The Foundation of a Breakthrough
Someone said, "It was never designed by God, when He chose His people, that they should be an untried people.
It is ordained of old that the cross of trouble should be engraved on every vessel of mercy, as the royal mark whereby the King’s vessels of honour are distinguished."
When the police chief in our city was going through intense battles I told him, "The trial is not about the trial. Don't waste your trial." Psalms 34:19 says, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but out of them all the Lord delivers him." Afflictions are struggles and hard times of all kinds, including sickness, accusations, poverty, troubles, and fears. But they are not signs that God is against you. That is very destructive thinking! God's thoughts are higher than ours and we must learn to think "God thoughts" instead of human ones.
The foundation of your breakthrough is going to come through your embracing God's Word until you learn how to walk by faith instead of fear. Fear is Satan's faith, and faith is Satan's fear. It's too easy for us to be afraid. So we need to ask ourselves a question. Why is it so much easier for us to believe Satan's words than God's Word? It shouldn't be!! That's why we need a breakthrough.
Psalms 34 basically says that God promises to deliver and save from three things - fear, troubles, and afflictions. Furthermore, He says that He will do these things for the righteous. As I memorized and meditated upon this Psalm I would ask myself, "Am I among the righteous? Is this promise for me?" Then I realized that this Psalm identifies who the righteous are. Those who are delivered from fear, trouble, and affliction are those who fear the Lord, seek the Lord, and trust the Lord. Those who live those three things are called, 'the righteous.'
Most pastors know that those who come for help, those who are living in defeat, often have two things in common. Their prayer life is suffering, and their life in God's Word is weak. People tell me all the time that they can't memorize scripture. I ask them: "Do you know your birthday, your phone number, and your address?" Too many people let the devil tell them that they can't learn God's Word, but they have learned English. They can recite the pledge of allegiance. They can sing the first verse of Amazing Grace. When people seek God's Word like a drowning man seeks a breath of air, then breakthrough will come. God never will ask us to do something that we can't do with His help.
Breakthrough will come when we're responding to God's Word more than the devil's lies when we are afflicted, troubled, and fearful. Breakthrough will come from the inside out where His Word needs to dwell. It won't come by God first removing all of the negative circumstances. It will come in the prison cell, in the wilderness, and in the fire.
When a synagogue ruler was told his 12 year old daughter was dead, Jesus simply said, "Don't be afraid. Only believe." Mark 5:36 Jesus didn’t start questioning him about what he had in his house, what he watched on television, how he and his wife got along, if his grandmother was a witch, did they play with magic, did they hate their neighbor. He demonstrated the power of faith.
"I sought the Lord and He delivered me from all my fears." Ps. 34:4. He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Heb. 11:6. Remember, he sought the Lord, not merely deliverance. God won't merely heal us so that we can go and serve other gods. All of life revolves around glorifying Him. Romans 1 says that God turned people over to their own sins because they were not thankful and did not glorify Him as God. Sin's consequences come when men turn from God, not merely when they turn from sin yet neglect Him.
"They looked unto Him and were lightened, and their faces were not ashamed." Ps. 34:5 Here's my personal note of prayer one day while sitting in my tree stand. "When I look upon You, my life is made light again. My countenance is lifted up like the sun shining upon the river. (That's what 'lightened' means.) When I take my gaze off of this life and look to the Rock, look upon that which is glorious and beautiful, my face will never be ashamed. For You do not put shame in my life, in my thoughts, or in my identity. When You see me You are not ashamed. Your beholding me does not cause sorrow and dejected condemnation. When I look to you I am blessed and not bereaved. Those who look upon You are cleansed by your gaze, by their beholding your glory."
"This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all of his troubles." Ps. 34:6 When you're really going through it, you start to seek Him in His Word until you start thinking His thoughts. As I'm writing these words in review, I can tell you that you wouldn't want to be me - in the natural circumstances of life. Without His Words of hope my mental state quickly disintegrates into a very unhealthy state. Fears are all around - sickness, betrayal, financial concern, ministry upheavals, people backsliding all around. But this I know. Breakthrough is upon us! I don't want you to think that I'm walking in victory by any outward circumstance. I must learn to let every person and every thing off the hook for not being God!
Poor man - he who is depressed in mind or circumstance, one who is bound up and defeated in life
Cried - he called out to, summoned, pleaded with intensity and purpose
Saved - liberated, freed, made safe
Troubles - all of those things that caused great distress, adversity, an adversary. Pictured here in the original language is a rival wife causing distress, troubles, affliction.
We have the mistaken idea that we should not have any troubles. However, deliverance won't come from the things that truly bind us - the unbelief, pride, selfishness and self indulgence - until we are brought into a place of great straits. That is where the real hidden "you" comes out so that you may be delivered on a deeper level than mere "faith accidents." In other words, your deliverance may very well include some very hard times. So, if you're in them, it's intention from heaven is deliverance. If you see someone else in them, you must realize that as much as you want to see their freedom, freedom doesn't come without trials, and they just may need to experience this pain "If need be" for a season. See I Peter 1.
If someone is "on the altar" and the fire is turned up for their refining, they may display character that is not Kingdom centered. But instead of judging them too harshly, or ourselves when it happens to us, we would do well to remember that when the Refiner's Fire brings impurities to the surface it is that they may be exposed and poured off the top. It is often a part of the breakthrough of deliverance. Don't panic, but let God work it out.
Graham Cooke says" It is impossible for you to have a problem without God having a promise and a provision right next to it." People are so problem conscious instead of being God conscious that they live under the burden and pain of always seeing the wrong side of what is happening. People see Satan's side of most situations instead of seeing God's solutions and provisions. God's side is to bring you through victorious. Satan's side is to bring you through dead, or defeated. Don't help Satan bring about your demise. Trust God, His promise and His provision. He truly loves and cares for you!