Believing for your Breakthrough - Applying the Price Principle

Have you ever wanted to climb a mountain, play piano or be in the Olympics? It takes a lot of hard work, commitment, sacrifice and discipline to work towards a goal. Maybe you even paid a price for not doing the hard work, or spending time on things that are a distraction.

 Let’s look at an excerpt from Louie Giglio in his book The Air I Breathe: Worship as a Way of Life as we grow in our relationship with God.

 “We don’t wake up one day to discover that we know God intimately just because we want to. Knowing God—like going up the Matterhorn requires that we pay a price. And that we take a lot of small steps every day.

 But the main thing is to take the first step. In the little book of James we find the promise, “draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” God has already made the first move, inviting you through His Son Jesus Christ to come as close as you want. But you have to respond, telling (and showing) God that you want to be His friend.

To draw near to God simply means to take the first step toward Him today. How? A good place to start is with this prayer: God, I want to know You! Don’t just pray the prayer, really tell God that’s want you want most from Him. Ask Him to open your eyes, expand your ability to know and discover who He is, and draw close to you as you run to Him.”

 Take some small steps today, make some small changes in order to grow in relationship with your loving God. Finding a quiet time - for some it might be in the morning, for others the evening when you can open His Word, read, grow, thank and praise Him for who He is and all He has done and is doing in your life.

 

View

Believing for your Breakthrough - Applying the Peace Principle

 Don’t you know He enjoys giving rest to those He loves? 

Psalm 127:2

1-2 If God doesn’t build the house,

  the builders only build shacks.

If God doesn’t guard the city,

  the night watchman might as well nap.

It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late,

  and work your worried fingers to the bone.

Don’t you know he enjoys

  giving rest to those he loves? 

Salty air. Warm sand. Pelicans gliding. Sandpipers scurrying. Saltwater mist. Sun. Soothing shelter from puffy clouds slowly passing. Standing in the surf. Steadying ourselves when the waves pull, and we sink a little as the sand races out from under our feet. Smiling into the face of endless blue water. Everything about being at the beach calls our souls to relax. And God loves to see it. We can almost hear Him whisper, “Rest. I have you in the palm of My hand.” 

As fun as a day at the beach is for us, it’s even more enjoyable for our heavenly Father to see us in a relaxed, carefree state of mind. When our hearts and minds are at rest, peace follows. And when we’re at peace we’re in a place of trust. It makes God happy to be trusted with everything in our lives. Our bodies weren’t designed to carry stress. Sadly, burdens can be like blankets for our souls, giving us a false sense of security. We wrap them around us, and it feels comfortable—to be in control, to prove we’re capable, to feel responsible for taking care of everything that concerns us. We carry our cares around until they’re all worked out, never mind what the stress is doing to us in the process. It just seems easier to pick up that blanket and drag it along, carrying all the stuff ahead that needs to be resolved, fixed, decided, done, and provided for, even when there isn’t a thing we can do about them right now. 

Here’s where real comfort comes from: “Give your burdens to the Lord. He will carry them. He will not permit the godly to slip or fall” (Psalm 55:22). Today, let’s stop grabbing our “security blankets” of worry and instead spread out our beach blankets of peace. That’s when we can fully enjoy God’s company by believing He will never let us down. 

Father, You enjoy giving me rest so I’m giving my cares to You. I trust Your strength, Your plans for me, and Your love. 

This is an excerpt from The Beach is Calling: 90 Devotions for Rest & Relaxation – a devotional now available on DaySpring.com.


View

Believing for your Breakthrough - Applying the People Principal

 

As we think about the people principle this week, let us look to the ultimate example of a perfect person, Jesus.

As we read about Jesus in Scripture, we are introduced to a person that was described by His character, not His appearance. Clearly an importance to which society needs to pay more attention, as we live in an age that is obsessed with image and how people look.

 

Jesus, by contrast was described by His actions, His words and character. In today’s terms, one could describe Jesus as a ‘people person’ in as much that He, although the King of Kings, interacted with all people.

 

Jesus is a person who has perfect qualities, yet such contrast in those qualities. Such beauty and majesty, yet humility. His strong commitment to seeking justice, always came with amazing grace and mercy. Jesus a deity, yet came as man and totally relied upon God. His tenderness was never a sign of weakness, His boldness, never harsh. He spoke with authority and in truth, yet always approachable and His truth was delivered in love, sensitivity, integrity, passion and never prejudice.

Yet in this perfection, He was still rejected.

 

So as we enter another week, we have another opportunity to be more like Jesus and strive to live like Him. Jesus totally relied on God and remained in communication with Him, seeking His will at all times. Even right up to death on the cross, Jesus sought God and what He needed to do to be in God’s plan and serve others.

How are we going with living like Jesus? If we are honest, we know we are missing the mark, more than making it. However, we need to make sure we are in constant communication with God and rely on Him and His Spirit to help us as we interact with people.

 

Are we treating every interaction as a God appointment?

Do we need reminding it is not about us?

Are we willing to be vulnerable?

Are we looking at making engagement with others a priority or are we shying away from people who are different from us?

 

‘Becoming like Christ is a long, slow process of growth. Spiritual maturity is neither instant or automatic, it is a gradual process that will take the rest of our life’1. Yes, we are all a work in progress, but let us continue to work to live like Jesus more each day. Become people who love and serve people, in the way Jesus has shown us.

 

Prayer: Almighty God, I come before You with a grateful heart for all You do for me. I give You all honour and praise, that You so richly deserve. I recognised that I was made in Your image and seek Your continual help to live, love and act according to Your will and guidance. Help me to be more like Jesus every day, and it is in His name, I pray, Amen.

 

 

1Rick Warren

 

View

Believing for your Breakthrough - Applying the Praise Principal

We have been reminded over the last few weeks that when seeking the Lord for breakthrough, we need to be patient and trust God and His perfect timing. The how we wait and what we do whilst we wait is important as well. Today we look at the praise principle. So what happens when we praise God and why do we need to praise God?

We may well know that Scripture instructs us to give God praise, basically because He deserves it. The fact that He is God, is enough, but there is so much more to praise Him for. On the days when things are going ok it is easy to praise. However we know that some of us, simply by nature, don’t like being told what to do, so the fact that we are being told to praise God isn’t always easy.                                

Then there are the times that, if we are really honest, we just don’t feel it. We all have those challenging times and life is hard, it is difficult just to get through. These are the times when praising God is exactly the best thing. Its good for God, and also good for us. You see, God is so wonderful that He gives us pleasure when we praise Him. Amazing isn’t He!

2 Chronicles 20 gives us the account of what happened when people who were really in a pickle paused and praised God….Verse 22 (NIV) reads ‘As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.’

You see God will fight for you too, when you place your full trust in Him and praise Him. Praise is about acknowledging God for who He is, His character. So in the process of praising God, we focus on His power and faithfulness, His omnipotence and wisdom etc. This shifts us from worrying and trying to fix things all on our own and allows space for God to step in and trust in who He is. Trust that God is working for our good in all things.


So when seeking breakthrough it can be so easy to focus on the need and/or what is wrong. Instead of allowing that focus to wear us out and be left weary, let’s sing God’s praises. Allow them to fill our heart with joy as we lift up our heart to God and allow Him to refresh and renew our spirit.                                  

Praising God will open our eyes to see the way God is at work, to see the blessings.

Praise can turn around even the worst day and make your heart feel light. It can boost your spirits and put a smile on your face, if you allow it.


So, turn up a worship song and sing along. Pray along with your favourite Psalm of praise. Look around you and praise God for all the blessings you see. Set your eyes upon Him and you will see Him more clearly.


Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Look full, in his wonderful face

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace


Songwriters: Ken Bible / Traditional Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus lyrics © Music Services, Inc, Songtrust Ave

 

View

Believing for your Breakthrough - Applying the Partnership People Principle

When you look at your Breakthrough Card, where you have scribed the needs and prayer points for areas you are seeking God, how do you imagine He will answer?

An age old question for those who wait on God for Him show the way forward for particular situations—is ’does God still speak to people? You know, like He did as recorded in the Bible?’ What do you think?

I believe God can speak to everyone, but the key point is we need to learn how to listen to Him! When we read the Gospel, like John 3:16 we see God uses a language of love. His Bible is full of how God loves us all and how He spoke to different people. Sometimes directly, like Abraham, Moses, Elijah and others. So how is it that they could hear Him?

Firstly, it was in God’s plan. Secondly, these people loved God, and were living according to God’s purposes. They were ready to hear His voice.                 We too, can learn to hear Him.

Heb 1:1-4 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

We can learn to hear God speak through Jesus and learning from Him. We can hear God speak through His church, the love of His people, and through the voices of His followers, like our Pastors. When we listen to, read and study the Bible, God speaks to us using the voice of our heart with our helper Holy Spirit. Scripture also tells us that God uses circumstances and people we encounter to teach and minister to us.

Romans 10:17 ‘So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.’ When you meet a person of great faith, most likely they are a person of great hearing who know how to listen to God and His Word. Are you one of those people?

At the very heart of God are His people. He designed us, He made us, He uses us for His purposes.

Here are a few questions to ponder, as we reflect on the partnership principle…

· Are you prepared to be one of God’s people? If so, are you sharing your faith, your experience of God, with people?

· Are you open to His leading through other people, are you testing it against His Word?

· Is God calling on you to be part of an answer for someone else?

· Are you loving people as Christ loves us?

 

Prayer: I ask, Father, that Your Holy Spirit will speak to me now as I wait on You for wisdom, insight, and direction. And whatever You show me or direct me to do, I pray that I will quickly obey. In Jesus's mighty name, amen

 

View

Believing for your Breakthrough - Applying the Patience Principal

Ever lost hope and felt like giving up waiting for something? Felt despondent and like it was never going to happen? You are not alone. We are going to have a quick look at the story of Sarah in the Old Testament, a prime example of someone losing hope and giving up.

Sarah was married to Abraham and they both longed for children. However, the Bible says that they were both very old and Sarah was past child bearing age, and still no children. One can easily see why Sarah would lose heart.

Then one day, three men came to visit, and Abraham organised to serve them some refreshments under the shade of a tree. One of them asked Abraham, where Sarah was, and he answered she was in the tent. Then he said, this time next year I will return and when I do, Sarah your wife will have a son! Whoa wait, what! Sarah heard this guy and laughs—as if that’s going to happen now I’m this old!

However, we can follow the story in Genesis and fast forward the 12 months and know that Sarah did indeed fall pregnant and had a son. There are lots of twists and turns in this story, but one thing remains….what God promises, always comes to pass.

You see God promised Abraham to make of him a great nation that would bless the whole world. Sarah knew this but thought that if perchance it did happen, she wouldn’t be part of it and she wouldn’t be a mother. The one thing her heart longed for. She not only doubted herself, she doubted God. In her impatience, her heart became heavier and broken. She did things to manipulate and make it happen, but to no avail. It only stood as a reminder of her failings.

As we seek breakthrough, we need to be waiting on God, and this of course needs patience. It is not always easy, especially if we are like Sarah and waiting so long, it seems impossible. However with God, all things are possible.

We know and can rely on God and His promises. Trusting God’s promises, not only gives you a blessing at the end, but it gives you a blessing while you are waiting. Just as Olympic athletes develop their skills as they practice hard and long before the big event, so God’s children grow in godliness and faith as they wait for the fulfilment of God’s promises. Faith is a journey, and each happy destination is the beginning of a new journey. When God wants to build our patience, He gives us promises, sends us trials, and tells us to trust Him  (James 1:1-8).

Are you prepared to be patient and wait on God?

Prayer: God, thank You for giving us Your Holy Spirit and the gifts the He provides. I admit I struggle with waiting, grant me a greater portion of patience as I look to You for strength. Show me how to honour You as I wait, in my words, actions and thoughts. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

 

View

Believing for your breakthrough— Applying the Pardon Principle

View

Believing for your Breakthrough - Applying the Pliable Principal

Have you ever had the experience of praying for something in particular to happen, to later discover that God answered the prayer in a completely unexpected way, but that His answer was so much better?

A widow in the Old Testament days, her story is recorded in 2 Kings 4:1-7 experienced an immense need and sought help from a man of God and God answered her need in a very unusual, but miraculous way.

In a nutshell the woman’s husband was a prophet and suddenly died. Leaving her and their two sons unable to pay their debts. The creditor decided to take the two sons as slaves as payment of the debt. It was an awful situation for them all. Can you imagine being in that position?

Then Elisha comes into town and the widow begs for his help.

What happened next is a very curious and unusual outcome. The Lord used Elisha to meet the widows needs and in doing so, showed the power and character of God.

You see Elisha tells the widow to go and get all the jars she could get her hands on. She did, even seeking the help of her neighbours. She then was told to go home, close the door and begin pouring the small amount of oil that she had left into the borrowed jars.

Now I am sure you will agree this is a weird thing but it is also a risky thing for the widow. This oil is literally all she has left, and even then it was only a very small amount. However, she followed Elisha’s instructions and as she began to pour, the oil just kept coming, until all the jars she had gathered and borrowed were full!

The widow told Elisha what had happened, and he instructed her to sell the oil and pay off the debts.

At this time, oil was a precious item in international trade and used for many things, including perfumes, fuel and a healing balm.

Wow! This is an amazing picture of God’s caring, loving and powerful nature. He provided for this lady in a way that can only be described as a miracle, and one that had to come from God.

But, I just want to highlight that it came to happen that way because of a few key parts that needed to be played.

One, the widow needed to ask for help and two, the widow needed to follow instruction, being obedient, even in the unusual request.

You see the widow, having asked for help needed to be pliable and not fixed in her ideas or understanding of what the answer might be.

When we seek breakthrough and ask the Lord to meet needs, either for ourselves or others, we need to be open to His leading and direction for the response and perhaps not so prescriptive in our expectation that we miss the answer.

What if God calls you to do something that seems outside of the usual for you, will you obey?

In being pliable we do need to be very careful that we are only pliable to God and His ways. We need to be open and ready to hear from Him and Him alone.

 

View

Believing for your Breakthrough - Applying the Preparation Principal

Preparation Principle—For what are we preparing?

We have just celebrated Easter, the centrepiece of the Christian faith. Jesus being revealed as Saviour, was crucified, but as was prophesied Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day.

Just as Jesus fulfilled that promise, we know we can trust in the promises of His return. This my friend is what we need to be prepared for!

Remember Noah? God told Noah that He would destroy the earth by a flood, and He gave Noah instructions on how to be prepared so he and his family could survive. God told Noah what to do, but note He didn’t tell him when it would happen. What did Noah do? He prepared. Nobody else prepared and yes Noah was ridiculed, but look at the result. Noah believed and trusted God and acted accordingly. When the flood came, Noah was ready.

The result? Noah was saved. God did as He said, and He did it in His perfect timing.

Likewise, we as people of faith need to be prepared. We need to be prepared for Jesus coming again. So how do we do this?

Firstly we need to be living like we believe Jesus is coming again. We need to act like we profess. Let us be found working on our relationship, our knowledge and understanding of Jesus and His Word.

We also need to be watchful and not be led astray by the latest fad or theory. (Mark 13) We need to be discerning about what we hear and check against Scripture and seek the Lord for what is true.

We need to be prepared for the fact that we won’t have all the answers. We, like Noah, don’t know when Jesus will come again. We just need to be living in anticipation and expectantly.

In our waiting we should be living self controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for the hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Titus 2:11-13

We need to be encouraging one another (1 Thes 4&5) and affirming that the Lord will come again and to build each other up. May we not lose heart, become complacent or lose our focus on Jesus.

Let us live expectantly that today, just may be the day. Until Jesus does come, we are called to keep doing what He would have us do. That is tell others, to be a witness for Jesus, so that none miss out on God’s saving grace.

As we wait for Jesus’ return, we also wait for His perfect timing with our heart’s burdens, our break through items. Is God asking us to see these requests in light of His returning? Does that change what we are seeking break through for? 

 

We have much to do. Let us be encouraged to be preparing for God to work in and through us as we wait.

Until He comes….

 

View