Do you long for spiritual breakthrough? Do you long to see God work in miraculous ways in your life? Do you hear others talk about the power of God at work in their lives, but you are embarrassed to admit that you have not experienced it? Do you wonder why some Christians seem to experience something more in their faith?
I have come to understand that it is in the nature of God to work in partnership. From the beginning–in Creation–we see God the Father working in partnership with the Holy Spirit (Gen. 1:2) and with Jesus (Col. 1:16-17). This is why Genesis 1:26 is written in the plural saying, “Let Us make man in Our image.” This is also why we see God working in partnership with common people throughout the Scriptures to accomplish His purpose: Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, the Apostles–I could name many, many more. Could not an omnipotent God have miraculously set the Israelites free from Egypt without working through Moses? He could have. Could He not have spoken to the people of Israel directly without entrusting His words to the prophets? He could have. But that is not His way. That is not Who He is.
With all their frailties and failures, God chooses to work in partnership with people. Common people like you and like me. What an awesome–and fearsome–truth. God works in and through ordinary human beings, and He allows their faithfulness and obedience–or lack of it–to impact the results. For example, Matthew chapter 13 tells us that when Jesus visited his home town, “He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.” (Matt. 13:58) In the Greek, the word for “miracle” is dunamis, from which we get the word dynamite, and the word for unbelief is apistia, the exact opposite of the Greek word pistis, or faith. The people of Nazareth chose not to be a part of what Jesus could have done there, so God allowed His power to be hindered.
What does this tell us? It tells us that the Almighty, Omnipotent God of the Universe allows His work to be hindered by humanity. Why? Perhaps because He loves to work in partnership. He loves to offer to you and I the opportunity to take part in His miraculous work. He loves us so much that He wants us to experience the joy of not only seeing Him work, but of having a part in making it happen.
So, you might be wondering, what does all of this have to do with spiritual breakthrough? According to Merriam-Webster, a breakthrough is:
2 : an act or instance of breaking through an obstacle
3a : a sudden advance especially in knowledge or technique
A possible definition for spiritual breakthrough is:
A sudden advance in faith due to breaking through an obstacle that has hitherto hindered your complete obedience to God.
If you are not experiencing spiritual breakthrough, chances are there is an obstacle standing in your way. If you are not seeing God’s power at work in and through your life, it is because you are allowing something to hinder Him–and because He is allowing you to make that choice.
Most of us have stood on the cusp of a spiritual breakthrough at least once in our lives. The majority of us have likely been there more than once. God has placed a possibility before us: the opportunity to step away from what we are doing, from the direction we have been going, and to join Him. That opportunity may come in many forms:
- Obedience: God may be asking you to step out in faith to do something new. It may be something simple or it may be something hard, but whatever it is, every fiber of your being is telling you to run away, to stay within your comfort zone.
- Surrender: God may be asking you to let go of something, to surrender your will to His, to surrender ownership, to surrender your “rights”–and you are mildly surprised to find a rebellious spirit rearing its head.
- Repentance: God may be convicting you of sin and asking you to turn away from your sin to follow Him. You don’t want to.
- Unforgiveness: God may have brought that person to your mind again. The one who did those things to you and said those things to you, or to someone you love. He is challenging you to forgive as He has forgiven you. You don’t think you can do it.
- Discipline: God may be asking you to change your priorities and make more time for Him in your day–for prayer and the study of His Word–but your days slip by. You climb into bed at night and realize another day has passed without changing your habits.
God allows your choices to make a difference. If you choose to embrace the opportunity God sets before you by stepping past your obstacle–whatever it may be–you will experience spiritual breakthrough. You will know and experience God’s presence at work in your life in new ways. But until you step up and take care of what God has placed before you, He will allow His power to be hindered in your life.
When you stand on the cusp of a spiritual breakthrough, the choice is in your hands. Will you accept the challenge? Will you embrace the opportunity to step into a new experience of God’s presence and power in your life? Or will you turn away from the opportunity before you and continue in the way you have been going?
Will you experience spiritual breakthrough . . . or not?