Following Your Inward Witness

One of the greatest mistakes we can make is being afraid of following the inward witness God places in our spirit.

That inward witness is God’s Holy Spirit communicating directly with our spirit.  It is the number one way God leads us.  All throughout scripture God has provided so many promises for you and I to grab a hold of and apply to our lives.  His promises are there to point the way for us to see the fulfillment to our needs through prayer.  Jesus told us clearly in John 16 that God answers our prayers so that our joy will be full (complete.)  Yet, many of us miss out on the joy because we fail to act on the voice of the Lord as He leads us.  The key is to start listening to and acting on that inward voice.  It doesn’t start with the big things, but with the small details in our lives.  Then, it builds from there.

God’s greatest desire is for us to live an abundant life filled with unspeakable joy.  This past year has been filled with joyous events happening all around me.  As I have quieted myself and listened to the Holy Spirit, I have — saved money on groceries and other bills, found misplaced items, solved computer problems, seen relationships healed, found resources for more effectively and efficiently operating the work of the ministry, ministered to someone whom  I didn’t even know was in need, and more!  How do I feel when these things happen?  I rejoice!  I make a special effort to praise the Lord and share a testimony with a neighbor, friend, or relative of how God is working.

Don’t miss out on your joy by failing to do something out of your ordinary habits when the Spirit leads you.   Listen to that inward voice and act on it!  God has something to say to you today!

Love in Christ,
Pastor Gary

Seasoned Wood Makes All The Difference

Over the past several weeks, the weather has been cold enough to enjoy the warmth and coziness of a crackling fire in the fireplace. For me, there is such a wonderful sense of comfort and security when we have the opportunity to share a fire in the fireplace together.

If you know how to start a good fire, then you know that seasoned wood makes all of the difference. Once I picked up some wood that had not been seasoned or dried out. It was terribly difficult to get burning and, once it was burning, it took extra kindling to keep it going.

This analogy came to me as I thought about the difference between freshly cut wood and seasoned wood. If I wish to withstand the fires that come against me in life, then I must remain filled with life, the life of Christ. Should I allow myself to dry out, it will become much easier for me to be overcome with flames of distraction, discouragement, and defeat.

All of us experience difficult moments, trials, tests, and tribulations. There is one thing which will determine how you come out on the other side of those experiences. That one thing is determined by your answer to the question. “Are you abiding in Christ?”

The more you know Christ, the more you should desire to know Him. The more of His life that is in you, the more of His life you should strive to obtain. If more of your day is consumed with worry, distraction, and the cares of life than with your Savior, your spiritual life is well on its way to dryness; you increase your chances of becoming good firewood for the trials of life and spiritual attacks.

Allow me to be straightforward. Stir up within yourself now the strongest desire ever to be closer to your Savior. Make yourself faithfully read the God’s Word. Discipline yourself to continual prayer with your Father. Fall in love with Jesus again. As you do, those things which have been burdensome will become lighter. Life challenges will more easily be overcome. The Word of God will flow more powerfully from your life.

If you are going to follow the example of so many others during this time of year and make a resolution, then make one that will change your life and the lives of all who know you. Resolve to walk more closely with your God. It will fireproof your life.

Love in Christ,
Pastor Gary

Ready to Begin a New Year?

How are you looking to close this year and begin the next one?

Most of us usually mark the ending of a year as the ending of a season.  At times, we will end the year with a sigh while thinking something to the effect, “At least I made it through another year.”  Maybe you have been feeling a bit of pressure and are just looking forward to this year quickly coming to a close.

God frequently encourages me with thoughts from Isaiah 45.  I love to read it from the Amplified Bible.  It is beautiful and thoroughly uplifting!  Isaiah 45:8  Let fall in showers, you heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness [the pure, spiritual, heaven-born possibilities that have their foundation in the holy being of God]; let the earth open, and let them [skies and earth] sprout forth salvation, and let righteousness germinate and spring up [as plants do] together; I the Lord have created it.

Verse 8 tells of the skies raining down righteousness, [pure, spiritual, heaven-born possibilities]!  These heaven-born possibilities have their foundation (creation and root) in the very being of God.  Have you ever considered why are they called possibilities instead of blessings, gifts, or answers?  The answer directly follows in “let the earth open.”  For the rains from heaven to produce the fullest potential in our lives, we must open up the earth in our lives.  In other words, we have to plow up the soil so it is ready to receive those rains.

Hard, dried, baked, unprepared soil causes the rain to wet the top and run off, leaving it to bake and harden more when the sun comes back out.  There are times when people do the same with the soil of their heart and lives.  They do not prepare for the heavenly rain.  When it comes, it runs off without having the chance to deeply penetrate and soak the soil.

I want the best year ever!  And, I want you to have the best year ever!  Let’s begin searching, plowing, weeding, cultivating, fertilizing, planting, and doing all that we can to prepare for the rains God is about to be poured out in our lives!  When those rains of heaven-born possibilities come, may the soil ready to receive and then produce heaven-born possibilities!!

Alisa and I pray for you to receive pure, spiritual, heaven-born possibilities!  May they become REALITIES in your life and ministry!

With our Deepest Love,
Pastor Gary & Alisa

Personally Delivered Answers

As we read through the story of Christmas from Luke, we see that God sent the angel Gabriel to Mary to intimately deliver His call for her.  What does this say to you?  Are you searching for answers or direction?  God’s spirit is within you to personally deliver His answer and give you direction.  Yet, too often we look elsewhere for God to speak.

This reminds me of a humorous story of a young man seeking direction for his life.  His experience went something like this.

For some time this young man was floundering with what he should do in life.  One day while stuck in traffic, he glanced over to see a partially covered billboard.  The only letters he could read were G and O. A few moments later he noticed a torn bumper sticker on the car in front of him which read ‘now.’  Suddenly he thought.  That’s it.  God is telling me to ‘Go Now!’

I would think that most of us would respond, “Go where, now.”  After all, even when God spoke to Abram, He said to go to a land I will show you.  We need to be sure that our search for direction is focused correctly — on the voice of God’s Spirit!

As you celebrate this Christmas, consider the remarkable ways God spoke to Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the Magi, Elizabeth, and Zacharias.  Then, realize GOD IS SPEAKING TO YOU!  God is giving you direction.  God will answer.  And, when He does, it will be personally delivered!

Alisa and I are praying for you to enjoy and experience a WONDERFUL Christmas!

With our Deepest Love,
Pastor Gary & Alisa

Every Promise Is ALREADY Answered “YES”!

It’s Christmas-time!  We are celebrating the birth of Christ who brought into manifestation the covenant which Father God has made with us!  His holy word guarantees that EVERY PROMISE is already answered “YES” for you because you are in Christ.  Christ means the Anointed!  Therefore, you are in the Anointed One!  You are in the Anointing!  If we are in the Anointed One with an everlasting covenant, then why do we often feel boxed in or captive?  Why are we not experiencing the freedom we have been promised?

This thought can be wonderfully illustrated through an experience Houdini, the famous escape artist, once had.  Houdini made a reputation for himself of being able to escape any lock.  Police would place him in a locked prison cell and within seconds he would loose himself and follow the guards as they walked away — except once.  Houdini remained in a cell for about 30 minutes.  When the officer returned, he found Houdini fuming over the lock.  The officer gave a simple push on the door and it swung open.  The door had never been locked.  It was unlocked all the time!

Now, consider that God has already unlocked the door for you.  Jesus won the victory.  The battle is the Lord’s and He has won it!  You have already been given freedom, wisdom, direction, victory, etc.  Too often, like Houdini, our struggle comes from believing the “door is still locked!”  Do not be discouraged or defeated!  Fling the door open!  Let this Christmas season be a POWERFUL REMINDER of God’s everlasting covenant with you.

We pray for you to enjoy a MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Experience God’s goodness and greatness this season!  May you be aware of His surpassing love in your life and family!

With our Richest Love,
Pastor Gary & Alisa