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."
I figured it was probably asthma or something. Suddenly a short woman with short red hair and glasses started walking down the middle aisle toting an oxygen tank behind her. From her nostrils was a tube connected to the oxygen. Being the great woman of faith I am, I was thinking, This wasn't what I meant. And I was exactly right. It wasn't what I meant, but it was what God meant.
I prayed for that woman, breaking the "ropes," and within a moment's time she was healed. The next thing I knew she was up on the platform without her oxygen tank, jumping and shouting. I mean shouting—loudly—about how grateful she was for what God had just done. She was not about to shut up. I was not about to shut her up. The power of the Holy Spirit had just created a disturbance in the midst of our service.
From there, healing broke out, all because a demon was present that had somehow—and don't ask me how because I have no idea—wrapped itself around a woman's lungs and caused physical disease. Demons are real. I don't always understand; I just obey. I did what God told me to do.
I never had a chance to ask her what the specific lung problem was. I just knew she was off the oxygen from that day, and the doctors said she had improved dramatically. About 2 months later she bolted into our offices on a weekday. She had to stop by and tell us what the doctors said because she was so excited.
She had been placed on a lung transplant list and that day found out she was no longer on the list. She didn't need a transplant because her lungs were healed! I think I would have been a little excited too.
This is just one experience. Sometimes the problem a person has is primarily physical; sometimes there are demonic powers behind sickness. The Bible tells the story of a woman in the synagogue with a spirit of infirmity that caused her back to be bent over. Jesus rebuked the spirit, and her physical problem left.
Whether it is physical or demonic in origin, God heals. He is still healing. In fact, we have entered a time when I believe we are going to see dramatic things occur again and again. The Azusa Street revival saw limbs grow and eyes that were nonexistent appear in eye sockets. All kinds of miraculous healings occurred.
I came into the charismatic experience during the Jesus People movement. Lots of amazing things happened in those days. But the amazing things haven't stopped happening, because it's Jesus' presence and power that bring about miraculous events.
Don't give up; don't stop short. We have to push all the way into the fullness of the manifestation of the gospel. It's the good news! God saves, heals, delivers, establishes, frees, matures, and on and on. He is the One who will work in us both to be and to become all we are intended to be.
We are on the brink of a new miraculous outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It has already begun to break out in a few isolated places, such as the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City. This next move of God will be greater than any previous one—and it will be preparation for the greatest move of God yet to come, which will result in a massive ingathering into the kingdom.
"And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them" (Matt 4:23-24, NKJV).
Whatever it is that is ailing any of us, demonic or otherwise, Jesus is the bearer of the good news. And His gospel is to be preached again—with power—throughout the entire world, beginning in our own home towns.
About the author: Barbara J. Yoder is the founder and senior pastor of Shekinah Christian Church (shekinahchurch.org) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is known for her cutting-edge apostolic and prophetic breakthrough ministry. She travels nationally and internationally ministering in churches, conferences and seminars. Yoder is the author of several books, including Taking on Goliath (Charisma House). To order a copy of the book, click here. This article was adapted from an entry titled "Is That a Demon?" that appeared on her blog page at barbarayoderblog.com.
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!
NEW from CHARISMA: Do you want to encounter the Holy Spirit and hear God speak to you? Increase your faith, discover freedom, and draw near to God! Click Here