NOTE: I originally wrote and published this in 2014 on Kiss of Christ as "Breakthrough Now." In 2020, it was added to 111HeavenScent. This is a slightly updated version because I find it so pertinent to these potentially stressful and troubled times. We must never forget what is true breakthrough or we'll never get off the awful merry-go-round. It's much better to just enjoy the ride. Here's how...
BUT FIRST: GRACE
Grace isn’t “pardon.” Grace is power.
I think people often confuse biblical “grace” with God’s mercy, where God chose to redeem rather than punish us; to heal us of sin rather than condemn us for it. In His mercy, the Father showed us kindness and compassion by sending Jesus, who then sent us His Spirit.
His Spirit imparts to us grace.
Grace is God’s power to be godly, brave, and full of the fruits of the Spirit. We are not afraid that grace gives people “license” to sin, as is sometimes said! That is impossible!
Just as love cannot breed hatred, the Spirit of Life cannot produce sin and death!
Grace would never enable stress, striving, anxiety, or exhaustion. These are not fruits of the Spirit.
Titus 2:12 clearly states that grace enables godly behavior.
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:11-12 NIV).
BREAKTHROUGH OF SOUL
Having tasted and seen that the Lord is good, I have little tolerance for strife, but it’s been creeping up on me. I’d be buzzing along, a happy little Spirit-led worker bee, and then, BAM! Some unexpected thing pops up and gets at me like a splinter under the fingernail. Suddenly, I don’t have time or breath for anything but that thing. I go from inspired to desperate in a flash.
I hate that feeling. It takes me back to before I met Jesus.
Lord knows I want to succeed, but not at the loss of His presence. Of course, His presence never leaves me, but I turn from Him when I choose stress and discontentment.
So, these past few weeks, I’ve been praying and hoping for a breakthrough not of circumstance, but of soul.
WHAT IS BREAKTHROUGH?
A dear friend invited me to an intimate Bible study last week, and lo, God had given her a message that would be living water to my soul. She opened with, “What is breakthrough?” For one thing, she explained, breakthrough isn’t rooted in circumstances.
In some sense, perhaps the most real sense, you don’t need a breakthrough in your finances, family, or business.
God promised that you’d be lacking in no good thing.
Perhaps God is not as concerned about that thing bugging you as much as He is about something else that He wants to give you…first?
This is why I tell you to never be worried about your life, for all that you need will be provided, such as food, water, clothing—everything your body needs. Isn’t there more to your life than a meal? Isn’t your body more than clothing?
Look at all the birds—do you think they worry about their existence? They don’t plant or reap or store up food, yet your heavenly Father provides them each with food. Aren’t you much more valuable to your Father than they? So, which one of you by worrying could add anything to your life?
So then, forsake your worries! Why would you say, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For that is what the unbelievers chase after. Doesn’t your heavenly Father already know the things your bodies require?
So above all, constantly chase after the realm of God’s kingdom and the righteousness that proceeds from him. Then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly.
Refuse to worry about tomorrow, but deal with each challenge that comes your way, one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself”(Matthew 6:25-28, 31-34 TPT).
If you ignore these words of Jesus, you will never arrive and you will never “feel” saved. When you believe the words Jesus said here, you will stop pining for the next breakthrough. You’ll trade that pain for peace.
The true breakthrough often begins not in circumstances, but in heart…where we break free from fear into faith.
DO WHAT YOU HAVE GRACE TO DO
If you’re literally making yourself sick with stress…you’re carrying a burden you haven’t the grace to carry.
There is no communion with Christ in strife and worry, but our union and fellowship with the Prince of Peace produces a deep, illogical, most inebriating shalom, which gives birth to more shalom, and more shalom*, and more…
Lord, I trade these cares and worries for the joy of unceasing fellowship with You.
[shalom = welfare, health, prosperity, favor, soundness, completeness, peace]