Showing posts with label Breakthrough. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Breakthrough. Show all posts

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Breakthrough of the Righteous

The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Those who are planted in the house of the LORD
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,
To declare that the LORD is upright.
(Psalm 92:12-15)
Many people are looking for a breakthrough in their lives. This psalm talks about a breakthrough that will endure as long as you live. It is the breakthrough of the righteous.

The Hebrew word for “flourish” used in the first two instances is parach and means to break forth and spread. It is breakthrough. When used with the metaphor of a palm tree, it refers to how it breaks forth with buds, blooms and bears fruit. When used with the metaphor of an eagle or some other bird, it refers to the spreading of wings to fly.

The righteous are those who live in awe of the LORD, who love, honor and trust Him. They declare His lovingkindness in the morning and His faithfulness every night (v. 2). By faith they have been planted — transplanted into the house of the LORD, to bear fruit in His courts. That is, they have come to a new place in their life, not by their own striving, but by a work of the Lord. That in itself is a breakthrough. The psalm writer uses the analogy of the palm tree. A full-grown date palm can bear three or four hundred pounds of fruit, and in some cases even up to six hundred pounds. That’s abundance!

To live in house of the Lord and dwell in His courts is a rich life indeed. It is delighting in His law and meditating in it day and night (Psalm 1:2). Those who do are like trees that have been planted beside rivers of water, always bringing forth their fruit in season. Their leaf shall not wither, and whatever they do shall prosper (Psalm 1:3). They enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise (Psalm 100:4). They dwell in the secret place of the Most High and abide under the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1), and in His presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).

This is the breakthrough that lasts forever, for even in old age they shall still bear fruit. They shall still be fresh and flourishing. The Hebrew word for “flourishing” in this case means to be green and new, even luxuriant. It is the picture of health and prosperity, and it declares that the Lord is upright.

Who are the righteous ones? Those who live by faith, just as Abraham believe God “and He accounted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). Even as the prophet declared, “The just shall live by faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). The apostle Paul said, “God made Jesus, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

God has breakthrough for all those who love and trust in Him, for those who delight in His Word and mediate in it continually. They will enter His courts with praise and live in His house forever. It is a breakthrough that will last forever — the breakthrough of the righteous.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Small Things Change the World

Do not despise these small beginnings. (Zechariah 4:10 NLT)

The kingdom of heaven is like leaven. (Matthew 13:33)

If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move form here to there,” and it will move; and nothing will be impossible. (Matthew 17:20)
This is how the world works. Everything begins as a seed, a bit of leaven, seemingly small and insignificant. Consider the Creation, for example: God spoke a little word and the worlds were framed.

Mathematicians have developed an explanation to address how the world hinges on small beginnings. It is called Chaos Theory, “sensitive dependence upon initial conditions.” The classic paradigm is that the beating of a butterfly’s wings in Beijing can affect the weather patterns over Central Park in New York.

Bankers and investment counselors expound on the miracles of compound interest, the snowballing effect of a little bit of interest accumulating over time.

In the beginning, God created a man and a woman and gave them this amazing assignment: “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion” (Genesis 1:28). Quite a job description for the very first couple, and yet eminently doable in the providence of God.

Jesus said “The kingdom of God is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened” (Matthew 13:33). The leaven, though very small, eventually works throughout all the dough. The kingdom of God works in the same way.

Jesus also compared the kingdom to a mustard seed, “which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches” (Matthews 13:31-32).

Faith, too, is like a mustard seed, He said. A little bit goes a long way — if you plant it. Mountains move. In fact, Jesus made a statement so startling that we gloss over it as hyperbole, but it is not. He said, “Nothing will be impossible!”

We don’t really need to understand how it happens, we just need to know that it happens. Jesus said,
The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come. (Mark 4:26-29)
Have you ever noticed in a vegetable garden, how a gardener will often take the empty seed packet and put it on a stake at the end of the row? Carrots, cabbage, peas. Why does he do that? It is not for the benefit of the seed, but simply to help him keep track of what is planted where. The seed already knows what it is, and that is how it will come up, regardless of how the rows are marked.

The seed carries its destiny within itself, and the soil knows what to do with it. Our job is simply to be faithful — full of faith — to sow the seed. In its proper time, it will begin to breakthrough the soil, to grow and develop, to bud and blossom and bring forth fruit. When the fruit ripens, there is harvest — much greater than the seed that was sown.

Start small, finish big. Take your faith and plant it. Speak the Word of God over you life, over your world. Believe the leaven and watch it work. Scatter your seed freely. The world waits in sensitive dependence upon the initial conditions of your heart, so turn your heart in faith to the Lord, and nothing will be impossible.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Looking for Breakthrough

One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek;
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD
And to inquire in His temple.
(Psalm 27:4)
The Hebrew word for “inquire” is baqar. Literally, it means to plough, but generally it means to “break forth” in the sense of searching and seeking out. Other versions have:
  • To visit early in His Temple. (Jewish Publication Society Bible)
  • To meditate, consider and inquire in His Temple. (Amplified Bible)
  • Getting wisdom in His Temple. (Bible in Basic English)
  • I’ll study at His feet. (The Message Bible)
David was in a tough position, completely surrounded by his enemies. An angry army was encamped around him and fierce war was being pitched against him (v. 3). False witnesses opposed him, hostile voices breathing out violence (v. 12). David was in serious need of breakthrough in his situation, and that required a breakthrough in his spirit, to break forth with an intense focus on the LORD.

Perhaps this was the occasion we read about in 1 Chronicles 14. David had just been established at Jerusalem as king over Israel. When the Philistines got word of this, they came looking to oppose him. David went out against them. The Philistines made the first move and raided the Valley of Rephaim. (vv. 8-9). Then in verse 10, we read,
And David inquired of God, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hand?” The LORD said to him, “Go up, for I will deliver them into your hand.”
The word for “inquire” here is shalal and means to ask, beg, borrow, and on occasion, even to demand. It is an earnest request. God answered and released David into victory:
So they went up to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there. Then David said, “God has broken through my enemies by my hand like a breakthrough of waters.” Therefore they called the name of that place Baal Perazim. (v. 11)
“Baal Perazim” means “Master of Breakthroughs.” When David broke through and focused himself on the LORD, the LORD broke through his enemies in a mighty way.

One final encounter remained in this battle, for afterward, the Philistines made another raid on the valley (v. 13). This was a fresh battle and required a fresh word from the LORD. Yesterday’s breakthrough is no assurance of today’s victory.
Therefore David inquired again of God, and God said to him, “You shall not go up after them; circle around them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. And it shall be, when you hear a sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall go out to battle, for God has gone out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.” So David did as God commanded him, and they drove back the army of the Philistines from Gibeon as far as Gezer. Then the fame of David went out into all lands, and the LORD brought the fear of him upon all nations. (v.v. 14-17)
This was the final triumph over the Philistines, and it happened because David broke through and inquired once more of the LORD. God went forth before Him, then David went forth in God’s footsteps and appropriated the victory.

If you want to breakthrough to a place in your life you have never been before, you must breakthrough to God in a way you have never done before. You must come to the place in your life where you realize that it is all about God and that true and lasting success will never come to you apart from Him. Then seek Him with all your heart. Get in His presence and lay claim to His promise and provision with single-minded focus. Let no other words fill your heart but His, and He will lead you to complete victory.

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.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Breakthrough of a Broken Heart

There is an old Jewish proverb that says, “The teacher cannot place the truth in the heart of his student. He can only place it on top, so that when the heart breaks, the truth will fall in.”

There are things that God wants to do in our hearts, but He will not force His way in to do them. Yes, He is the healer of the brokenhearted, but sometimes a heart cannot be healed until it is broken. Then we are ready to let the Lord come and do a work in us.

There are things that I have been crying out to God for, and this morning my heart has been breaking over something I have been reading. It is not tragic things I have been reading about, but some very good things — ways that God is using people to bless others. My heart is bursting because I very much want to be a part of it — to hear the voice of God in such a powerful way, and to declare it boldly, that many will be blessed by the revealing of their heart before God and turn to Him.

One of the touchstone verses of my life has been this:
The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of disciples,
  That I may now how to sustain the weary one with a word.
He awakens me morning by morning,
  He awakens my ear to listen as a disciple.
(Isaiah 50:4 NIV)
That is what my heart cries out for this morning.

Sometimes the breakthrough we need the most is the breaking of our hearts.