Overcomer’s Conference Day 2, Wednesday 24 September 2014
Key Passages: “And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.” (Isaiah 10:27 KJV)
“In that day their burden will be lifted from your shoulders, their yoke from your neck; the yoke will be broken because you have grown so fat.” (Isaiah 10:27 NIV)
WHAT ARE BARRIERS?
From Dictionary.com we have the following definitions of a barrier:
- anything built or serving to bar passage, as a railing, fence, or the like:
- any natural bar or obstacle:
- anything that restrains or obstructs progress, access, etc.:
- a limit or boundary of any kind:
Barriers are things opposing us from becoming who God wants us to be. Barriers are things that impede our progress, whether spiritual, economic, social or other.
GATES SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST THE CHURCH
When Jesus spoke about ‘gates of hell’ He was warning believers ahead of time that there would be forces that would oppose the church. That also applies to individual members of the church. But He assured us that they shall not prevail (Matthew 16:18). God has given weapons to the Church to overcome any barrier that would be raised against it.
For instance, “Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.” (Acts 12:5). The outcome was that an angel went to rescue him, “When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.” When the church prayed gates were opened.
The children of Israel also encountered barriers as they matched into their inheritance. “Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in.” (Joshua 6:1). When they unleashed their spiritual weapons, the walls fell and they gained access into the city (Joshua 6:20).
BARRIERS IMPEDE PROGRESS
In the economy of God, everything grows; everything moves forward. When Moses asked the children of Israel to stand still, God’s instruction was ‘Let the people move forward’ (Exodus 14:13-15). “But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.” (Proverbs 4:18). But, with some people, no matter how they try, there is little or no progress. They find themselves in a vicious circle – moving from one problem to another; one failure to another or just going round the same mountain (Deuteronomy 2:2)
To make progress we must overcome the forces or barriers that oppose us. If a person is swimming upstream, he must be able to overcome the pressure of the water coming downstream. If for instance the current is 50 and the person’s effort is 50, he will be at a standstill; if the force against him is 100 and his effort is 80, he will be retrogressing; if the force is 20 and his effort is 100, then he will be making 80% progress. (We can deduce this from what Jesus spoke about the cost of discipleship in Luke 14:31-33).
POWER TO BREAK BARRIERS
We face an adversary whose desire is to contain us, to keep us down, to make sure that we are limited. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). This scripture underscores the level of opposition we face from the enemy. It is described as a ‘wrestle,’ an activity where your opponent wants to take you down and pin you down.
We are told that the weapon we use against the enemy are not ‘carnal,’ they are not human but they are powerful in demolishing strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6). These strongholds constitute barriers.
WHAT ARE STRONGHOLDS?
Literarily, it is a place from which to hold something strongly, like a fort, a castle or prison. Strongholds are not demons but they are places from which demons dominate or operate. It is where Satan has a place of strength within a person; where he has a foothold (Ephesians 4:27). Strongholds are legal places for satanic operations (Isaiah 49:24-25).
In the immediate context, strongholds are thoughts, or arguments that prevent people from receiving and believing the gospel. They can also be mind-sets, indulgences that become habits (Ephesians 4:27), or unbroken spiritual contracts etc.
The spiritual weapons we use, both for defence and offence are listed in Ephesians 6:14-18;
“14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints“
The name and blood of Jesus are also powerful to break barriers. (Isaiah 10:27 -refer to the text) gives us a very vivid imagery of what we can use to break barriers.
A ‘burden’ or a ‘yoke’ represents barriers. In this Scripture, God says that they will be removed. From the two translations we can observe two ways that barriers can be broken – by the ‘anointing’ and by ‘fatness.’
- The barrier will be broken as you grow fat. In this sense we are talking about spiritual fatness. As we feed on the word of the Lord we receive revelation of the truth that sets us free from barriers (John 8:32,36; Proverbs 11:9b).
- Secondly, there are barriers that only the anointing of the Holy Spirit can break.
Let us note that there are barriers that won’t move until they are confronted. This conference is an opportunity for us to confront any barrier standing on our way.