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 go on and on. We face enormous threats both from within our cultures and outside of them. At times, the darkness is palpable. In the world around us, and often within our souls, we are walking in the dark.
As with Jesus in His darkest time, we know that our darkness, our dimness, our spiritual destitution, is not from God, and yet God is in it: "For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:6). God will bring us out of the obscurity of darkness: "In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness" (Is. 29:18).
What kinds of darkness do you see in your own life right now? Have you been blinded by the darkness and sin of the world around you? Are you being tossed to and fro as the political or financial climates change? Are you embroiled in marital or family problems that just will not go away, to the point that you want to jump ship sometimes? Are you confused, not sure where you are going, wondering where your former joy and peace went? Do the lights seem to have gone out in your life?
Are you ready to start shining some light into your darkness?
Could it be that God is beginning to get your attention in a way that He has not had it before? Could it be that He is allowing desperation, anxiety, fear, harassment, despair, misery, anguish, even desolation to arise in you to the point that you will be driven to your knees for answers? Are you asking questions you either evaded before or did not think to ask?
As bad as things seem, could it be that you are in exactly the right place at the right time?
God wants to do something new, something that will change you, your family, your church, your neighborhood, your city and even your nation. Perhaps you were unable to hear what He was trying to say or see what He was trying to show you, so He had to let you feel it. Perhaps this is His rallying cry so that you will arise and find answers to the problems.
He had to allow the darkness to surround you before He could create the new things in your life. If you do not believe me, just think of the dark, "secret place" of your mother's womb where you were formed. Just think of the Creation:
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness" (Gen. 1:1-4).
This season is not a mistake. You are not lost in the darkness/wilderness permanently. And if, perchance, you are doing just fine, thank you, and darkness/wilderness is not even on your screen at the moment, please hang on to this book. You will need its message in due time. Dark seasons are part of the growth process for each and every disciple. When you gave Jesus permission to be the Lord of your life, you signed up for some significant challenges.
You cannot be an overcomer if you do not have something to overcome. Reach out and accept the anointing to be an overcomer, one who radiates the light of Christ into the darkest places:
"Do all things without grumbling and fault-finding and complaining [against God] and questioning and doubting [among yourselves], that you may show yourselves to be blameless and guiltless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish (faultless, unrebukable) in the midst of a crooked and wicked generation [spiritually perverted and perverse], among whom you are seen as bright lights (stars or beacons shining out clearly) in the [dark] world, holding out [to it] and offering [to all men] the Word of Life, so that in the day of Christ I may have something of which exultantly to rejoice and glory in that I did not run my race in vain or spend my labor to no purpose" (Phil. 2:14-16, Amplified).
Let God pour out the overcomer's anointing on you. Through it, He can use your darkest hour as your greatest spiritual weapon. This is an awesome calling!
Barbara J. Yoder is senior pastor of Shekinah Christian Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and founder and director of Breakthrough Apostolic Ministries. The author of four books, including The Overcomer's Anointing—from which this article is adapted—and the best-selling The Breaker Anointing, she serves on the faculty of Wagner Leadership Institute, on the International Coalition of Apostles, and on the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders.