Growing up as a pastor’s kid, I witnessed all the hypocrisies and “quirks” of ministry and the religious system. It was not that my parents were not Godly people, they were. Filled with the Holy Spirit and practicing what they preached, as far as I could tell. I saw so much of the sheep “biting them in the butt”, that I became very bitter and desensitized to Christianity as a whole. “These people are not different than the world”, I thought. As a young child, I would see angels and things in the spirit realm. Starting when I was around two or three, my parents would find me missing from my bed both during the day and the night. They would find me outside in our 1 acre wooded yard, or in the raspberry patch, or somewhere else in the house. I would tell them that I was with my two guardian angels, who I could see very clearly. We would carry on conversations together. So since I was very young, I had been exposed to the spirit realm. I once saw the Lord Jesus come down through the clouds and he kneeled down in the park across the street from our house and prayed, and then he went back up into heaven. These were the kind of things that took place during my childhood.
After being tainted by the whole religious system, and the Lord moving our family due to a pastoral position that my dad took which I did not understand at the time, I grew increasingly bitter and resentful. It was then that they put me into a Christian school where I was increasingly get into spats and trouble. Things then grew worse. After two years, we moved a second time and it was then that I began hanging out with, “the wrong crowd”. I had become an angry and bitter teen and got involved with drugs and alcohol and began dealing drugs. On top of that, my parents had took over a spirit filled church in an all Mormon community in a small town in Wyoming that bordered Idaho, just a few hours from Salt Lake City. This only added to the tension and persecution that was already taking place in our family. During that time, I started listening to hard rock and heavy metal music. I took up the guitar and taught myself to play. Music, as you fully understand, became my escape. I constantly battled depression and suicidal thoughts. I would hang out with friends and party, but I preferred to be alone and isolated with my music, becoming more and more of a recluse as time went on. There was a time that my parents thought that I was a lost cause, but still they tolerated me playing heavy metal believing that someday I would be playing music for the Lord which, years later, is exactly what happened. I would have to write a book to contain all the details.
In that season of my life, I had a near fatal overdose on meth, among all the other things that were taking place at the time among our family. By the grace of God, and a praying mother, I survived to graduate from high school and move away from home, trying to escape a lifestyle and circle of friends that were dragging me down. I had been forced to go to church for most of my life, and even though I was bitter, I had never stopped believing in God or Jesus. Even during some of my runs to pick up drugs, I would pray and ask for the Lord’s mercy and protection despite my addictions and rebellious state. I knew the call of God upon my life and was running from it. I also knew deep down that I would somehow get through it and one day answer that call. Despite my sinful lifestyle, the Lord faithfully answered my prayers and protected me as I watched my friends get busted and, regretfully, many of them died without the saving knowledge of Christ.
During the time that I was nearly overdosing, the Lord gave me a quick glimpse into hell. He let me know that was where I was headed if I did not change my lifestyle. It was only a matter of seconds, but it was enough to shock the “hell” right out of me. I was so blinded by the enemy that I had not even realized how very bad my life had become. From that point on, I ceased to take any kind of crank or meth.
Immediately after I moved out of state I went to work for my aunt who ran a hotel that held conventions, meetings, weddings, and such. Feeling relieved from the pressure of having to sit in church, I tried to “find myself” and occupied my time working and focusing on a career. I was not strong enough to handle the peer pressure, and resorted once again to smoking pot and drinking. An old buddy of mine, whose name was Todd, worked as a banquet houseman. He had long jet black hair and was a diehard Kiss fan. He was also an alcoholic without a driver’s license, so he would take buses to every Kiss concert within a four or five hour vicinity. Todd had a great voice and he and I quickly connected due to our mutual love for rock and heavy metal. We would do a few gigs together here and there, especially at company parties and during the holidays. Our hotel bartender, who was also a local stripper, took a liking to us and would give us free beer from the tap anytime we wanted. The hotel also had a killer sound system, so DJ’s would come from St. Louis or Chicago along with all of their drug dealers and pimps and throw raging parties, often to the dismay of our agitated customers who were just trying to get a good night sleep.
Late one night a drunk, obnoxious gangster decided he would turn on the fire alarm. Turn it on he did. I had every customer in the hotel at my front desk in robes yelling and screaming at me, wanting to know what was going on as others were harshly demanding a refund of their money. Needless to say, I quickly grew weary of the business. One night a man came in with his hand wrapped and saturated in blood. He had been in a knife fight and had managed to get four fingers cut off. He asked to use the phone, and with a shocked and dismayed look I quickly handed it to him, thinking that he was calling an ambulance. He proceeded to call his girlfriend and begged for her to take him back. Then he dropped the phone and ran back outside. I also regularly had groups of four or five men and women that would come in late at night to rent one of our suites that I would give them at a discounted rate. These would proceed to hold group orgies late into the night and check out early in the morning. A couple of times I was approached to join them, in which I quickly replied to them that I was not interested. My parents had managed to instill enough fear in me through a synthetic conscience that I knew to avoid those types of situations. I think much of my childhood shyness added to the equation. That could also be another book in itself. I still continued to battle loneliness and depression, but a hunger and desire deep down inside of me to know God began to grow. I also had a desire to start going to church again.
On Christmas eve of that year as I laid my head down on my pillow, the Lord spoke to me clearer than I had heard Him speak in many years. He told me that I was going to move to Peoria, which was a little over an hours drive north of Springfield. I was excited and happy to make a fresh start away from the hotel business. I had been going to church with my grandmother, but was very dissatisfied with the whole format. I knew inside that I needed and desired something more. Shortly after moving to Peoria, I got involved with a church that had a large college and career group. The college and career pastor and I became very close, and he spent a lot of time speaking and pouring into my life. I was living in a house with a few other guys where we would hold weekly bible studies with other guys from the college and career group.
It was during this time that I had begun learning worship songs in the privacy of my own bedroom. I would begin with a song or two and then I would just try to find my own words to express my feelings of love and gratitude to the Lord. Then I would find myself singing the “new song of the Lord” and as I would minister to Him, He would in turn minister back to me with this awesome presence. It was during these times that great emotional and spiritual healing began to take place in my life. It progressed as I would find the Lord singing prophetically through me, and often singing prophetically TO me to minister healing and restoration. I remember that there were times that I would spend hours just weeping on the floor under His presence and glory as I felt His arms of love wrapped around me. One evening my roommate arrived home as I was worshiping and I did not realize that he had come in. I began to hear profuse weeping outside my door. I walked out to find him on the floor as the Holy Spirit was ministering to him and he was being healed of many past hurts and wounds. Brad was his name. Following Brad’s healing and restoration, he went on to attend the Brownsville school of ministry in Pensacola, Florida. The leader of our bible study then asked me if I would like to begin leading worship during the bible studies. I hesitantly said yes. This led to me being asked to play guitar on our college and career worship team, which I did off and on for awhile.
Somewhere during the course of this time, my hunger led me to one of the prayer meetings that the pastor of that church held. I was desirous to be filled with the Holy Spirit and the manifestation of speaking in other tongues. I didn’t say anything to anyone, and as we were all walking around praying, I kneeled down by a chair and asked the Holy Spirit if He would fill me. All that I remember was like a liquid fire that came upon me and my tongue got warm and began to quiver. I immediately began speaking in this unknown language from heaven. I prayed for hours into the night. I was nineteen years old at the time. I continued to pray in tongues every morning before work, and during the evening I would worship and pray in tongues for a couple more hours, along with reading and meditating the word. My roommate and I would take three by five note cards and write scriptures on them and post them all over the house. We were continually walking the floor and confessing them.
Shortly after I received the baptism, someone gave me a video of David Hogan speaking at the revival in Brownsville during 1997-1998. I was awed. He talked about fasting and all the creative miracles that would happen and people being raised from the dead. “That’s what I’ve been praying for, Jesus! That’s what the disciples walked in! I want that too!” I had previously told the Lord that it had to be all or none. “Either I walk in everything the apostles and the early church walked in and more, or else I don’t want anything at all!” The Holy Spirit was really beginning to move during our college and career meetings, so I talked with my pastor and told him we had to call a corporate time of prayer and fasting. He agreed, and we called 100 hours of prayer and fasting as a group. For many of us, it was our first time fasting. I remember people calling me and telling me that they could only make it till dinner, or the first day or two. Not me! The hunger and driving force inside of me was so strong that I managed to make it all four days. (That was a lot back then!) It was awesome. I felt like superman. I was ready to take on the world! Or so I thought.
After we all finished the prayer meeting on the fourth night, we reconvened at Steak and Shake to celebrate. I ordered a spaghetti chili mac and a salad… along with a milkshake. I ate everything. After the warm and fuzzy feeling subsided, I began to feel it: The pain. The bloating. I hurt so bad that I could hardly sleep that night. I vowed to never do that again. I learned my first major lesson in fasting: how to not break a fast! Fasting then became a lifestyle for me, along with the worship, prayer, and meditating of His word. It was during those early college and career meetings that I learned to step out in my prophetic calling. The Holy Spirit would move on me and saturate my senses, which was my cue to let Him rip! I was so nervous and uneasy at first, but after time it became very simple as I learned to surrender and submit more and more to His prompting and leading.
Previous to that time, I had been in a serious relationship that was suddenly broken off. It left me devastated and lonely. It was in that state of brokenness that I cried out to the Lord. This was a major turning point in my life, and a catalyst for what the Lord began to do in me. It was also during this time that I severed my soul ties with secular music. I still remember crying as I got rid of them. I was a major decision for me. The emotional pull upon my soul to that music was strong. I was down to one album: Def Leppard’s album, Hysteria. It was one of my all time favorites. I had actually taken some of my artistic skills and hand drawn the cover of that album. I cried as it sat there in front of me. Hysteria actually means, “ a state of extreme or uncontrollable emotion”. It was then that I began to learn about the enemy’s powerful tools of seduction in the realm of the soul through music. As I finally worked up the nerve, I took the cd in my hand and shattered it into many pieces. As it shattered and broke, I immediately felt like something had shattered and broken off of me. I felt as if a yoke had been broken off of me and a burden lifted. I felt so much lighter and free!
I would occasionally digress and go out and buy a secular album, only to once again feel disgusted and smash it! This went on for about a year before I was totally delivered. The more I spent time in worship and in His presence, the less the desire was for listening to secular music until it just eventually faded away. I also found out that when the flesh rose up and temptations came to try to make me sin, that if I could just get into His presence the pressure would lift and the temptation would leave. The combination of worship, fasting, and prayer put to death many areas in my life that were out of line with the word of God. It was also in the place of worship that I learned to clearly hear and discern His voice. Whenever I would be saturated in His presence, I would learn to stop and listen and He would speak. Later down the road I began writing out what the Holy Spirit would speak to me.
So, let me get back to the point of why I was so moved when I read about your first meeting. You know how there are often times in your life when you feel like no one else can understand or relate to your experiences? I guess I’ve never heard or read of an encounter so similar to my own, that it touched me at the very core of my being. In my journey into worship and intimacy with the Lord, I had never even heard the term “prophetic worship” nor did I really even know what it meant. I just remember similar things taking place in some of the first meetings I was asked to do. I would start out trying to do songs that I already knew and, just like in my secret place, the Holy Spirit would begin to take me and I would find myself singing the “new song of the Lord”, as He would begin singing over His people and tremendous emotional healing, deliverance, salvation, and even creative miracles would begin to take place.
It was then that I began to understand the levels of glory that the Father was desiring to release in these final hours, specifically through the worship and the release of His heart, as people would be touched directly by Him, without anyone touching or laying their hands on them. Because of this, He and the Lord Jesus Christ alone would be worthy to receive ALL of the praise, honor, and glory that they were rightfully due. No individual will be able to take the credit or the glory for what the Holy Spirit will be doing and releasing in these last days. As the nameless, faceless, generation begins to emerge from the shadows, all fingers will point to and all eyes will be fixed upon the Lord Jesus Christ who is truly King of Kings, and Lord of Lords over all of His creation, and upon our loving, heavenly Father who will truly manifest His heart of love compassion to a lost and dying world, through the lives of all who will receive grace to be transformed into the very image and likeness of His Son. Praise be to His holy and wondrous name forever!
Caleb – 2001
MAY THE REMNANT OF NAMELESS AND FACELESS WARRIORS ARISE THROUGHOUT THE EARTH UNTIL THE EVIL AND TYRANNICAL GIANTS ARE SLAIN, AND OUR RIGHTFUL PROMISED LAND OF INHERITANCE IS FULLY POSSESSED…
‘TAKING THE LAND: CALEB & THE TALE OF A TRUE KINGDOM WARRIOR’