Saturday, 13 July 2013

Encounter13 – Take it to the Streets

If you asking yourself what Encounter is, you missed out on one mad party. Encounter13 was a 3 day youth and young adult conference held by my church, Hillsong SA. I could do a whole write up about the physical attributes of the conference but it’s the emotional realization that truly moved and captivated every inch of my body and soul. From the herd, crowd, army of people, to the roar and cheer of hundreds during worship, words cannot explain what God is doing in South Africa. We look at our country as being hopeless but I’m telling you, our youth is warriors they are far wiser than one can ever imagine and with a force like this, South Africa will be a land that will prosper, a land that has leaders who genuinely care about the well being of their brothers and sisters, if we continue to speak greatest over our country it will happen, maybe not right now but in the generations to come.

Don't only praise Him in the church, praise Him in the Streets. God's goodness has no boundaries and our love for Him should be the same!

My personal Encounter was more than just a great time, in these last 3 days I have grown so much as a person, I have received direct answers and the plan and purpose for my life was revealed as if I were reading a story book. Through the words people spoke into my life to my own personal spirit filled moments, “You may be small, but I have BIG plans for you” being repeated over and over in my head as if I were listening to a motivational podcast or something, I know that only time is keeping me from pursing God’s divine calling upon my life. Funny thing is, I’m not exactly sure what my calling is yet, where I am heading but one thing I do know is that I trust His directions, as Robert Madu calls it “GPS, God’s Positioning System”.

On Thursday evening when I got back from Encounter, my mind was racing faster than Sea Biscuit on an open field. The next morning at work I decided to write down everything the Spirit laid onto my heart, last night Ps Robert Madu answered almost EVERY question I wrote on the paper that morning, crazy how God works right?

I wrote this in my journal: “I want an effortless Holy Spirit encounter, I try so hard to get that awesome Holy Spirit filled high that it tends to be the only thing I pray about! I forget just to be present, and that from the day I was saved the Holy Spirit already resonated within me and I in Him. Life is difficult enough! Trying to encounter the “feeling” of the presence of the Spirit should be effortless. I must stop trying so hard to “impress” God with my good deeds, and I should stop trying to win Him over, through the perfect sacrifice which is Christ we have been made perfect, if our hearts are right our deeds will follow, and then I will be a God pleaser and not a people pleaser or a self deceiver!” And if any of you heard Ps Robert Madu’s message last night you would know that he answer all of this so wonderfully! One sentence in particular summed it up for me “We seek so much after God that we tend to forget that God will seek after us, God has been waiting on us!” As soon as the podcasts are up I will post a link.

My Encounter Counter:

How to be a Proud Christian without being a Christian with Pride?

I have actually asked myself that question numerous times over, because we all know that pride is a silent killer. A Christian with pride says “Look at me and my good deeds”, a proud Christian allows others to see their goodness and points to Him in humility. A Christian with pride is quick to talk about how great God has been for them but has no interest in much else. A proud Christian is slow to speak and quick to listen, and appreciates the revelation and blessings others receive. Be proud of everything God has done for you without taking pride in your own capabilities “wisdom” and talents.

Changed and Not Ashamed:

People are reluctant to change; they can’t understand the difference in you and naturally tend to reject you because of it. When you experience a conference like Encounter the devil is on a mission to kill your spirit and on Thursday he almost did just that. Someone told me about something nasty someone else said about me, and it really upset me. I know it shouldn’t but it was something quite hurtful. I read my bible Friday morning and guess which passage God presented me with? The story about Joseph who used to declare his excitement for God and the visions God had for him, but as a result his brothers who did not share the same passion as he did sold him as a slave, and through the difficult experiences Joseph endured God developed his wisdom and prepared him for his life’s call!

Be Obedient:

Ah this has be to my greatest realization over the past 3 days, I listened for the Spirit and when I followed clear instructions that is where the miracles happened. Some too personal to share but all I can say is listen to that voice and do it no matter how terrified the thought of it may make you feel, your blessing is on the other side of your obedience!

Be Thankful:

Yes as humans we tend to never be happy with things, I’ll be honest I complained about a couple of things on Thursday, like Encounter opening up the doors to everyone after I registered and paid, and the church being so full on the first night that I was cramped and had to sit on the floor, but then I thought to myself how amazing is it that a church in this modern day is filled to the brim with youth. I should be celebrating not complaining, if someone who has never been in God’s house has the opportunity to come bring them, bring them all! This is revival. I am truly thankful to Hillsong as a whole for being a strong foundation for me to stand on while continually reaching out to God! For feeding my restless soul with soul food and for pouring His living water into my life! Encounter13 must have been one of the greatest experiences of my life, it challenged my heart, it was truly a revelation!  A special thank you to all the guest speakers, our amazing leaders and to all the people I met who inspired me with their stories!

Always remember to check yourself before you wreck yourself, believe to receive, a Bentley can still leave you feeling empty, love like it’s not enough, be happy even when times are crappy, be proud even though you might have to face a crowd, serve before you hit a curve, rejoice so that others will join the noise, trust when your own decisions are a bust, be obedient so that God will be lenient, listen and your heart will glisten! (wow I was on a roll there, I’m sure if I carried on Timberland might have thrown a recording contract at me...Ha!) Until next time Encounter, I’ll step it up and take God’s goodness to the streets!