This spring my family went to the French city of Lyon. We did not know at the time that this was the gastronomical paradise of France. Many times my wife Sandy had heard on the food network that dishes were called “Lyonnaise” cuisine but she did not know that the reference was to this wonderful city in the center of France. The old section of the city is literally filled with hundreds of restaurants specializing in specific French cuisine. We also discovered that there was a restaurant in this wonderful city that is actually depicted in the Disney movie, “Ratatouille”.
When the five members of my family sat down in the elegant, world-class restaurant, the two sections of their menu pleasantly surprised me. One section was al-a-carte from which you could order individual items, and the other section was a “set menu”. The set menu was refreshingly helpful because it had set prices for complete meals making it very easy for us to purchase a family brunch knowing the price of the entire meal with no surprise costs. To our family’s wonderful amazement the set menu was so detailed that it included little extras in the meal that we would not have known to order. Misty, for example, ordered an onion soup that was made with fish that had been roasted and ground into savory dumplings and then put into a fine sauce. The onions were added to it and fresh large croutons were given to her to place in the soup at the right moment; it made an incredibly wonderful experience for Misty! Rocki enjoyed potatoes cooked in four different and original ways, and she still remembers it as a thoroughly unique experience. The most wonderful thing that our family enjoyed was that the set menu was complete, including even desert and beverages. The chef provided every delicious detail in the set meal price.
This week the Lord has shared with me that miracles occur in the supernatural like a “set menu”. God gives a simple word that promises He will do something specific for you. When He told Moses to place his rod in the Red Sea, it was like a “set dinner” for Israel. All the details for the parting the Red Sea were taken care of, including the removal of the Egyptian army.
Many of you have heard the story about how my daughter Rocki Starr was given as a download from the Holy Spirit the skills for writing a complete symphony score. The gift that God gave Rocki was so complete that it included even nuances that I, as a skilled musician, did not know. I remember hearing the Budapest Symphony Orchestra play her score with the violas and trombones doing complex harmonies that satisfied even the most discerning critic from the first chair of viola section who wrote, “Daring music, Rocki”. When I saw this note that the viola player had sent to Rocki, I realized that the Holy Spirit had taught her how to score parts for a symphony orchestra in just ten days. This complete package was like the complete “set meal” in the French restaurant; God had provided every single minute detail.
God told Moses that His name was, “I am that I am.” The meaning of this carries a very simple message: God is everything that you need at the moment you need it. I mentioned to you last week that the Lord told me He would teach me how to be kind, but now He has enlarged this revelation to say, “I will show you how to be like Me and serve every need that your fellow man has.” Wow, how awesome it is that God could make us servants to everyone and help answer every single problem by plugging them into the power of God! It’s an awesome thought!
Anne Lanza gave me another beautiful thought for this week; “Pastor Richard, going to church on Sunday morning is beginning to feel like a trip to Disneyland!”
As the prophet, Timothy Snodgrass, said… there is so much fun and “goof” ahead for all of us!
The Tour de France, which is currently in it’s 9th of 21 stages, began this year on July 4th. The race was started over 100 years ago and is based upon the single concept of this Scripture, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” This very powerful concept which Jesus taught is displayed so eloquently in the Tour de France, which goes on for 21 days, and just over 2,000 miles through the hills and roads of Europe.
The race involves almost 200 professional bicycle riders who race towards ownership of wearing the yellow jersey at the end of the 21 stages in the race. Only one rider can win this extreme endurance test. What amazes me about the Lord’s statement concerning endurance is that He says those who endure are the people who are going to be saved; endurance is a big portion of our race. By endurance, I believe the Lord is referring to your faith: that it does not waver, and you are consistent in your belief that God will save you. This faith is tested in extreme ways which I never expected. In all of this, you must be consistent and as solid as a rock in believing what God originally told you to do. Stay there, even if it looks like the ground underneath you is going to collapse in an earthquake. You must stand solid and say, “What God has called me to do, I am going to do!” In my case, this means being a pastor in San Francisco and staying until God brings the revival He promised to our city.
Endurance brings you to the edge of every one of your emotions; at this same edge, you must decide if you are going to waver or stay steady. A week ago, I went with some friends to see the newest Terminator movie, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Three times during the film, the message was made to the main character, “Stay steady, straight on course, do not waver.” To me, this message was very simple and was meant for our church in San Francisco. We are to stay on course, no matter how confusing everything is around us. The timeline of expected events may change, but God never changes. The things He called you to do have never changed; they are the same exact things you’re supposed to do now! Stay steady on course. Remember, it’s a race of endurance, and with endurance everything around you can change, but you must stay steady.
Oh how important the message of endurance is to all of us. Paul said, “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” He was saying the promises of the Gospel will only benefit us if they are mixed with faith. 24/7 Faith. That means that you and I must wake up in faith, talk in faith, sneeze in faith, laugh in Faith and even go to sleep in faith.
In this year’s Tour de France, my favorite racer is Tejay van Garderen. By the seventh day of the race he had remained steadily in third place, 13 seconds behind the leader. Remember, this race is for 21 days and in the sixth stage of the race, the current leader broke his collarbone and was taken out of the race. Sometimes in the race of life, an unexpected accident can stop you from even competing in the race, but you need to be steady and unwavering (even if they take your bike away) that you’re going to stay in the race. Tejay’s racing team BMC explained how they protect him in the race from crashes. Two bikers will follow him and weave back-and-forth saying, “Before you run into TJ you are going to run into us! We will crash before you are allowed to hurt TJ.” Wow! I could see the dedication of those who were called to protect the main racer, and how we must protect all whom God has called to the vision.
This week brothers Timothy Snodgrass and Gershom Sikaala both have made extreme gestures to protect your pastor and keep him in the race. It is this kind of love that will help us to truly endure to the end.
Pastor Richard Gazowsky
It’s amazing how a word from God can turn an otherwise boring day into an incredible adventure. Take this actual historical event. Moses, a sheepherder, had been working at the same job for 40 years. One day he sees a burning bush and says, “Wow! I think I’ll step aside and see why this bush is burning.” Wow! He didn’t know it, but at that exact moment God was about to light up an adventure that would not only drastically change the life of Moses, but would dramatically alter the lives of 3 million slaves and the history of the world.
Of course this is one of the most extreme examples of having one day turn into a lifelong adventure recorded for time immemorial. But it’s not the only time it can occur. It can happen to every one of you ~ today, right now at this time, especiallythis time! The secret to receiving the great adventure is to first know how to hear His voice:
“And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” This is actually one of the most precious skills you can ever possess in your lifetime.
Now here I must be very honest with you. For a large part of my adult life I could not distinguish between my excitement and desire for wanting adventure ~ from the still small voice of God that speaks in my heart. To make matters worse, I was at a position of leadership where I was able to accomplish many things because of my desire for adventure. There was just one simple piece missing in my grand adventurous puzzle. That was, God is the Alpha and Omega, and the beginning and the end of the adventure.
He must start it, provide every intermediate step along the way, and finish it. It’s wonderful how simple it sounds. But it took me a lifetime to discover this secret. Oh, but now things are different! Because I now realize how God’s adventures work, I can enjoy the complete process of following His every step. And this is where the real fun begins! Learning to listen to His simple instructions, learning to follow the prophetic task no matter how significant or insignificant it might seem to be. Before you know it, the little seeds of faith you plant today will become a forest of trees that are full of adventure!
Over a year ago the Lord spoke to me when I walked into a Starbucks café. He said simply, “Ask the barista if there is something you can pray for.” Little did I know, this little act would become a great adventure of miracles, signs, and wonders. You just don’t know what exciting adventure lies in store for you as you continue to learn to hear the voice of God!
God has blessed me to pastor a church that is full of eligible young people who are primed for marriage, so I am very excited to share this Scripture with you, as it will give you a revelation that will prepare you for the most enjoyable life and marriage that is possible: “Then the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness. Foolish ones! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also? But rather give alms of such things as you have; then indeed all things are clean to you.” What Jesus is saying is that when you clean the inside, the outside becomes beautiful automatically.
Oh this is incredible to think that changing your internal self actually gives you a life-long makeover! Believe me, this is not something that you can do by reading some self-help book or taking a professional counseling session. It can only be done through the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of you ~ which actually makes it easier than any other process developed by man.
The Holy Spirit is the internal software that is programmed into your spirit. When you are filled with the gift of the Holy Spirit, it operates similar to the programing on your smart phone. As you interact with others ~ personally conversing with them, meeting with them, or simply speaking on the phone ~ your internal software of the Holy Spirit can help you to properly respond if you let it.
You activate the Holy Spirit software by praying in other tongues ~ sometimes under your breath while you are at work or busy meeting with others ~ you are silently praying in the Spirit. The amazing thing about the spiritual activity is that it also has incredible side effects ~ but they are not negative. In fact, they are so positive they can remake the outer surface of your body to appear friendly relaxed and youthful!
How amazing is that?
As a pastor in San Francisco I have watched this happen time and time again on the faces of different people who have been in incredibly negative situations, and then have turned their lives over to be completely controlled by the Holy Spirit. Suddenly they look beautiful, happy, casual, relaxed, and best of all enjoying life itself. So it’s time for you to let the Holy Spirit do a makeover on your face by cleansing the thoughts and intents of your heart. When He cleans the inside the outside will be bright and shiny by itself.
For the last two months God has called me to continue days of intercession for the fulfillment of the kingdom of God on earth. In the process He has led me through prayer-walking journeys, interceding, and learning from a God-orchestrated pallet of lessons this week. The Lord led me to the top of Mount Hamilton, where Licks Observatory is located, and I was able to see a short film on the construction of the famous 120-inch reflecting telescope.
The construction of the telescope, from 1934 until 1959, was interrupted by World War II ~ but the war gave many innovations and discoveries that were used in the construction of this incredible telescope. This huge massive telescope has been in daily continuous mechanical operation for over half a century.
What this means is that everything, including the roof the telescope that is larger than a full-length semi truck, has moved continuously, all day every day, for now what is over 60 years. As I prayed in the Spirit contemplating this huge machinery perched on top of this Northern California mountain, God spoke to me about the huge kingdom of God that He is manufacturing in today’s generation.
The process of planning for the telescope’s construction took longer than the actual completion of building, which itself took over 10 years. So it is in the kingdom of God. But the process of planning is not done by architects and engineers, but by apostles and prophets. Twenty years ago, on April 9, 1995, Vello Viam and a group of prophets came to our church in San Francisco and prophesied that a great move of God was coming to the city.
Even more interesting is the fact that 10 years earlier, in 1985, Timothy Snodgrass came to our church and prayed for eight hours. He saw a vision of what is occurring in San Francisco today. No wonder the Scriptures says, “In patience possess your soul”. Waiting is a key element in God building His kingdom.
Every component in the huge telescope is custom manufactured. Not one piece could be bought from a standard hardware store or regular manufacturing supplier. So it is this way with the kingdom of God. Not one person that God is using in His kingdom can be matured by man. They must be custom formed by the hands of God so that they are purified to do the one purpose that He has called them to do in His kingdom.
Parents know when God gives them a child, that the Lord also places in their child’s heart a vision and purpose to be a part of the kingdom of God. There are thousands of purposes that your children can fulfill, and hundreds of “machines” they can become a part of ~ to help whatever visionary they join to raise up something special in the earth.
Of course the key is to match your child’s purity and vision to the vision they become a part of. It took years for the engineers at Lick’s Observatory to test different parts until they were pure enough to perform the task they were needed to do. So it is with you. It may take years for God to develop you so that you are pure enough to perform the task that He needs you to do in His kingdom.
Putting it all together, when this part of the process is completed the telescope will be finished. You won’t know if everyone’s efforts were successful or not, but I discovered that there was an element that was necessary that most people are not even aware of. And that element was oil.
Because this entire structure would be moving consistently for 60 years, never once could they have metal touching metal. Every moving part had to be lubricated completely with oil. Suddenly I saw the importance of the Spirit because it is the Holy Spirit that lubricates every interaction between people with the fruit of the Spirit. No wonder over the last three years God has constantly spoken to me about the necessity of me dealing with every person in my family by the fruit of the Spirit, making sure that never in any instance is there flesh interacting against flesh.
For example, one day I was walking through a mall and suddenly I saw a person was greeting me with carnal words that could punch the buttons in my flesh and cause me to react adversely. Instead, I said nothing and waited for the Holy Spirit to lubricate my words with gentleness, kindness and longsuffering.
When I addressed that person I spoke prophetically and never responded to their comments. Jesus said, “It is not what goes into a man that defiles him but what comes out of him” I knew that the Holy Spirit is designed to lubricate our words so that we can function in the awesome design of God’s kingdom.
The greatest fulfillment that any man on earth can receive is to do and live in the perfect will of God. It is my prayer that this short article inspires you to seek and fulfill your part in the great kingdom of God that He is building on a hill that cannot be hidden.