A Household of Worship and Prayer

The only thing we are promised won’t change in our life with Jesus, is Jesus. Everything else is completely open to changing, faltering and hopefully transforming. We can see this clearly at work all throughout the Psalms. David is often found writing about what needs to change. Interestingly enough, what needed to change the most was David.

David is credited with building God a tabernacle, of which many, including myself, long to rebuild for God to dwell in. Yet can God dwell in a room or a box? This conversation has happened so many times already so I’m not looking to be repetitive but to bring a change in perspective.

Ephesians 2:19-22 is one of my most favorite passages of scripture of all time. In these collections of verses, from the inside of a Roman prison, Paul is describing a household, a home and not a church but at the same time, yes, a church, in its finest definition. He starts in v. 19 by proclaiming a promise and a prophetic shift in identity over us. “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God…”

“The word, foreigners, in the Greek, paroikos, literally means “to dwell beside”. The term came to denote an alien who dwells as a sojourner in a land without the rights of citizenship. This word describes Moses and Abraham, sojourners in a land not their own (Acts 7:6, 29), and the Christian who is traveling through this world as an alien whose citizenship and ultimate residence are in heaven (1 Pet. 2:11).” – Jack Hayford – New Spirit Filled Life Bible p.1648

The word household does not mean a physical home but “members of the family”. God, in this verse releases an identity to us as a community and a family unit. Whenever you see the word, “therefore”, we must look previous to it and see what the therefore is in response to. In this case, we are a household and have citizenship and the rights accompanied with citizenship because of Eph. 2:14-18.

“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.

            And He came and preached peace to those who were afar off and to those who were near.

            For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.”

The death of the enmity of sin, given power through the law, brought forth by the sin of the first Adam, and the joining together, through the reconciliation of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the second and final Adam, has freed us from an identity destined for death and has set us apart as citizens alongside saints and members of the household of God.

WOW!!

Verses 20 and 21 go on to describe, even further that we, the household of God, have been built upon a foundation and that very foundation isn’t even in the natural. Even the firm footing we have is upon community. We have been built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ, again not a physical or natural material, the chief cornerstone. If we are fitted together, which we are, then according to the Holy Spirit, through divine breath upon these Holy Scriptures by way of the author, Paul, we will grow into a holy temple in the Lord.

We end perfectly with one of my favorite verses of all time – “… in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

We have been made into a community of lovers, worshipers and intercessors whose identity is based in a man who is God and paid a great price, as well as achieved a miraculous victory in rising from the tomb, with a destiny whose fulfillment is found in becoming a household. If a move of God is going to come to our region, to our cities and/or to our nation and across the nations of this world, we must apprehend the value of community. It has such deep value to God, He has quite literally designed the death and life of His Son for the establishing of an eternal community or household which would reconcile all men to the Himself.

Why 24-7 prayer, why build a prayer and intercession community and why raise up a dwelling place for God? Its simple; God has a value for us being fitted together as a household or community in which He can, then in turn, find a resting place. Don’t you want to be known as the ones that said yes? Let our fame come from being a resting place for God and His Spirit!

 

 

Rowan-Glassboro Awakened

Yesterday, Jeff and I took a drive through the Glassboro Rowan campus. As we were driving through campus, Rick Pino’s Beloved CD was playing in my car and the track; “Leaning on my Beloved” started playing. I began to feel the heart of Jesus for that campus and last night as I slept, I started dreaming about an awakening to that campus. In my dream, a group of us were all over the campus handing out flyers for a worship and prayer event we were having and Jeff and I stopped a student who was struggling to walk in crutches with a hurt leg. We prayed for him and in my dream he was completely healed and gave his heart to Jesus.

What could be possible that lies just on the other side of us believing God and stepping out in faith and hope? I believe God is asking Encounter to walk that campus and pray for an awakening. If you’re interested in partnering with us to do this or even if you are a student, we want to hear from you.

A move of God is waiting to sweep through NJ and the east coast, will you believe God and say yes, or will He have to find another? I’m saying yes!!!

White House

White House Intercessors

Today I had a daydream while I was on my way home from traffic court. I started to daydream about this municipal judge offering me a job. He said he saw the Holy Spirit on me and that I had the ability to sense things: past, present and future. This job entailed being an advisor to him and also to have an office in the court building where I can counsel different people who came to the court. Also I was supposed to pray and intercede for God to move in the lives of the many troubled people that attend court for various charges.

I started to think that maybe this was actually a very viable position that can be held by many prophetic intercessors across this nation and other nations across the globe. I mean, what if we put the same  value on prayer and prophetic intercession that God did? If the prayers of the righteous actually do shift cultures, situations and nations, shouldn’t that be of great value to many governmental leaders?

I felt like God started to breathe on this and I started to pray in my car.

“God, send prophetic intercessors to the White House! Send them to every government in every country all over the world! Release a sense of value for the breaker anointing throughout the hearts of all the leaders of cities, states and countries. God, even in the UN, release advisors that usher the most powerful decision makers on earth into the presence and counsel of Heaven!”

        After I was home, I picked up a few things and headed to work. I began to think if God had already done this in history. He reminded me of the lives of Daniel, Nathan, Isaiah, Joseph, and Jeremiah… the list goes on and on. In the Old Testament, there was a huge value for having a seer or prophet nearby and in your counsel. I began to pray even more fervently.

It’s time to pray. All over Facebook and Twitter, is found the many criticisms and opinions Christians and other religions have about decisions our leaders and government officials are making. What if we could literally shift our nation by praying in not just elected officials and leaders but also prophetic intercessors, employed by the government, to pray and transform the atmosphere of Washington DC?

Join me this week, 8/1 – 8/8 as I commit every morning to prayer and fasting for the purpose of sending intercessors to the White House. You can tweet or Facebook post your prayers with this hashtag – #whintercessor

From a Worship Service to a Prayer Movement

So, I have recently begun a fast. I was gripped recently with an awareness that prayer and intercession is absent in our region. We’re great at raising up worship and talented musicians who can move in the spirit of excellence. It’s one of our strengths. Even so, I feel a hunger in my heart for the house of prayer to be raised up in this region. Between DC and the Newark area in North Jersey, there is a gap of intercession and prayer. Someone must stand in this gap. A friend of mine, Gary Perez, is faithfully laying down foundation for the building up of a house of Prayer in Philadelphia and they have done several 24 hr burns, crying out for revival and a move of the Spirit in that city.

New Jersey, specifically South Jersey has a bit of an identity issue. Many think of South Jersey as nothing more than Philadelphia suburbs and many in the region even are Philadelphia sports team fans. I believe that in this region, God is looking for a house of prayer to arise with its own identity that serves to be a partner and intercessor to Philadelphia and also seeks its own identity and destiny. South Jersey in many ways is the forgotten region.

I have been burning for this in the past few days and feel that Encounter is in a transition to become that house. Part of that transition is becoming more invested into our local church, The Waters Community Worship Center, who has graciously been supporting us with space to hold our meetings as well as equipment and finances. We love this body and count ourselves with this family. They have truly become mothers and fathers to what God is doing in this ministry!

We’re asking that you would pray for us during this time of re-organization and restructuring. We are looking into bringing in different teams for worship and intercession times as well as bringing in ministers who carry messages of revival and breakthrough in the Spirit.

Specifically pray for this verse in Jonah 3:5 to ring true in our hearts, that through fasting and prayer we may see this region set aflame:

Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them.”

A Culture of Encounter

This Friday, I plan on speaking at Encounter about the core values that need to be in place if we are going to be pursuing Jesus with passion. Many people, I have found, make the decision to give God their lives and think this decision only happens once in their lifetime. They are greatly mistaken.

Pursuing Jesus is a constant, repetitive decision to surrender to His majesty and Lordship.

 Making these decisions possible is the grace of God and the Holy Spirit’s faithfulness in our lives and hearts. If any man or woman thinks they can simply “will” devotion to Christ into being, they are either liars or ignorant of their propensity for falling asleep.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, we happen upon a strange and rather intense scene. Jesus is praying, sweating blood and appears to be in an almost panicked state of prayer and intercession and the disciples are asleep. Now before we cast judgment, these are arguably some of the most passionate followers of Jesus. They have literally given up EVERYTHING for Him. Many have left their families, jobs and even their dignity, being counted among the crazies that have chosen to follow the teachings of a cannibalistic maniac and the son of a whore who obviously tricked Joseph into thinking that God was the reason she was pregnant. I would say, boldly and confidently, that these men were most likely extremely passionate about pursuing Jesus. Yet even so, in this intense time in Gethsemane, their will could not keep them awake or disciplined to pray for even an hour.

The foundation of every ministry and of every life must be a complete and constant surrender to the Holy Ghost.

 Unless we allow the Holy Spirit to move in grace and power through our lives, convicting us of sin and filling us with the atmosphere of Heaven, we are bound for, at worst, failure and at best distraction.

This week as we prepare our hearts for our Encounter gathering, let us surrender completely to the rule and indwelling of the Holy One.

Robert Vujasinovic

The Counterfeit Message of a Disguised Grace

 I believe in the precious gift of grace. This free gift, allowing us to enter freely with exuberant boldness into the throne room of God, positions us in a place of relationship. This was not always our position. No, before the sinless God came and died in our place, we were but servants and workers bound by the death sentence of the law. Due to grace, we can now start our relationship with Jesus, the eternal lamb, in confidence and in boundless expressions of joy. I thank God for this moment by moment. As soon as I feel the warmth of His presence, I am instantly reminded of how good He is. I cannot help but become overwhelmed by His grace in these moments.

            That being said, I believe we are in a dark time. I believe that satan has schemed to sell us a counterfeit message of grace. It wears an attractive gown but as its skin lays bare before us, hopefully we can recognize it for what it truly is: the deception of complacency.

            My relationship with Jesus cost me everything. I had to take an account, at the unveiling of His love for me, of all that I loved. My parents, my friends, my music, my passions, my desires, my plans, my dreams, my life and my freedom all sat in the grasp of my hands, waiting to hear my decision. I lay them all on the altar and bid them to die. I was positioned to lose everything for the sake of the love of Christ; even so, I offered them up to death with great joy! I accepted grace in those moments. Grace to walk in Christ daily and to carry His Glory and the fame of His name to the nations at whatever cost. I have not stopped walking in and pursuing His grace, both in my life and in my relationships with others.

           An authentic life of grace will cause you to pay any and every price for more of Jesus.

The enemy is not after your salvation; he is after your resurrection. Not the event of newness being raised up with Christ but rather the evidence and power of the supernatural in you and upon you. A false message of grace is therefore being released: A message of doing nothing, warring for nothing and pursuing nothing. Do not be fooled, complacency is not grace and sincere grace empowers us to pay any price, to go to any length and to do whatever it takes to make Jesus famous upon the earth. Every look upon the gaze of Jesus brought to my remembrance another area of my life, which needed to fully surrender to His majesty.

A life as Christ’s disciple, friend and lover is a life of continuously recognizing the cost and surrendering fully and with extravagant joy!

A Mind Set on the Spirit

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:6-8 NASB)

Many people equate the word “flesh” with our carnal self or sinful self. Though I agree, in this reading I found myself relating to the word, “flesh”, as the contrived work of changing our behavior or the appearance of godliness and/or holiness.
I have seen many try to have victory in their lives by abstaining and isolating themselves from certain movies, music, technology and even people. This does give the appearance of victory but it is false. In reality, we have only removed our triggers or expressions of sin but sin starts in the heart. The physical action of the specific sin is only the expression of what we have already given a home to internally.

The fight for freedom from a pattern of sin is internal and victory comes from a grace centered dependence and fascination with the Spirit. You are unable to please God through fleshly will. You may appear to change but you will not be transformed.

When my wife and I go to an event or a get together with certain people or in a specific setting, she often asks me to behave myself. Sometimes I even agree. I change my behavior to be appropriate in certain settings out of honor for the people involved. There is a big difference between behavior change and transformation. You can change the way you act but only the Holy Spirit can change who you are.

Sin is the lie of identity.

Every sin has a plan to undermine who are in Christ. Power is not contained purely in your actions but in your identity so powerlessness can only be achieved by the systematic deceit of who we are in God.

Transformation by the Spirit brings us back to our original design as children of God, holy and blameless, because our Father is holy and blameless.

Do you find yourself working out of your flesh to become who you already are or has the Spirit transformed you?

A regional house of prayer community lifting up the name of Jesus in Southern New Jersey