God is the master of breakthrough. David recognized that in 2 Samuel 5:20. But, what brings the breakthrough?
It is simple, God wants our hearts. He will do the heavy lifting, if we get aligned with Him. We must get back to the basics.
Prayer: In Daniel chapter 10, Daniel was gravely concerned. He began to pray, seeking God without an answer for 21 days. He had no idea what was going on in the unseen realm. But he persisted in prayer with fasting, a place of dying to self and saying, "God, it's all in Your hands. I need a breakthrough." Suddenly, after 21 days, God brought the archangel Michael with the breakthrough.
When we engage in authentic prayer, we're not telling God what to do. Instead, we honestly pour out our hearts to Him. It is that kind of prayer that produces intimacy with God.
When we focus on our overwhelming circumstances, we can become paralyzed. But, if we inquire of the Lord through prayer, and obey, the enemy will be defeated.
Praise: In Acts 16, Paul and Silas are in prison. What did they do? They praised God, even in their captivity. And God showed up in a supernatural, "suddenly" moment:
But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God ... Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were loosed. (Acts 16:25-26, NKJV)
There's something about praise in the midst of trying circumstances that brings breakthrough. The disciples praised God, the earth began to shake and they were set free from that prison. Throughout Scripture, wherever human impossibility is met with praise and the prayer of faith, God brings the breakthrough!
Worship: Authentic worship attracts God's presence. Isaiah 58 gives us a picture of true worship, which is obedience. Isaiah 58:8 tells of breakthrough for those who worship authentically through obedience, "Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard." In the light of His presence, darkness can't dwell. The world is dark, and we need the light of the world to shine in and through His church to see breakthrough.
There are four things that attract His presence:
- Honesty with God. Because of His amazing grace, we don't have to be afraid or try to cover up our sin. Instead, we can say, "I'm a mess, God." He already knows, but He wants us to be honest with Him.
- Holiness. This is consecration of our heart, not external piety. Our lives are not our own, they belong to Him. He purchased us with the blood of Jesus. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
- Humility. Humility is knowing we can't do what we need to do without the grace of God in our lives. We need His presence.
- Honor. When we honor God by appreciating people, even our enemies are attracted to us. There is power in our words and appreciation. We need to speak life and appreciate others; and repent before God when we don't.
When we attract God's presence in these ways, it repels darkness. It changes our environment and our circumstances. It creates a culture of His presence.
Praise is like warfare, going before the battle. Worship creates an atmosphere that welcomes His presence; and, His presence changes everything.
Scripture teaches that simple obedience to God is the highest form of worship. The Israelites quietly walked around the walls of Jericho once each day for six days. On the seventh day, without saying a word, they walked around seven times. Then, they gave a shout and the walls came down. God honored their simple obedience, their worship, with an impossible breakthrough!
Generosity: Extravagant giving of our time, talents and resources, even when everything else seems to be imploding, also brings breakthrough. Isiah 58:7 tells us to share our bread with the hungry, shelter the poor, clothe the naked and care for our families, then the breakthrough comes in verse 8.
Some of the greatest miracles in my life came during times of greatest need. When Hurricane Katrina hit, we had 21,000 desperate people lined up at our office. We probably didn't have $100 in the bank! But God supplied in miraculous ways, and we never turned one person away. We ended up distributing millions of dollars of assistance throughout the entire Gulf region, all because we were generous with what He gave us.
When we are grateful and take what little bit we have, offering it in thanksgiving, it becomes like the boy's lunch that fed the 5,000. God multiplies and always gives you back more than you had at the start.
Whatever we harvest today is not what we planted today. We're harvesting what we've already planted. So, we should start each day by sowing a seed of generosity into our future.
When we have extreme generosity, God turns things around. I like what Mike Lynch, our partner with Ally Force, says about disaster relief: "If God can't get it through to you, He won't get it to you." It's about stewardship. God wants us to be extravagantly generous.
Attracting the Master of the Breakthrough
When we humbly pray, offer praise in the midst of our circumstances, worship through simple obedience and live generously—we will see the master of breakthrough bring down the walls opposing us, open up the streams of blessing and give us fresh revelation of Himself.
God's about to bust something wide open in our lives, churches and ministries. He is our master of breakthroughs. And I believe, as we fix our gaze on Him and persevere, that we will see His divine intervention in our lives so we can be part of the supernatural expansion of His kingdom.
Dr. J. Doug Stringer is Founder and President of Somebody Cares America/International, a global network of chapters and relationships transforming their communities with the tangible expression of Christ. He invests significant time training and equipping the next generation of Christian leaders both in the U.S. and abroad. Doug has also authored numerous books, including Leadership Awakening: Foundational Principles for Lasting Success which can be purchased at SomebodyCares.org and or wherever Christian books are sold. Listen also to Doug Stringer's, A Word in Season with Doug Stringer and Friends podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network.
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