Barbara J. Yoder
We are living in a greater darkness than ever before. Every day, we face challenges many people before us never imagined possible in their childhoods—things such as terrorism, the loss of childhood innocence, a death-focused society, widespread drug use, broken marriages, abused children, and television programs that mainstream sex, rebellion and anarchy. The list could …
What a gift—to live in our time! Today is a day of great opportunity for women. We can now break through to new positions and levels of authority in all spheres. Women currently lead in every sector of society. We direct schools, universities, corporations, churches, governments and nations. In the midst of this unparalleled opportunity, …
Ringing in my ears are the words of multiple prophets who are saying, "Get ready, the world is going to change fast, and so is the church." Some share the message from a more positive standpoint, others from a less positive one. The first kind causes me to anticipate what is coming; the second makes me nervous.
I don't always like to think about what the future holds from a natural standpoint, particularly when it's not pleasant and I can't change it. But I know one thing: Whatever happens, God's purpose for His people is the same—to reflect His glory. As we do, Habakkuk's prophecy will be fulfilled and "the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea" (Hab. 2:14, NKJV).
Last summer while speaking at my church on a Sunday morning, I saw a vision of snakes wrapped around someone's lungs. It wasn't a great vision to have. ... I knew those snakes represented a demonic presence, probably a spirit of infirmity.
I didn't want to say what I was seeing because I thought some poor soul might be visiting for the first time and, not knowing there were such things, be scared to death. So I altered it a bit and said, "I see ropes wrapped around someone's lungs. Because of that constriction they aren't able to breathe, and God wants to heal them."
In April of 2006, during the worship service of a conference at which I was scheduled to speak, an unusual presence of God began to settle upon me. The heavier God's presence became, the more caught up in a heavenly realm I was. I found myself in the middle of an IMAX or 3-D-like experience. It was as if I were in the middle of an action movie.
Editor's Note: The following message is the most recent posted on Barbara Yoder's new blog, which you can find at barbarayoderblog.com. The original title of the word is "We Are Contending."
We are in a season of contending. We must contend past the deception that has tried to mislead us. Deception blinds us from seeing what the real issue is, and hope deferred feeds deception. It feeds the faithless, half-empty-glass syndrome. I believe we are coming out of a season in which hope deferred seemed to abound.
Deception is part of the resistance that we have to overcome. It causes us to think, There are all kinds of reasons I can't break through this: "God doesn't care." "It's too hard." "I can't do it." "What did I do wrong?"
Deception tells us, "God hasn't come through before, so why would He now? And if He cares so much, why have things been so difficult during this season—and why has it hung around for two years? Why did God let this or that happen? He must not care." On and on the voice speaks.
The longer I spoke, the stronger the vision came. I was in Jakarta, Indonesia, in July 2007, and I was preaching at three services back-to-back, beginning on a Saturday evening. While I was focused on speaking to the people who were present and sitting there in the congregation, something strange was happening.
It was as if I was someplace far away. I seemed to have tuned into something far beyond this gathering. The audience was attentive, hanging on to every word. Even as I spoke, I found myself wondering, questioning.
I kept seeing this supernatural picture, which the Bible calls a vision, superimposed on what I was viewing with my physical eyes—the people sitting there. Where was I? What was I seeing? What did it mean? How should I respond? How did it affect the people? Did it affect them at all?
Here I was, preaching on the fact that God was doing a "new thing." I felt almost embarrassed because I had expounded on this topic so many times before. A few years earlier, there had been a season when I had not been able to preach anything else. I had preached on it so often and for so long in the past that now I felt as if I were beating a dead horse—except I couldn't not preach it again this time. I couldn't get away from this driving message in my heart: God is doing something new.
There is a new generation arising in the church who can feel something radical stirring inside them. They have read the Bible, and the passion of the apostolic leaders of the New Testament church burns in their hearts. This generation confronts sin and the demons that hold souls captive. Their God is the one who …