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Pastor Chris Coutts Pastoral Counselor / Prophetic Intercessor
I came to the foot of the cross in 1991 after having an on again, off again relationship with God from my youth. I had grown up attending a mainline Protestant denomination on the West Coast of Canada, but had drifted away from God during my teenage years, and subsequently renewed my relationship with Him in 1986.
I had always had an intellectual knowledge of God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ but no one had ever explained to me that Jesus could be “my Jesus”. I simply did not understand that being a Christian was not about membership but a relationship with a living Savior. In September of 1991 someone told me about the enormous gulf that my sins had opened between me and God.
As I listened to their explanation I came to the full realization of the crushing weight of my transgressions and I came fully under conviction. My heart had slowly grown colder and blacker over the years until it resembled a chunk of cold lava. I knew I had to seek salvation! I felt naked in every fiber of my being before a Holy and just God and knew I was doomed to go straight to Hell should I die in that condition.
I was rooted to my chair, transfixed like a bug on a pin by my sin. Jesus Christ was presented to me as the “one name given under heaven by which man can be saved”, the only one who could absolve me of my soul-staining guilt. When I was invited to come to the altar to give my life to Jesus, I wanted so badly to go forward and receive salvation but could not pry myself out of my chair to save my life.
I felt completely powerless even to lift an arm! Try as I might I was unable to go up to the front of the room, though I ached to do so. Suddenly, I felt a shove on my left shoulder and I was propelled towards the altar! I looked back at my seat as I walked forward to see who had pushed me and to my amazement saw no one within 50 feet of my chair.
I realized then that God did what I could not to get me moving. It was as though He was saying “get up there boy, it’s your turn”. When I accepted Jesus’ offer to wash away my sin by His shed blood, I felt as though my cold, black heart was cracked like an egg. All my sins flowed out and it was resealed so it could be reformed pink and new. God could now start pouring in His enormous love. From that moment everything looked, smelled and tasted as new to me.
The infilling of the Holy Spirit which I received there and then has never left since.
I was told to go back to my hometown and get aligned with a bible-believing church and get involved. I joined the local Baptist church and started serving. I served as an usher, Sunday school teacher, games co-leader in addition to singing in ensemble and solo, and attending periodic services at the local senior’s home.
If I was asked to help I enthusiastically joined in if I could. One of my constant prayers during this time was that God should make use of me as He saw fit. During the following years God started to use me in ways that were “foreign” to my Baptist brethren, and I had difficulty explaining my new knowledge.
On several occasions God used me in very specific and unexpected ways to further His purposes. I only became aware of His hand in the situation until after it occurred, and was unable to do anything other than marvel and thank Jesus for the opportunity to help. I realized that I was outgrowing my beginnings but did not know where to go from there.
When I sought help in my local assembly I was unable to receive guidance. I continued to knock, seek and ask for His assistance and direction as I had been directed by my Lord, knowing that God is faithful to answer the prayers of His saints. God continued to use my in surprising and delightful ways.
Through an undeniably God shaped set of circumstances, I met and married Apostle Coutts in August 2008, and was privileged to be allowed to join GIMC. Since joining the ministry I have continued to grow in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and the spiritual gifts Jesus planted in me have become more substantial and more fully realized. Following Jesus is my prime goal, as life in Him is living in the light, driving back the darkness and being salt to a tasteless world.
In the interests of the furtherance of the kingdom of my Lord, I serve on the board of GIMC, have written articles and lessons for public distribution, and serve as a marketplace minister through a company we own, in addition to pastoring a diverse group of international ministry members and ministerial associates.
I have just finished writing my first book, The Open Door Policy, which details tools and strategies of biblical origin for the furtherance of personal spiritual growth and the expansion of Jesus Christ’s kingdom and hope it will be of assistance to many who like me are interested in going further in their service to Jesus Christ.