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?

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Intimacy is Love’s Throne-room

It’s not often in your life that you come across a moment that defines everything. It is the point at which all other things are centralized. It is the core of your soul. For me, intimacy with God is my core. It is the nucleus of my heart, if such a thing can be said. I think it can. Why does anyone say anything, anyway? I assume its because they have already intended to do so. Where I presently stand, though I am sitting, I intend to speak about the centrality of life; Intimacy with God.

Intimacy has always been a bit of an odd word in life, both secular and non-secular. In church culture it seems to always allude to closeness with God. However, even in this, not many would be able to accurately describe the effect of intimacy or closeness with God. Mostly what is communicated is a complete regression from fun into deafening boredom. These people are always making it a point to declare what activities they do not engage in yet usually there is little explanation as to why. It seems as though exuberance and loud exaggeration has overshadowed sincerity of soul and authenticity. In all of our desperation to not appear as sinners, we have taken the form of the Nazirite but without any of the benefits. Holiness has become a dress instead of a chariot. We are prepared, in most cases, for a pageant, not a battle.

In the secular world, intimacy has become synonymous with sex or similar activities. Therefore, the expression of love and even in many cases, “strong like”, can be communicated through the medium of sex with numerous people for any reason we feel strongly enough to justify. We have not seen sex as what it is, a really fun way to seal a promise made to unite souls to one another. It is no wonder, then, that most people experience such heaviness in the carrying of many soul ties. In our fervor to do what we want to do and decide for ourselves when we are ready to exercise our sexual expressions towards those we love, like and/or are attracted to, we have, I fear, unknowingly tied ourselves to people whom we were never graced to carry. Best-case scenario, sex is just a fun thing we can do whenever we want. In reality, sex is the glue of human souls entering into an eternal connection that was never meant to be broken.

In both these worlds, one thing holds true; Love rules where chaos ensues. Intimacy is the passionate expression of love in a trusted relationship and connection where peace can reign. Love sits on a throne and the throne room is called, “Intimacy”. Intimacy returns us to our original design as we encounter our true identity. Without intimacy with God, we travel from one experience to the next, good or bad, positive or negative without a frame of reference. Intimacy returns us to our first love.

Restoring Identity

This past Friday was our May gathering. From the moment I walk in the doors till the moment I leave these same doors I feel the thick air of a God charged space. Somehow, I am either lucky or blessed (probably both), people have gathered around this ministry to serve in a variety of different ways. Whether its sound, media, art or children’s ministry, every single person involved is a hand extended from the body of Jesus to prepare a place for people to encounter the heart of the Father. I am grateful for all their work and service as I know that there is a direct correlation between administration and service and the manifest presence of God resting upon a ministry.

On May 16th my heart was full from beginning to end. I believe we are in the beginning phases of a great move of God in this region, especially in young adults. We had 3 people healed of neck pain simply by responding to a word of knowledge I gave by moving their neck around. 2 of these people were youths.

Its in these times that I remember this epic prophecy from the book of Malachi:  Malachi 4:6 NASB

“He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers…..”

We have found ourselves in a period of time in history where people, Christian and not, do not have revelation of identity. The restoration of the hearts of fathers and children is a work of restoring identity. Our identity is not based on the music we listen to, our sexuality or even our Christianity. Our identity is in Christ, who, by His death and resurrection, has reconciled us to the Father.

If we want to see a generation reconciled to God, we must impart identity.

Anyone can wear a prince’s clothing, purchase a golden throne (probably from TBN), but if they are not actually the King’s son then it doesn’t matter.

You are a child, a son/daughter. It is the strongest position to be in throughout the world, universe and in all of the far reaches of all spiritual dimensions. Better than that, its a position that is yours by birthright.

Day 30: You Are A Game Changer

Day 30: You Are A Game Changer

As we read the last chapter of Acts, we’ll see how Paul did what Jesus did! “…Paul went into his room, prayed, placed his hands on him, and healed him. When this happened, all the other sick people on the island came and were healed.” Like Jesus, Paul did not just teach about the Kingdom, but he also demonstrated that Kingdom by releasing God’s love and power.

Reflection:

How did Paul preach about the Kingdom of God (verse 31)? You are a game changer on the earth. You are here for a purpose: to bring glory to God. You can shine His light and love everywhere you go.

A worship gathering that seeks to bring all into the presence of God where we can be transformed into the lovers we were created to be.