Well known for his deliverance ministry, Pastor Vlad Savchuk says people shouldn't seek Jesus to be set free from affliction so they can continue to live self-centered lives. Instead, they need to surrender the entirety of their lives so Jesus can permanently break their strongholds.
Born in the Ukraine into a devoted Christian family, the minister and his family immigrated to the United States when he was 13. Savchuk began working in youth ministry at 16, and is now the lead pastor of the international ministry Hungry Generation Church based in Washington state.
Although deliverance is what he's known for on social media and among the self-described "demon slayers" (the deliverance pastor community), he said the Bible is clear that our walks with God are not centered around deliverance.
"We have to renew our mind. The Bible clearly states that we are transformed by the renewing of our mind,” Savchuk said in an in-depth video interview with The Christian Post. “Israel came out of Egypt, but Egypt didn't come out of them. They had to go through the renewing of their mind. That's why they died like slaves, though they were no longer chased by Pharaoh.
"I've seen this with people who even get delivered. Deliverance gets the demons out, but renewing of the mind is what breaks the strongholds down. You can have a person who is set free, but in their mind, they're still bound. They don't have demons, they have strongholds.”
The pastor described strongholds as convincing thoughts developed over time that become "subconscious convictions." He instructed that those strongholds need to be broken down layer by layer.
"That's why Jesus says in the same setting, 'Whom the son sets free,' He says also, 'You shall know the truth.' Meaning Jesus sets us free, but His truth also brings a certain level of freedom right here in our mind,” Savchuk added.
He believes many Christians live their whole lives in torment, without having demons; instead, they have strongholds that must be broken.
"These strongholds need to be broken down by submitting yourself to Bible study, prayer, through memorizing the verses and taking God's word like a soap and washing your mind,” said Savchuk.
Christians, he advised, should “submit to living in the community with other believers, because a lot of what generational curses are is stuff that gets passed on, the negative traits, negative things that get passed on from your family of origin. God has a counteractive to that by giving us His family, spiritual family.”
"Unfortunately, what happens with many Christians is they get saved, but they're homeless Christians. They are not connected to a home. They keep declaring the breaking of the curses, but you cannot receive those generational blessings if you're not in the spiritual home called the church,” he emphasized.
The author noted that many people aren't connected to a church because they have been offended by people in the Church. However, he assured that being part of a congregation is essential for believers who wish to stay free in Christ.
"Without having a local church that you're connected to, you can break the curses all day and night, but you're not going to walk into generational blessings if you're not in a local church,” he stressed.
Savchuk encouraged people who are seeking freedom in God to get free in Jesus Christ and get filled with God to replace whatever plagued them.
"We have to replace what the enemy used to occupy or what he used to do in our life. For example, if a person was addicted to weed and they come to Christ, they're like, 'Man, I don't want to be smoking weed anymore,' he said.
"The idea is not just 'Lord, take away my weed addiction. The idea is, 'Lord, replace that. That time that I used to smoke weed, I want to give that time to the Lord.’”
"Many people, what they do is because they were tormented by certain sins, chains and demons, they come to Jesus for relief, but not for replacement,” Savchuk expounded. “They’re almost like, 'Jesus, I want you to take this away because it took so much time because it destroyed my relationships. It took a lot of money, Jesus, but now that you're going to give me the freedom, I can do whatever I want with my life.' But that's not the purpose of Christianity.”
Savchuk said Christianity is not about people coming to Jesus so they can do whatever they want.
"It's me actually giving my whole life now so Jesus can do what He wants,” Savchuk maintained. “Many people get freedom by removing bad stuff [but] they just don't want Jesus to occupy the place the enemy used to occupy. And now their life is not surrendered to Jesus so they find themselves in another prison called selfishness. They live their life for themselves instead of for Jesus.”
When people come to Savchuk for deliverance, he says he asks them: “‘Are you willing to surrender your life, your whole life, not just the parts that are painful, but parts that are not, to Jesus Christ?’
"God doesn't just want to set us free from Egypt so we can run around the wilderness and worship golden calves. He wants us to become His people," Savchuk declared.
"They wanted to use God as a means to a goal, and the goal is personal fulfillment, personal success. But that's not what the purpose of the cross is. Jesus is not a means to a goal. He is the goal!”
"Deliverance is a means to that goal, and the goal is Jesus having more of me,” Savchuk said.
"Deliverance doesn't give me more of God. Deliverance gives God more of me. God has more of me now that He can use and more of me that serves Him, loves Him and is available to Him,” the minister insisted.
While it is a good starting point for people to come to Jesus for deliverance, that should not be the beginning and end, he added.
“Where we finish is with discipleship, with self-denial. New Age is all about self-discovery. New life is about self-denial. We have traded the crucified life for the carnal life. We have just enough of the world that we don't enjoy God, and we have just enough of God that we don't enjoy the world. We're the most miserable of all people,” he lamented.
Savchuk ended the interview by saying, “If you are going to experience all that Jesus has for you, you can only do that by giving 100% for Him.”
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: email@example.com She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic