Piercing the Darkness: 5 Keys to Overcome and Take New Ground

 Photo by the incredible Annette Biggers (www.acreativechange.com)

Photo by the incredible Annette Biggers (www.acreativechange.com)

by Jennifer A. Miskov, Ph.D.

This article is dedicated to all of the pioneers on the front lines and those in the persecuted church.

“As long as I am with you my life is the light that pierces the world’s darkness.” - Jesus

John9:5 (TPT)

 

If you are reading this right now, it means that you are born for such a time as this. Inside of you, you carry hope and an answer to the world’s problems. God has given each one of us strategies to overcome evil and to bring light into the darkest of places. Each generation is faced with an opportunity to break through and to take more ground for the future. We are called to carry and to be the light of Jesus in the midst of a crooked and depraved generation. We are called to shine like stars in the universe as we hold out the word of life (Philippians 2:14-16).

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When storms arise, God’s power also arises. In the face of opposition, we are given the opportunity to be courageous and to act for Christ. We are also being strengthened to steward the greater inheritance we will gain on the other side. The only way through a storm is to face it. Have you ever seen a ship escape crashing waves by trying to avoid them or go parallel to them? The only way to save our lives and to advance against the evil coming against us is to turn our ship head on and go straight through the pounding waves to the other side. We step through fear by clinging to our Father in Heaven, wholeheartedly trusting in Him to lead us through. Receive this promise from God in Isaiah 43:1-2 where He says,

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
  When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.

 

5 Keys to help dismantle the forces coming against us and to release God’s power

I am in no way saying that I have the answers to the problems are world is facing right now or that if you use these keys your life will be protected. It is important that we remain one with Christ, connected to the Body, and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. He will lead us differently each time so it is imperative to always stay close to Him. With that said, I want to share a few weapons we have access to that can help dismantle the strongholds coming against our generation when the time arises.

In Christ and under His authority,

1. Love has the power to dismantle hatred and to reveal the nature of Jesus

Love is a weapon of warfare that can dismantle the stronghold of hatred. Because of the intensity of hatred arising in our day, our love must increase and become fiercer. Above all, we must recognize who the real enemy is. Our battle is never against flesh and blood or each other but rather against principalities and powers in which we have full authority and victory over in Christ (Ephesians 6). The enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy but Jesus has come to give us abundant life (John 10:10). The weapons of our warfare are not like the worlds. We must take dominion and confront the spirits coming against us by choosing to love people fiercely and realize the hatred aimed toward us is the enemy trying to silence us. By the power of the Holy Spirit alone, we must choose love in the midst of hatred. Love has the power to cover a multitude of sins and melt even the hardest of hearts. The more extreme the hatred, the more extreme our love must be to overshadow it. We must rebuke the enemy and instead bless those who curse us and pray for them (Matthew 5:43-45). When we recognize what battle we are truly in, having the correct perspective, and step out to love, it changes everything. We must be possessed by the Holy Spirit to have the power to love in the face of hatred.

 

2. Focus has the power to dismantle distraction and to release destiny

Focus is necessary for us to step into and fulfill our God-given destinies. Distraction is prevalent in our day and is a tactic the enemy uses to try to get us isolated from each other because he knows that unity in Christ is an unstoppable force to be reckoned with (Psalm 133). In Psalm 27:3-4 (NIV), King David says that

Though an army besiege me,
    my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
    even then I will be confident.

 One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.

While many of us thankfully do not have to face an army head on, we do face an army of opposing thoughts and distractions that compete for first place in our thoughts. The one thing David sought was to behold the beauty of the Lord. What is our one thing in a world of options? A personal revolution will take place when everything else is stripped away and we wholeheartedly give Jesus first place again in our lives and thoughts. Focusing on Jesus dismantles the spirit of distraction and confusion and leads us into a place of intimacy and peace in Jesus like never before.

 

3. Worship has the power to dismantle oppression and to shift the atmosphere

Worship in the midst of a storm dismantles oppression and may even ignite the next Great Awakening. In the story of the Moravians worshiping on a ship in the midst of a storm, John Wesley observed their strength in God and was marked. Influenced by his new friends, he later went on to lead the Great Awakening and start the Methodist Movement. It is crucial to worship God in every circumstance. Fixing our affection on Jesus lifts off heavy burdens and keeps us connected to the all-powerful God who is Lord over all. Our worship should not change depending on our circumstances because God never changes.

In 2 Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat was facing the greatest army ever known in his generation so he called his people to praise God for His holiness and give thanks. In this situation, while the people offered praise and thanksgiving, behind the scenes, God was at work to dismantle their enemies. In the midst of the greatest battles of our lives, is our first response to seek the Lord and pour out an offering of worship and praise? Worship is one of the most powerful weapons of warfare I have personally experienced. It helps us keep our focus on The One Thing rather than letting fear and anxiety consume us. It also clears the evil around and even creates a well for generations to come to step into the momentum of Heaven in that place. Most importantly, it knits our hearts together with our loving Father.

 

4. Intercession has the power to dismantle terror and to save lives

Intercession, or focused prayer, has the power to dismantle terror and every stronghold that comes against us. For those who feel called to remove barriers and pave the way for future generations to walk in great freedom and peace, I want to encourage you to study the life of Rees Howells (1879-1950). I believe his life holds keys we need for today in dismantling the evil coming against us. He was a revivalist from Wales who raised up an army of intercessors to lay down their lives on the altar of intercession and cover those on the front lines in prayer. They have marked results of rerouting Hitler’s attacks through their prophetic intercession.

Intercession is huge. If you know any missionaries or others who are giving their lives for the sake of the Gospel in dangerous places, your prayers make such a massive difference and can even be the difference between life and death (Acts 12). Whether you are on the front lines or in a comfortable home, your prayers can literally shift the direction our world takes. It is our responsibility to cover and support our family in Christ who are planted in the darkest places (Hebrews 13:1-3). May the spirit of intercession fall upon us all so that we can more vigilantly stand in prayer with our brothers and sisters afar.

 

5. Courage has the power to dismantle fear and to advance God’s Kingdom

Courage to step out in faith regardless of what opposition may come dismantles the spirit of fear and advances the Kingdom of God all around us. It’s in those times when everything seems to come against us that God is preparing us to break through into a new level of authority, power, strength, and dominion. Like an eagle, allow the resistance you are facing to let you soar even higher above the storm. This is the time to spread out your wings more than ever before. When fear creeps it’s way at your door, ask the Lord what is really going on and what greater breakthroughs He’s about to lead you into. It’s likely that one small act of courage and following your heart regardless of the opposition can set things in motion to have ripple effects for generations to come.

In the midst of the poverty spirit coming against her generation during the Great Depression, that was precisely the time when Aimee Semple McPherson (1890-1944) remained obedient to the leading of the Spirit to step out in faith and build one of the largest churches in California. With only a small amount of money to begin with, by the end of the construction, she was able to pay for the whole building in cash. Whenever something is coming against us, we must move in the opposite spirit and continue on following the leading of the Holy Spirit even if it doesn’t make any sense. Our circumstances should never dictate whether or not we remain obedient to follow the voice of God.

 

Blessing

These keys just scratch the surface and are not to be an exhaustive list. My goal is not to be enemy-focused but rather to equip the Body of Christ to both stand and take more ground for the Kingdom of God no matter what we’re faced with. In Christ, we have authority to face and win any battle the Lord leads us into. May you be stirred to be fiercer in your love, more focused on the face of Jesus, burdened with intercession for those who are on the front lines, and courageous like never before. Keeping your eyes on Jesus always, may you continue to move forward toward all that God has for you no matter what comes against you.

Remember that it’s just after the darkest time in the night that the dawn breaks through. Blessing you with courage to remain standing no matter what you are facing today and to endure until the end. Receive a fresh baptism of fire today. He is worthy of it all. I close with a prayer taken from my latest book Walking on Water:

"I pray that your focus never leaves the face of Jesus. I bless you with a fierce determination to take hold of Him no matter what the cost. May you be marked His presence all the days of your life. May you be ruined for anything less than His satisfying love. I bless you with a life that cannot function or exist without His presence. I pray that you are undone by the one thing and that Psalm 27 becomes a new anthem in your life. I pray that you would burn with a fiery passion and fall deeper in love with Jesus each day. May you receive a fresh impartation of hunger for God. May the Holy Spirit continue to come in even greater power for His name's sake. I bless you with a mighty baptism of love and of the fire of God. May you be utterly swept away in the tender love of Jesus until you are willing to go anywhere and do anything to be closer to Him still."

 

*See Walking on Water: Experiencing a Life of Miracles, Courageous Faith, and Union with God and Defining Moments (by Bill Johnson) to get more equipped and to dive deeper into these themes…