It was a typical sunny summer, early Sunday morning drive to church. I was praying to God and thinking about the message I was about to deliver to my congregation. The scary thing was, I was about to get up in front of my church and speak but I didn’t even want to be there. I had the gut wrenching feeling that I somehow missed my calling, that I wasn’t living up to what I thought my life was going to be, and wasn’t doing enough to make a difference. This wasn’t a new sentiment; I had been struggling for months, maybe even a year, with an overwhelming urge to throw in the towel. I was standing at the edge of burn out, and didn’t even realize the depth of my discouragement. But I knew I couldn’t just keep going through the motions! I needed a BREAKTHROUGH!
I didn’t need just any ordinary breakthrough, but I needed a spiritual breakthrough! I believe a spiritual breakthrough is different for each person; however generally speaking, a breakthrough is an experience of having reached a new level of spirituality. A breakthrough could be someone experiencing salvation, someone receiving healing or deliverance in a certain area of their life, or it could be a new revelation that brings a deeper understanding of truth.
Here are some biblical examples of Breakthrough:
- Paul’s experience on the Damascus Road as he saw for the first time who Jesus really was (Acts 9).
- Peter’s experience on the rooftop in Joppa as he learned that the gospel was for all people, Gentiles included (Acts 10).
- The conversion of Lydia on the outskirts of Philippi as she was the first person saved on European soil (Acts 16).
The idea of a “breakthrough” suggests a preceding struggle that finally peaks and finds a resolution. I needed to overcome obstacles that were holding me back and I needed to achieve a new level of freedom to walk in all Christ had for me. It took me persevering for months, but finally God gave me the breakthrough I prayed for.
Now my drives to church are full of expectation of what God is going to do. He has restored the joy of not only my salvation, but the joy of ministry. I am so grateful for the important lessons He taught me along the way to receiving my breakthrough. I believe these lessons could be keys to your breakthrough too.
So if you have been experiencing some setbacks in your ministry and you know God has more for you, let me share with you four keys to receiving your BREAKTHROUGH!
- Amp up your Prayer Life!
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”- Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
There were some days I felt like I was in a fog and the last thing I wanted to do was pray, but I knew prayer was a key to my breakthrough. When I wanted to sit in worry, I decided to turn my worry into a trigger to pray instead. I made prayer lists in my journal and declared God’s truth over my situation. I even enlisted trusted friends to pray with me. I put prayer on my daily “To Do” list just for an extra form of accountability. I am a sucker for making lists, and I feel so satisfied when I can mark something off my list. There were even times I had to step up my prayer life by choosing to fast. Sometimes I would fast food and sometimes I gave up entertainment as a form of fasting. This slowly began to chip away at the wall that was blocking my breakthrough and after faithfully committing to praying without ceasing, I saw things in my life change for the better. I cannot overstate the importance of praying if you need a breakthrough. Do the work, make yourself a war room, go old school and get some anointing oil or a prayer scarf. Grab your bible and a journal and find time to pray Every Single Day! If you do this, I guarantee that you will eventually get your breakthrough!
- Get a trusted friend, therapist, and/or mentor you can be real with.
“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” –Proverbs 27:6 (NIV)
We live in a culture that is more connected through social media and the internet than ever before, yet many people feel more isolated and alone than any previous generation. We have traded genuine friendships that take work, for fake friends on social media. I am not against social media platforms and I believe they can be used as great ways to encourage people and represent Christ to the world. However, I do think they can present a false sense of community and I worry that we are replacing true friendships and relationships for a façade of admirers and acquaintances. There is nothing like a true friend who will tell you the truth, even when it hurts. I am so grateful I have a couple close friends and mentors who are able to speak truth in love to me. Their encouragement and reproof were a breath a fresh air to me during a very dark time in my life. The words they spoke to me were “iron that sharpened iron”. My life is better because of them and I truly believe they were pivotal to my breakthrough.
- Prioritize and focus on what matters most to you in this season.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”- Matthew 6:33 (ESV)
One of the hardest lessons I had to learn to get my breakthrough was to prioritize what matters most to me. I am a 7 on the enneagram and I love to have fun and try new things. I have so much passion about so many things, that sometimes it is hard for me to narrow things down. God really made it clear to me that I had to prioritize my family and my church family and that everything else had to come secondary to these two things. That meant I couldn’t oversee some of my kids class parties, I had to step down from other boards I was on, and I couldn’t go to every event and even speaking engagement I was asked to attend. God wanted me to focus on the things He entrusted to my care and that meant His things had to be first. I had to realize that I can’t do everything and do everything well. I was spread too thin and my heart wasn’t into all that I was putting my hand to. Sometimes we have to say “No” in order to give our best “Yes”.
This was a hard lesson for me to learn but I believe my obedience in this area truly led to my breakthrough.
- Never give up!
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”.- Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
Never in my life had I wanted to give up and quit so much as in 2019, but I am so grateful God would not let me quit. I learned how to persevere, how to trust, and His character was being developed in my life like never before. It was literally just a couple months after that summer drive to church things started to change for the better. If I had given up I would have missed everything God had for me. Too many of us throw in the towel too early. I know it is hard but friends, trust me, you will never receive your breakthrough if you give up too soon. I have written much about this subject. Please read my blog, entitled “Never give up” (link found here) for my inspiration. One of the keys to my breakthrough was learning to endure, and I believe it was not just a key for my breakthrough but will be a key for yours, too.
These are four keys to the breakthrough I received. Have you ever experienced a breakthrough in your life after a long season of setbacks? If so I would love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave a comment below or reach out to me personally. May the Lord bless you as you seek Him for your breakthrough!!!!!