Acts 3:6 But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”
The context of this event in Scripture is the profound momentum of the early church. Souls are being saved, lives are being changed and miracles are a common occurrence. Two key church leaders, Peter and John are walking to the temple at the hour of prayer when they encounter a lame beggar, asking for money. Peter responds, (paraphrase) “I don’t have any money on me but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ, rise up and walk.” Peter acknowledges what he doesn’t have but simply gives out of the 4 things he does have: 1) A revelation of the name of Jesus Christ; 2) The anointing of the Holy Spirit; 3) Faith for healing; 4) A love for people. Peter possessed something far more valuable than riches, he owned a tangible faith in Jesus Christ. Money would have sustained the beggar temporarily but what Peter passed on transformed this man’s life forever. You can only pass onto others what you own for yourself. Frustration arises when we try to pass on what we haven’t cultivated in our lives. Too often we see needs around us but lack the resource material or spiritual to help the situation. Rather than letting these moments go by passively, we need to adopt a posture of personal growth in God to become a solution to someone else’s problem. You can’t lead others where you haven’t gone and you can’t help bring transformation in others where you haven’t grown in authority to do so. I encourage you to grow in a revelation of who Jesus is and what his name can do in people’s lives. Spend time in prayer and grow in a greater measure of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Increase your faith through hearing God’s Word and be ready and willing to reach out to others through practical demonstrations of God’s love. Explosive Insights!
“…And having done all, stand firm.” (Ephesians 6:13)
4 times in this passage the apostle Paul emphasizes the word ‘Stand’. Sometimes the only thing that will overcome the onslaught of Satan is to simply hold your ground and stand firm. Standing firm has a defensive posture to it. Life will sometimes feel like the enemy of your soul is throwing everything at you to distract you and ultimately destroy you. His attack can come in multiple forms, including, sexual temptation, condemnation, offense, fear and intimidation to name a few. Remember, the primary battlefield Satan attempts to conquer you in, is in your mind. When his attack comes, don’t merely fight it in the natural with positive thinking but resist the devil by submitting to God and using the spiritual weapons God has supplied to you. These weapons include praising God, acting in faith, meditating on and declaring the truth of Gods Word, choosing the pathway of peace versus conflict and finally standing firm. The next time you find yourself in a firefight with Satan, utilize the arsenal of weapons at your disposal but after having done all, stand firm, submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.
If someone forces you to go one mile, go with them two. (Matthew 5:41)
Too easily we look at the problems in the world and throw our arms in the air, exclaiming, ‘What difference can I make?’ Its the 2nd mile that makes the biggest difference. Whats the 2nd mile? In Jesus day the Romans legislated a practice they borrowed off the Persians to subjugate the people they had conquered. If a Roman soldier saw a Jewish person, he could command them to carry their burden for up to a mile. Most Jews wouldn’t carry a Romans burden 1 inch further than the law required. Jesus said, ‘Go the 2nd mile’. Do more than what is expected of you. Give people more than they expect to receive and God will bless you with more than you expect to receive. The 1st mile is the legalism mile, whereas, the 2nd mile is the love mile. The 1st mile is duty mile, whereas, the 2nd mile is the devotion mile. The 1st mile is the service mile, whereas, the 2nd mile is the intimacy mile. The 1st mile is the convenience mile, whereas, the 2nd mile is the sacrifice mile. The 1st mile is the performance mile, whereas, the 2nd mile is the worship mile. The 1st mile is the mundane mile, whereas, the 2nd mile is the miraculous mile. Jesus went the 2nd mile on the cross and called us to go the 2nd mile for others.
1 Chronicles 14:11 ‘And he went up to Baal-perazim, and David struck them down there. And David said, “God has broken through my enemies by my hand, like a bursting flood.” Therefore the name of that place is called Baal-perazim.’
Breakthrough is a power word. It conjures up images in my head of smashing through walls, storming across the finish line and bursting through barriers. It’s talked about a lot and yet to be honest it doesn’t seem like many of us actually do breakthrough. Why is that?
I think it’s partly because we are waiting and hoping for someone else to come and do it for us and as a result we are lulled into a life of quiet, desperate excuses. Sometimes, we do face things in our lives where we feel powerless to do anything. However, God calls each of us into partnership with him to see the needed breakthrough happen.
God’s sovereignty doesn’t eliminate our responsibility to believe and act according to our faith. Faith apart from works is dead. What breakthrough are you believing for in your life? Are you actively pursuing it or are you waiting for someone else to come and do all the heavy lifting?
We can depend upon God to be faithful to his word in our lives but we must step up and play an active role in believing for God’s breakthrough power to work in our lives.
Judges 6:12 ‘The Lord is with you, O, mighty man of valour.’
There will come a day in everyone of our lives when we will face what seems like an insurmountable situation that requires a supernatural breakthrough to get through it. In that day your breakthrough won’t come about because of a clever strategy or how pretty you are or who your friends are but because of one simple truth, God is with YOU!
All throughout the bible, God came to individuals and reassured them of his abiding presence with them. God said of Joseph, “The Lord is with him and had success everywhere he went.” God said to Moses, “I will be with you and help you deliver my people.” God said to Joshua, “Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I’ll never leave you, nor forsake you, be strong and courageous.” God said to Gideon, “The Lord is with you, O, mighty man of valour.” There come’s a time when it’s more than what you know or what you have but who is with you.
Fear makes us act like God isn’t with us. Gideon was found in a winepress beating out wheat in fear for his life from the marauding Midianites. Last time I checked a winepress was for treading on the grapes and extracting juice from them. God has hard-wired you up to be fruitful and multiply but the stain and poison of sin has marked us with the twin towers of immaturity and insecurity. This causes us to live by our fears, rather than by faith in God’s promises for our lives. Fear is a fruit of the sinful nature but faith is a fruit of living by the Spirit. The Spirit works into us the maturity and security God longs for us so we can live by faith and not by fear.
God sees you through the filter of his presence. When the angel of the Lord proclaimed to Gideon, ‘The Lord is with you, O, mighty man of valour’, Gideon was anything but a mighty warrior, he was hiding away in a wine press, fearing for his life. God never looks at you through your weaknesses, he looks at you through the filter of his presence at work in your life. God says, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.’ We are so quick to look at what we haven’t got that we forget what we have got. When God is with you, you and God are a majority.
Numbers 13:30-31 ‘Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are”.’
Fashion is one of my hobbies and I don’t mind the odd shop for some quality clothes. I’ve observed the higher quality the product, the higher price you must be willing to pay for it. You can’t have a BMW experience with a Ford Escort mentality.
Breakthrough in life and ministry operates the same way. The bigger the breakthrough you need, the bigger the price you must be willing to pay for it. Breakthroughs don’t come at bargain prices.
Problem is breakthrough is often disguised as hard work. The 10 spies who reported to Moses the state of the Promised Land looked at the giants, fortified cities and obstacles in the way and said, ‘Too Hard’. Most people want breakthrough, they’re just not willing to embrace the hard work required to get it. There’s a difference between a desire and a conviction. A desire is a surface level feeling that disappears when hard work is required but a conviction is a revelation in your heart that you will possess what you are believing for regardless of the hard work involved.
Breakthrough is inhibited by a bad report. 10 out of 12 spies brought back a bad report and it stopped nearly 3 million people from entering into their Promised Land. I’ve discovered, you can hear 100 words of encouragement but one negative report will be the thing you take away with you. I bad egg can mess it up for everyone else. We’ve got to guard our hearts and watch the report coming out of our mouths.
Breakthrough requires you to see through obstacles. 10 spies couldn’t see past the obstacle and they got intimidated by it to the point that they saw themselves as grasshoppers. When you see yourself as a grasshopper, you don’t see yourself as capable of overcoming great obstacles. When you can’t see through the obstacle you compare yourself to it and get intimidated by it. Get your eyes back onto Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith. When you get a revelation of whom God is, He will give you a revelation of whom you are.
Joshua and Caleb modeled 4 key actions (V30) that we need to take note of as we head towards our own breakthrough:
- Unity – We are stronger together than we are alone
- Urgency – Seize the opportunity before you
- Faith – God was their source of strength
- Sacrifice – You can’t go up, if you don’t give up
God wants you to breakthrough but there’s a few hard questions you need to ask yourself. What hard work is in front of me that I am trying to avoid? What bad report have I brought to the table that I need to repent of? What obstacles in front of me intimidate me?