Preparation for Marriage

“It is not good that the man should be alone.” (Genesis 2:18b)

Three months and three days before I was married, the Lord spoke to me at 3:00 in the morning. That’s “three threes” in case you didn’t notice. That means something. But I didn’t quite catch the “extra significance” of that at the time. But I knew it was the Lord. He spoke to me so clearly — it was the next best thing to “audible” — in fact, better than audible, I would say, as the Lord spoke directly to my spirit, bypassing my hearing — these were clear words. As soon as I heard them, I woke up. Plus or minus a few words, the Lord said: “You need to get a few things cleared up. No serious fasting or anything, but you need to speak with John.” And that was the entire message.

I knew God had spoken to me. That much was clear. I even knew what he said, and didn’t forget it. But my rationalization as the days went by, day by day, was “I can’t afford the time [because of my need to prepare for my marriage] to go down and see John right now [6 hours away by bus]. Plus, it’s too expensive!” That was a critical mistake. It is never too expensive to do what God told you you need to do. Plus, another critical mistake was that, just like Satan “re-worded” God’s command not to eat from ONE tree in the garden when he [Satan] said to Eve, “Did God really say you must not eat from ANY tree?”, I also “managed” somehow to do the very same thing! God had NOT said to go and SEE John! He had said to SPEAK with him! I could easily do that over the phone! In time, I would — just as God said I needed to. Yes, God would be proven right, as he always is!

Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and, before you knew it, it was almost time to get married (on October 10, 1992). As happens, there was some “stress” prior to our wedding (and this happens a lot — it’s a fire that many people pass through just prior to their wedding day), and due to that stress, a sincere, yet sincerely mistaken friend of mine suggested to me that maybe it was not God’s will for me to get married to this incredible woman (and eight years later I can attest to the fact that she is a most assured gift from God!). Now ONE YEAR EARLIER I had been visiting my friend John — remember, he’s the one God spoke about in the dream — at his home in Grimbsy, Ontario, and I had been talking with him because I wanted his counsel on what he thought about my getting married to my former girlfriend, Mary, with whom I had broken off our previous relationship on account of the fact that I was “worried” that it might not be God’s will and that I might be grieving God’s heart by doing something that was against his will. So that was the “precedent” for Satan now “putting this same suggestion before me” as he did so effectively through my friend. In other words, I was open to receiving it.

You see, I was overcome with a great deal of fear due to some “disfunctional parenting”. What I needed was an infusion of God’s love, to “break” the fear that was in me. That happened, one night, when I was attending the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship Family Camp back in 1991 (then associated with the Vineyard). Due largely to a teaching on God’s “Father Heart”, as they say, presented by a man named Jack Winter, I was exposed, really, for the first time in my life, to an overwhelming — massive, and sudden — dose of God’s love, poured out on me! The result was that, although I had been a Christian for 6 years and “knew” God’s love for me from an intellectual standpoint, I was finally able to come to the God who loved me from an experiential standpoint, as well. (Please see my article, “Sudden Move of God’s Spirit”, published March 6, 1998, available from our website at http://www.fcet.org/) Admittedly, this was not the only dose of “love” that I received when I was there. God moved in many powerful ways throughout my 9 month stay in Cambridge, Ontario. The story is too long to recount here, but it is true, true, true (God is true — he lives, and his love is real for those who are willing to take hold of it).

Now, the “major stronghold of fear” had been broken because of that sudden dose of love. What I am telling you is that in the span of about 2 hours, God blew away about 29 years of rejection that had been sown into my spirit — rejection that, as much as my parents tried their very best to be good parents (and they were very good in many ways), stemmed from insecurity in the home. All of a sudden, I woke up one morning and knew that I was ready to get married. I just “knew it”, like I had never known it before. It was, as you could say, revelation flowing into me, letting me know that “everything was all right — go for it, God has cleaned you out”. Man, what a relief that was. It was a new day!

So, I went to see John, my pastor-friend, who could counsel me. Now this is what happened during the final ten minutes of the approximately one hour that we spent together talking about marriage issues. All of a sudden, my mind went crazy with demonic thoughts — thoughts of wild confusion, I was unable to think clearly. I simply could not focus on what John was saying. The Lord did not deliver from this, but instead used it as an occasion to be able to speak to me. Please understand. God is intimately involved in every area of our lives. It is not always “expedient” that he deliver us from all of our problems right away. He often chooses to use them instead for higher purposes. Such was the case, now, when this “wild confusion” reigned for about the last 10 minutes of my meeting with John. You see, just after that wild 10 minutes of confusion reigned in my mind (and it really did reign), the Lord spoke into my spirit, very clearly, though I could not say with words. He was saying, “This same type of thing will happen before your wedding.” In other words, what had just happened was a “type” for something much larger that would happen before our wedding. God knew what was ahead. And our marriage was still about a year off.