As senior leader of our local church, I pray for specific direction for each new year. This year, I had no clarity until about two weeks ago. I had been praying and kept getting two words… “breakthrough” and “breakout” since last December, but it didn’t fall into place for me until just recently.
Since I shared this with my congregation, I’ve found several ministries and individuals who have sensed the same thing (that shouldn’t be surprising since we’re all following the same Jesus!)
But before this, I sensed that what I normally think of these two seemingly grandiose words (we Charismatics like big “blowup” words like…glory, abundance, and breakthrough!) was probably not what God had in mind. He was giving them to me with a slightly different emphasis.
So, I decided to look them up in the dictionary…and I got excited. Like lock tumblers all falling into place, everything suddenly clicked! Here’s what I found:
Breakthrough: “a sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development” (an “aha” moment).
Breakout: “a forcible escape, typically from a prison” (freedom from whatever formerly held us back).
This is what got me excited. I believe that God has us individually, as a local church, and the body of Christ at large, in a very tangible season of breakthrough in areas we’ve been stymied by for a long time, and of freedoms that have previously alluded us.
Get ready for some “aha!” moments with God!
I believe this is a divine appointment to dialogue with God in these two areas in the coming season. Think of it as an invitation into relational intercourse—a cooperative process where God uses our faithful questioning to stretch us into new ways of thinking. He’s calling out to us to step out of our comfortable expectations and on to the “water” where we must learn to walk with Him. As I said in “Repenting from fear of change,” we do not truly grow any other way.
It starts with the questions
It starts with us asking the Lord where He wants us to have breakthrough? Does He want us rethink old thought patterns? Reveal hidden fears and inhibitions? What “dramatic discoveries” are awaiting? It boggles the imagination! What freedoms await that we’re not aware of now? Be open to anything. But you can know one thing about this up front: these questions actually originate from the heart of God!
While these discoveries and freedoms will be unique to you, here are some possible areas:
Discoveries: about your current understanding of God, your identity in Christ, better relationships…or maybe it’s with work, a new invention, artistic creation, open doors to ministry, doing something you thought you could never do before…the possibilities are endless!
Freedoms: from debilitating fears, mental fog, self-inflicted sabotage, small-thinking…or from anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, addictions, self-pity, blaming others, shame, regret, religious bondage…
I think what we’re talking about here is a divine jailbreak! 🙂
Disappointment is a big roadblock and stronghold for many…You see, Jesus has appointed you and me to bear fruit abundantly, and that our fruit should remain (John 15:16), but the enemy of our soul throws his flaming darts at our expectations in an attempt to dis-appoint us so that we’re left with nothing but brokenness.
But it was for freedom that Christ has set us free…so let’s choose freedom! And where the Spirit of the Lord is, freedom is always available (Gal.5:1; 2 Cor.3:17).
An invitation to walk off our maps
Here’s the thing about this invitation. You and I don’t know what we don’t know (we don’t even know the right questions!) Instead, we find ourselves caught up in the flow of an ever-unfolding mystery. Why must it “unfold?” Why can’t Jesus just tell me what I need to know so I can move on? There are two main reasons.
First, we’re not ready. Jesus said it this way:
12 “I have a lot more to tell you, but that would be too much for you now. 13 When the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into the full truth. He won’t speak on his own. He will speak what he hears and will tell you about things to come. 14 He will give me glory, because he will tell you what I say. 15 Everything the Father says is also what I say. That is why I said, ‘He will take what I say and tell it to you.’ (John 16:12-15 GW)
Whenever I read this, I think Jack Nicholson in “A few Good Men”…”You can’t handle the truth!”…now…but you will…when you’re ready.
The second reason is, God is relational, not transactional. I’ve talked a lot about this already, but what’s pertinent here is that God does everything He does in order to draw us into continual fellowship. He’s just not as interested in giving us the answer as He is in engaging us in dialogue and intimacy.
This is why it’s really about an invitation to partake of the divine nature (2 Pet.1:4). And, of course, the result of this Fellowship is fullness of joy!
3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. (1 John 1:3-5 NKJV)
One more thing about this invitation to breakthrough and breakout. We probably won’t discover the same things, or experience the same new freedoms. Yet, God is working in all of us together…for His purposes and our highest good.
Beloved, I hope this word encourages you. It sure has encouraged me! I know that God has really good things in store for you and me. And He’s more than able to do it!
The One who can break through barriers will lead them out
they will break out, pass through the gate, and leave.
Their King will advance before them,
The Lord himself will lead them. (Micah 2:13 NET)