Greetings in the name of Jesus!
Recently, I have felt I wanted to write to you in regards to the prophetic words Aglow receives.
Prophecy in Balance
I believe that the prophetic words spoken over Aglow come, not as independent “truth” but as words of acknowledgement for what God has already raised up in His women, as well as words of confirmation to our own spirits as we continue to move forward with God’s call on this ministry.
Let me say, however, that Aglow does not, nor has it ever based its ministry solely on prophetic words. Yet, prophetic words have come to us from the very beginning, often in conference settings.
At our 2009 worldwide conference in Louisville, Kentucky, our speaker Asher Intrater brought us a powerful word about becoming “a company of Marys” who would be used to help bring forth the 2nd coming of Jesus. Initially, the understanding of this word has caused confusion among some, a confusion I hope to clarify in this letter.
I worked in registration during Aglow’s first international conference held in Seattle in 1974.I remember even then the prophetic nature of the ministry of Dr. Pat Robertson and Dr. Jack Hayford, both of whom were speakers that year. They remain friends of Aglow to this day.
Interestingly, Dr. Hayford spoke on “The Mary Miracle.” It was a powerful word about God using the womb of Mary to bring His son to earth. It was linked with the womb of our spirit also being used to bring forth Jesus in the earth through our faith and intercession. When I speak of the “womb of our spirit,” we understand that it is genderless and refers to the Bride of Christ, male and female.
I view Asher Intrater’s “Mary” word to us at last year’s conference as a powerful confirmation of Dr. Hayford’s word 25 years earlier, as well as confirmation to our own spirits.
I have always been a person who seeks to walk in balance, especially as your leader. My way of responding to the Spirit is to let Him unfold a thing. I don’t try to push or make it happen. My father taught me early in life to “make it hard on God.” I hope I have exhibited that in my leadership down through the years at Aglow.
I want to clarify how Aglow has been led these many years. I have had the incredible privilege of being a part of Aglow from its early days. It was in the early to mid 1970s that I first began to help as a volunteer with the beginnings of what we now call the International level.
At that point, Aglow’s office was located in a house in Edmonds, Washington. Because I lived in Edmonds, and served as a local president, and later on an area board, I was asked if I would help with some of the multiple tasks that were developing with this new ministry. The few of us who volunteered in the office found ourselves amazed at the early response to a new ministry, then called Women’s Aglow.
Aglow began in 1967 when nobody dreamed it would become a ministry, much less a worldwide movement. Aglow incorporated in 1972 on the advice of one of the ministry’s first advisors, Father Dennis Bennett. Father Bennett was then rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Seattle, and an early leader in what became the charismatic renewal movement that was sweeping through traditional churches.
The direction and heart of the Father expressed through this dear man of God, encouraged us in this new venture. He had been influential in the unfolding Renewal Movement and voiced his strong sense that God was bringing forth something new in the earth with the birth of Aglow.
Aglow was just beginning to see growth in those early days, yet, prophetic words came from recognized Christian leaders that we would be a ministry that reached out to the nations of the world. Indeed, that has come to pass.
I continued to volunteer in the office through the terms of the first two International Presidents, Ellen Olsen and Margaret Moody. During that time the first International Board was formed. With Aglow as a “new thing in the earth,” they had never walked this way before, yet these women sought after God with their whole heart. Like Abraham, they were walking into a destiny that they didn’t fully understand. They were simply being obedient and God honored them for their faithfulness.
The Male/Female Mandate
In 1980, when I became the third International President, I began to speak about what God had been showing me regarding the significant place women held in His unfolding plan. I shared about the need for reconciliation between male and female so that the plan of God as He spoke it in Genesis 1-3 might come forth. Those early messages and God’s increasing revelation about His plan for male and female reconciliation ultimately became our first mandate.
The Islam Mandate
In 1991, a startling prophetic word came during our international conference in Orlando, Florida, about the Islamic world and the thread God would put in our hand to help unravel that system. That word came through one of our own Aglow women, Diane Fink, who now directs the Aglow Institute of Ministry.
The question that hung in the air in 1991 was, “What do we do now?” When the Board of Directors, who are responsible for the ministry’s major decisions, met to consider that word, we believed strongly that it came from God, but none of us had any idea how or where to even begin. Yet, In God’s faithfulness, He began to lead us in ways that we now stand amazed at as we look back.
In 1993, at our international conference in Phoenix, Arizona, Steve Penny, a young Australian pastor with a prophetic gift, was one of our speakers. This is what he said. “I don’t know what happened in 1991 in your Aglow convention, but… something of God’s purpose for this ministry was sown into your hearts by the Word of the Lord. Conception took place.” He continued, “I believe that in a couple of years ahead, there will be a birthing of the things that have been seeded into your hearts, but at this conference the Spirit of God is confirming, ‘This is what I’m doing. This is My plan.’”
Exactly two years after Steve Penny spoke, another confirmation came at our 1995 international conference by a recognized prophetic leader, Rick Joyner. He knew nothing of the initial word to us. God wanted to make sure we heard and understood that it was something on His heart. When God spoke that first prophetic word to us about Islam, it was 10 years before the tragic events of 9/11. He is Jehovah Jireh, the one who goes before us and provides what is needed at the moment it is needed.
Today we have Aglow groups in many of the Islamic nations and we are beginning our 9th year with Diwaniya, our Arabic language TV series with a vast outreach globally and a great penetration into the Muslim world. Diane Moder, our Islamic Awareness and Education Director, regularly holds insightful seminars that have educated not only Aglow constituents, but also many church leaders.
The Israel Mandate
In July, 2000, while on Aglow’s first journey to Israel -- a trip that we thought would be a “one time thing,” God spoke to my heart in a way that I knew I should pursue a divine connection with Israel. Yet, again, I didn’t know how. I willingly waited for the Holy Spirit to unfold what God might be speaking.
Then, in June, 2001, God sovereignly chose a time when He strongly confirmed to me, and to Aglow, His mandate for Israel. It happened at a small, non-Aglow conference on Israel where several international ministry leaders confirmed what God was saying. Since then, Aglow has taken 8 trips into the land of Israel and is planning the 9th trip for May, 2010. The Holy Spirit has repeatedly said to Aglow, “You have been called for such a time as this.” I believe!
As the international prayer movement has grown around the world, Aglow’s Global House of Prayer has also grown under the direction of Prayer Director, Nancy McDaniel. Thanks to instant communication, today we can rally a million women quickly to pray for critical events taking place in the world. We have grown in experience and authority in prayer.
We appreciate confirming words that have been spoken over this ministry from such ministry leaders of character as Dutch Sheets, an Aglow advisor, who spoke Isaiah 22:22 over Aglow at our 2004 U.S. National Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.
Time Brings Shifting Emphasis
When Aglow began back in the 1960’s, the focus was on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit and praise and worship. This was the emphasis because it was how God was moving in those early days.
Then the Spirit began to shift the focus, not abandoning the baptism of the Holy Spirit, nor those early elements of teaching, but building on WHY we had received the life of the Spirit within us. We began to hear how God was cleansing His temple.
We experienced heart and life changes. We realized the need to look at hurts, wounds, beliefs, behavior patterns in our lives that God wanted to set us free from. Many women around the world have testified to great healing that has taken place in their hearts through the ministry of Aglow. I am one of those women.
God was beginning to quicken, heal and restore His handmaidens to be of use to Him in powerful ways. When the Holy Spirit begins to highlight a particular area it is not because WE have decided to make a change. Rather, He is doing it.
Bride and Bridegroom/ Male and Female
In the past couple of years many of us in ministry have sensed something new being highlighted… that of the Bride and Bridegroom. Being a new bride myself, I have been so aware of the drawing of the Bride to the Bridegroom.
The whole word of God is about God seeking an eternal companion for His Son. The Old Testament points towards the coming of His Son, The Messiah and the Bridegroom who will seek, court, and woo the Bride to Himself. The New Testament is the unfolding story of how the Son pursues the Bride for Himself. Interestingly, that “new” focus was confirmed at our conference in Louisville through leaders.
The fact that the Spirit is moving in such a way in this hour is exciting. However, we continue to remain balanced in our approach to what we sense Him doing. We merely acknowledge in our hearts that we are responding to the advancement of the Bridegroom towards His Bride, getting us ready for what He has for us in this hour. I believe God is intentional in what He does and says. Do we understand fully how this is to be walked out? No. Nor have we ever taken any particular theological stance except for our foundational beliefs which have always been open to view on our Web site.
What we do know is that since 2003, men have been drawn to Aglow in a new way, asking to form their own small groups under the Aglow banner. We have watched this happen in several nations and we are waiting on the Lord for next steps. We want to respond in faith that God is well able to develop whatever is on His heart if we will but wait on Him to do so and not respond with fear and doubt.
I think Aglow already has been walking in faith, taking dominion through our prayers. We have prayer teams everywhere that pray powerful prayers. Currently, the 12 U.S. Regional Directors who serve on the US National Leadership Team are each taking a team into Washington DC every month this year to pray for this nation. The first team just concluded their time in our nation’s capital with a wonderful report of how God led them to pray.
In the other nations of the world, Aglow leaders are also praying in parts of their country where few dare to walk – taking dominion over all that does not glorify God. Remember, God directed the first couple in the Garden of Eden to “take dominion.” Again, let me say, for those who seem to fear the word dominion, this is not going beyond what God has said in His Word, but neither is it holding back in fear because some have abused that word.
I continue to be humbled by your love and support as a leader. I also continue to want Aglow to move in the authority she has gained over the years. Just as in life, we gain wisdom as we grow. The same is true in the Spirit realm. To say we have gained authority and wisdom is not a haughty thing. It is something to give God the glory for. Stay low in your own eyes, but move out in the power of the name we all love…..Jesus.
I trust this letter is of some help to you and your heart takes comfort in the fact that God has joined us together, built trust and given us a love for one another that confounds the enemy.
To Him be the glory!
Jane Hansen Hoyt