Tuesday, January 3, 2006

The Year of Breakthrough and Enlargement

“Sing, O barren,
  You who have not borne!
Break forth into singing, and cry aloud,
  You who have not labored with child!
For more are the children of the desolate
  Than the children of the married woman,” says the LORD.

“Enlarge the place of your tent,
  And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings;
Do not spare;
  Lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes.
For you shall expand to the right and to the left,
  And your descendants will inherit the nations,
  And make the desolate cities inhabited.”
(Isaiah 52:1-3)
Last year you may have felt barren, desolate, unproductive, useless, insignificant. But this year is the year of the favor of the LORD, the year of breaking forth, breaking through and breaking out. It is the time of your expansion, the enlargement of your territory. It is the season of fruitfulness, fulfillment and the habitation of God’s glory in your life. Notice how it begins, with a song of joy.

“Sing, O barren! Break forth into singing and cry aloud!” It is the cry of elation, the creaking of joy, the breakthrough of loud, clamorous rejoicing. It is unmindful of present barrenness, but instead lays hold of God’s declaration of fruitfulness with active faith. Present circumstances do not dictate future conditions, for God has spoken His Word (God always gets the last word, and it is a good word!) and this is the year of the LORD’s favor.

“Enlarge the place of your tent. God has a breakthrough for you, and the way to get ready it is to enlarge your tent. Begin by enlarging your thinking with a repentance that lines your thoughts up with God’s — start thinking His thoughts, which are revealed in His Word. “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2). “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)

Enlarge your vision and enlarge your heart to receive God’s promise, and He will enlarge your territory. Jabez enlarged the tent of his heart and prayed, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory” (1 Chronicles 4:10). And God did.

“Let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings.” As you enlarge your vision, you are going to be stretched. New wine must go into new wineskins because the fermenting action causes them to expand. Old wineskins cannot bear the strain. Let God burst your old wineskin and take you out of your comfort zone. Let Him give you a new wineskin, washed with the water of His Word and conditioned with a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit. Then you will be ready for the new wine of His prosperous love.

“Do not spare.” In 2 Kings 4, the widow of one of the sons of the prophets came to the prophet Elisha in dire need. She was deep in debt and her sons were about to be sold into slavery. “What do you have in the house?” he asked. “Nothing,” she said, “except a jar of oil.” Then Elisha said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors — empty vessels; do not gather just a few. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.” She went out and gathered as many empty vessels as she could find, came home, and poured out her little jar of oil into them until they were all miraculously filled. The oil was sold, the debts were paid, the sons were freed, for the woman did not spare. “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,” Paul said. “And he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

“Lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes.” There are walls that have to be demolished, paradigms that must to be shifted. Give up your small ambitions; your life is meant to be so much larger than you have ever imagined. Start believing, start imagining, start speaking of the prosperity of God coming to overflow in your life. God is able to do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or imagine, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20). Imagine bigger, expect more, for His power is in all those who trust Him — the power for every breakthrough you and I ever need is already resident in us.

“For you shall expand to the right and to the left.” The Hebrew word for “expand” is parats. It is the word for breakthrough. In the year of the LORD’s favor, you will breakthrough to a larger place. Former boundaries no longer apply; God is bringing increase. “The LORD give you increase more and more, you and your children” (Psalm 115:14).

“Your descendants will inherit the nations, and make the desolate cities inhabited.” This is not just about you and me — it is about our children, as well. There is an inheritance. “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD” (Psalm 127:3). “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children” (Proverbs 13:22). God has a powerful inheritance that affects all nations: “Ask of Me, and I will give the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession” (Psalm 2:8). In this inheritance, the desolation for the nations will come to an end, for in the year of the LORD‘s favor, they shall be filled with a habitation of His glory.

Enlarge your thinking to the promise of God. Enlarge your heart and your imagination. God is breaking you out to enlarge your territory. God, who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all you can ask or imagine, is bringing His power to bear in your life. In fact, if you know the Lord Jesus Christ, it is already at work in you, even now. So, regardless of your present situation, break forth with loud shouts of joy, for God is bringing the breakthrough into your life.

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