dried human dung as fuel and then eat the bread (Ezekiel 4:12).
Of course, you must be careful. You shouldn’t just do and say anything that randomly comes into your mind. But when God speaks to you, when you know His voice, be obedient. Say and do as He says. It’s okay to be a little different. After all, you are prophetic.