Do you need a breakthrough?
If so, you’re not alone. All of us sense that need—not just once or twice but many times in our lives. We all have seasons when we’ve sown the seed of God’s Word, tended it with faith and patience; and we know that harvest time is here. We perceive in our spirits that our “due season” (Galatians 6:9) has come and it’s time for us to be enjoying the fruit of our faith, moving on to new phases of God’s plan for our lives.
Yet nothing seems to be happening.
So we keep on waiting and waiting, month after month or even year after year. We keep on wondering what’s holding us back. We keep on watching for the breakthrough we so desperately need.
But the fact is that it’s not enough just to wait, wonder, and watch. Many times there’s something we must do. There are actions we must take to bring forth those God-ordained plans and promotions that are so long overdue.
Some believers don’t realize that. They have the idea that all good things will come automatically in the timing of God. That might be true for all obedient, born again believers if it weren’t for one thing.
Satan is always actively at work trying to hinder the plans of God. As a spiritual being, Satan is sensitive to the anointing and the callings of God. He knows as much (or more) of the Bible as we do. And he will resist us at every turn in an effort to stop us from laying hold of those good things God has ordained for us. He will do all he can to keep us from fulfilling our God-given calling.
Are You Willing to Press?
That’s why instead of simply waiting for our breakthrough, we must create it by pushing beyond the enemy’s resistance. We must follow the example of the apostle Paul who wrote:
…I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14 NKJ)
To press means “to exert the maximum, sustainable effort.” It doesn’t refer to releasing a burst of energy and then relaxing for a week or two. To press toward something involves pushing toward it steadily and unrelentingly with everything you’ve got.
Breakthroughs are a product of pressing. They don’t come to the complacent or lethargic. They don’t come to those who simply maintain the status quo.
Breakthroughs come to those who are willing to press through the resistance of Satan both in natural ways and in spiritual ways and lay hold of the fullness of God’s will for their lives. Notice I said we must press naturally and spiritually. Many people fall into the trap of pressing in one area but not the other. They have a tendency to do everything they can in the natural but they don’t apply the same kind of effort in matters of the spirit like believing and praying.
To obtain a breakthrough of the magnitude most of us desire, however, we must be determined to extend maximum effort in both areas. We must do all that needs to be done in the natural while being equally diligent in prayer. We must be determined to grasp by faith what we’ve asked of the Lord.
How do we do that? We do it by keeping the Word before us and by spending time with the Lord praying over and meditating on His promises to us until we can begin to see them by faith, for it is in seeing that we begin to possess them.
Once we have seen and grasped those promises in the spirit, the Lord will show us natural things we must do to bring them forth. When we obey and put corresponding action to our faith, the breakthrough will be ours.
Get Plugged In
“But I’ve done all those things,” someone might say, “and I still seem to be stuck. Is there anything else I need to do?”
Yes, you need to make sure you’re properly plugged into the body of Christ. You need to make sure you’re an active, contributing part of the local church God has called you to. As you apply your efforts—both spiritually and naturally—to help bring breakthroughs in that body, you’ll find the personal blessings you need suddenly breaking through to you!
That’s because in the kingdom of God, individual blessings and promotions are always joined to the corporate blessings and promotions. They always go hand in hand. They cannot be separated. The Jews in the Old Testament found that out when they spent all their time and energy trying to build their own homes while the Temple of God remained in ruins. They worked hard and tried to prosper but they found themselves frustrated at every turn. The promises of God were not coming to pass in their lives. They truly needed a breakthrough!
When they complained to the Lord about their situation, He spoke to them through the prophet Haggai and said:
“You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says the Lord of hosts. Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house. Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit.” (Haggai 1:9-10)
Before the Jews in Haggai’s day could prosper personally, they had to commit themselves first to fulfilling the corporate plan of God. They had to bless His house before He could bless theirs!
A Breakthrough for One and All
The same thing is true today. Jesus is committed first and foremost to building His Church (Matthew 16:18) not just the lives of isolated believers. So when we work and pray together to bless His house, we as individual members of that household are also richly blessed.
The New Testament reveals this principle again and again. In the first chapter of Acts, for example, we find 120 believers waiting together in the upper room for the promise of God. They weren’t just sitting around playing checkers or dominoes. Verse 14 tells us they “all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.”
They stayed together in that upper room day after day, praying and expecting to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They did everything they knew to do and they did it together. There was no strife among them. They stood together in faith… and they got their breakthrough.
Suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:2-4)
The whole Church got blessed that day and so did every individual in it. Every single person received what he or she was believing for, and as a result, 3,000 people were saved in a single day. There’s no question about it; that was a breakthrough day for one and for all!
Joined Together in the Plan of God
In Acts three and four, we find the Church continuing in that kind of unity and corporate commitment. We find believers meeting together for prayer, fellowship, and the teaching of the Word on a daily basis. When Peter and John were arrested for preaching the Gospel after healing the cripple at the Temple gate, we find them returning to their own company of believers and getting help and support in prayer. We find them standing in faith together.
As a result, the Church prospered tremendously in those days. Great numbers were healed and saved daily. The members of this new and thriving Church were so committed to each other that Acts four says:
…the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. (verses 32-35)
It’s hard for us today to imagine a church of thousands so blessed that not one person in it has any lack. Yet that’s exactly what happened in the early Church. As the corporate body of Christ in those days stood together in love, faith, and commitment and pressed forward to lay hold of the kingdom work Jesus had called them to do, every individual got blessed. Every individual received his personal breakthrough.
Take A Step Toward Breakthrough
Read through the Word of God and you’ll see that’s always the way it is. Individual breakthroughs are consistently connected to the larger plan of God. Breakthroughs don’t come to those who just want to be richer, healthier, happier couch potatoes. They come to those who have committed themselves not only to God but to others. They come to those who are pressing arm in arm with their brothers and sisters in the Lord to lay hold of that for which Christ has laid hold of us.
It is time for a breakthrough not just in your life or mine but for every member of the body of Christ. So let’s get together and start pressing. We are joined together in the plan of God… and together we will break through!