By Richard Gazowsky
When God changes you He alters the very core of your personality, even to the center of your daily rhythm and cycle. For example, when I was in my early 30’s God called me to pastor my current church in San Francisco. At that time He made a simple statement to me that affected the direction of my life in a major way: “If you, Richard, will pray at 4:00 a.m. in the morning, I will do something with you that I have never done with anyone else.” This really excited me because more than anything else I wanted to be special to God. It was that passion for becoming special which caused me to make it a habit to wake up for prayer every morning at 4:00 a.m. ~ and do it consistently for eighteen years.
But suddenly this prayer routine ended one day when God spoke to me in the same manner that He had in the beginning. He said, “Instead of waking up at 4:00 a.m., I want you to focus on praying all day long.” The following three years brought me through a time of testing that ended up turning my personal world upside down. To be honest, I often went through periods of confusion and misunderstanding. But the thing that always brought me clarity was the consistency of God’s daily divine commands as He continued to instruct me day by day.
It was God’s daily requests that became my Rock of Gibraltar, because every day I found my heart filled with Christ’s “cool” list and complete knowledge that I was obeying His voice. It was amazing because each day seemed like a feel-good puzzle snapping together as my moments were filled with satisfaction and everything in my life came into sync with the will of God. This was a personal high that was incomparable to any other experience I’d ever had.
It was at some time during this process that God began to completely organize the way my work schedule operated. Instead of “locking onto” a particular project and focusing on it until it was completed (as I had always done), He showed me how to allow interruptions to occur, not be annoyed, but instead welcome them as a part of the continuing process of fulfilling God’s perfect daily will. I began to discover that no matter how important the project seemed to be on my priority list, I could leave it at any time, than come back later, and carry on from where I left off. This gave my mind the “muscles” and attitude necessary to deal with the constant breaks during the day so I was continually being refreshed.
Often my family members would ask me to do an errand or complete a particular task. But the Lord showed me that I must always be willing to comply and not look at such requests as interruptions. You must realize that this was a completely new way of thinking for me. To help me understand the process God was trying to teach me, the Lord reminded me that He did not want His leaders to be “lords over people” but to be “servants.” Somehow in this process a flash of God’s light hit me and I realized what a joy it was to serve His people.
As I take you to my next step of learning, I must be entirely candid and confess that in my personal culture and lifestyle I had never done any type of housework in my life. I was always so busy “at work” that when I came home I would usually sit down in my favorite chair and pretty much rest for the evening until it was time to climb into bed. But now things were changing. God was telling me that even when I was working on a major project, not only did I need to be more relaxed in my labor, but when I arrived home I was to be more helpful around the house. Wow! This was a radical change of lifestyle for me! [I must make a side note that none of this was suggested by anyone in my family. It was totally prompted by the Holy Spirit and I never realized what a treasure of life God was about to unveil in my own way of living.]
God even told me to ask my wife, Sandy, how to correctly wash the dishes. She also showed me where to put the clean dishes, silverware, pots, and pans in their proper positions in the pantry. While I followed my stunned wife’s instructions, God reminded me of the prophetic word which I shared with you in a previous blog, “Less haste, more speed.” It was interesting to me because every time I emptied the dishwasher I would slow down the process even further. For as I placed the dishes in their appropriate places I would make sure that each one faced the direction with the label positioned correctly. Sandy is an extremely detailed person and my new love for her made me emulate the process that I had seen her follow for years in the kitchen. So what has happened in this intensive journey I am sharing with you? Have I in fact been gaining, or am I losing? Let me share some more of my story…
This is how I started this morning. At around 4:00 a.m. the Lord woke me up and I started praying in tongues for about an hour. It was exactly like I used to do for 18 years. But then it was more like a religious ritual. Today it is like I am a little boy excited to be with his daddy before the crack of dawn. As I was praying around the house I noticed that the dishes needed to be loaded into the dishwasher, so I quietly did the task as I was entering into my second hour of praying in the Spirit. During this time the Spirit was searching the deep things of God and I felt myself slowly being connected with God’s words of direction for my day. By the third and fourth hour of prayer my chores around the house were finished and I had clear direction for the activities that God had set before me. I believe this is why Apostle Paul gave such extensive detail in describing what happens when you walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh (Romans 8).
Ancient spiritual truths are so valuable. They are truly diamonds that have been laid down throughout biblical history so you and I can “mine” them continually and live each day in excellence. God wants you to discover the treasure of God’s “rhema” words so you always walk in His wealth and treasure. Remember, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Once again we hear this precious truth and treasure, for it is the secret to every success you are ever going to desire.
In retrospect I look back at what God initiated in my life nearly 30 years ago when He called me to prayer, and I see where I am today. I feel I am really there, I mean the place that God called me to is the here and now of today. I pray that you also enter into this kind of treasure…
Richard Gazowsky pastors a church in San Francisco called A Place To Meet Jesus. He has directed the films, “Guardians” and “The Roman Trilogy.”
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