Don’t Seek the Breakthrough; Seek the God of Breakthroughs

Second Samuel chapter five shares with us the time David was surrounded by his enemies. He was just positioned as king. God called David to lead Israel and bring honor to Him. But there was an entire nation who hated David and definitely did not want him to be king. They sent their entire army to surround him with the intention to wipe him out.

David’s first reaction was not to measure the size of their army with his. He didn’t take inventory of how many weapons he had. He was not assessing whether he could defeat his enemy based on his armies strength or capability. David’s principle, belief, conviction was to seek God first.

“Many people miss their breakthrough because they are seeking their breakthrough rather than seeking the God of the Breakthrough.”

David exercised this principle throughout his life. Every time David seeks God first for direction and instruction, he finds success. This key principle will work in every area of your life. It’s the principle of seeking God first. When we seek God first we are making a statement that we TRUST God. Our decisions and actions reveal what we believe. When we truly believe God has the ability to break through for us, we will seek His council before making a decision or taking an action step.

Seek God first by…

  1. Going to prayer before your mind is made. Keep an open mind and heart. Ask God what you should do, what action steps to take, ask Him for wisdom, knowledge and clarity of mind. Ask God for His discernment and favor.
  2. Don’t make major decisions without sensing God’s PEACE first. We can make huge mistakes, deal with regrets and get stuck in life when we make a decision knowing that God never gave us permission. Following the peace of God is like following a compass. You can stay on track with God’s plan for your life when you stay in His peace. After spending time in prayer and you still feel anxious, heavy hearted, fearful, don’t make the decision. Continue in prayer until you sense God’s peace.
  3. Take several days to seek God in prayer. If it is a major decision that has the potential to alter your life, consider fasting and prayer. Decide on a time period to fast, time in prayer and in God’s Word. You will gain God’s wisdom through His Word. You will have a clear mind and liberty in your spirit by spending time in His presence. Fasting and prayer is a powerful process to see incredible breakthroughs when you fast to seek God.

This is the process of seeking God first rather than seeking the breakthrough. Everyone wants the right outcome, the blessing, the breakthrough. But it can feel like we are chasing the wind, if all we do is seek after the breakthrough. When we seek God who has the power, ability, and knowledge to breakthrough for us, we cannot fail. We will find success. He is the God who breaks through for us.

Timing is Everything – Wait for the Right Time

Our entire solar system relies on timing. One second off could instantly create an unstable environment. Our stable cosmos could quickly return to chaos. Planets and stars would eventually collide and cause great devastation. All because of bad timing. The earth spins on its axis every 24 hours. The earth orbits the sun exactly 365.26 days. The moon orbits earth 27.3 days. The perfect timing rotation and orbiting set by our Great Creator allowed previous generations to rely on these cycles and times for calendars, agriculture and navigation. If the timing was not reliable, planting and harvesting would be affected, people would be confused and lost while traveling, the seas would not stay within the boundary of the shoreline and weather would devastate our beautiful earth. Centuries ago before spacecraft’s, astronauts, Hubble telescope, and research; David looked up toward the heavens, and realized the details of God’s design and declared…

 “When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you set in place—what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them?” (Psalms 8:3-4)

Before science and modern day technology, God gave David wisdom and insight to God’s creativity, His attention to microscopic detail and the ability set things to proper time.

No one likes to wait for the things we desire. When we get impatient we must remember God has perfect timing. Consider these timing issues:

 Most valuable things require a significant amount of time to plan and create.

  • An oak tree takes 40 years to mature.
  • Food prepared in the kitchen and cooked in the conventional oven is a lot better than microwave dinners.
  • It takes 5 to 20 years for a salt water pearl to form. The longer the years; the bigger the pearl, ladies!
  • You can build a barn in a day. It takes months to build a beautiful home.
  • Ferrari’s are a handmade workmanship by tradesmen. They are not made by a robotic assembly line like the common Ford, Chevy or Toyota that is built in a day. Ferrari’s require 3 weeks to be hand built. A common car on average can be purchased around $20,000 to $40,000. The fabulous Ferrari can be purchased for $192,000.

Try to not be impatient. Don’t get ahead of God and don’t get behind God.

  • When we get ahead of God we usually make decisions that cause us trouble down the road. Impatience can cause bad debt, bad decisions and a partial plan that leaves out crucial details.
  • Marrying someone too soon can position you for heartache in the future. Take time to really get to know someone. Ask a lot of questions and observe how they react under pressure.
  • Wait for God to give you His “YES” on the decision. God’s “yes” will probably look like…
    • You will have peace in your heart. No anxiousness. No peer pressure.
    • You will not have to hide the decision from your friends and family.
    • You will not have to cheat anyone.
    • It will not put your future or family in jeopardy.
    • It will not require you to break your values or cause you to sin.
    • It will align with God’s Word.

Remember, when God is creating something for you… it will be worth the wait. He creates PERFECT things.

  • Psalms 18:30 “God’s way is perfect. All the LORD’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.”
  • God doesn’t create junk. God is classy. God has expensive taste. Just read what Heavens gates and roads are made of. (Revelation 21:21)
  • God has perfect blessings in store for you. No one can take your blessing from you.

Waiting on God’s timing will require you to exercise trust. When we trust God, He promises to show us the right way.

  • Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORDwith all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
  • Trust God that there’s a reason why it’s not happening on your time.
  • Trust God that He is aligning everything behind the scenes.

 

As far as I know, David did not have formal training in medical school, but God gave him the understanding that our bodies are detailed; therefore, David understood that God was concerned about the details of his life. David trusted God with the details of his life. He knew that God was had the knowledge and the ability with timing.

Psalms 139:13-18, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!”

If we can trust God to keep the planets spinning in perfect time, then friend, I believe we can trust God’s timing to open the right doors and bring the right blessings into our life. Wait for God’s timing, it will be perfect.

Press the Pause Button – Rest, Reflect & Renew

 

Do you like the ON DEMAND feature of pressing the pause button? The option of recording your favorite show so you can watch it later. In the middle of watching a movie and you start craving popcorn or ice cream and you are able to press the pause button so you don’t miss anything as you walk to the kitchen. You hear a movie quote, or a cool scene that you have to back up and watch again. You’re in an intense moment in the movie, eyes and ears are glued to the screen, and all of a sudden someone comes walking loudly in the room! You can’t hear the dialogue in the movie for the disruption. You press the pause button so you don’t miss the scene. Our life can be full of distractions.

Taking time to rest and reflect is like pressing the pause button on the ON DEMAND controller. If we are not careful we can be so overloaded by the “noise” of life; we can miss the opportunities to pause, think and reflect on what is going on around us. It is important to pause and think deeply about the importance of the people in your life.

Things are not meant to keep producing, growing and running non-stop. Winter is a season for things to reset & rest. Trees take a break from producing and growing during the winter. Even bears go into a level of hibernation during the winter! They are able to sleep for up to 100 days without eating, drinking or passing… ugh… waste!

Our vehicle cannot run non-stop without it eventually shutting down and blowing the engine. The vehicle will run out of gas, the oil will eventually break down and lose its properties to lubricate the engine properly. The wheel bearings and tires will eventually wear without proper maintenance.

My point is most things in life need to pause to take a break. They need to rest and renew. So do YOU. Our bodies and minds are not meant to keep going at the same level of pace all the time.

Listen MOM. Put down the mop. Let the dishes pile up for one day. You don’t have to sweep the floor and fold the laundry everyday. You must put in your weekly schedule a routine, a time for you to press the pause button so you can rest, reflect and renew.

Dad… You too. You cannot work two jobs, constant overtime, 10 to 12 hour days without a system in place for you to rest, reflect and renew. Our performance for our jobs, relationships at home and abroad will not be at its optimum level.

Leaders, CEO’s, doctors, nurses, team members, managers, teachers, pastors, ministry leaders, … we need you and we want to keep you around for a long time. We don’t want you breaking down or blowing an engine. I’m urging you to make it a priority to schedule a weekly routine to rest, reflect and renew.

Determine Your Levels of Rest

How can you pace yourself for better performance and success without burning out? You are probably like me; we have a full schedule every week. Multiple responsibilities. We cannot afford to “take off” 100 days like a bear or the whole winter season. In fact, disengaging for a long period of time is detrimental to our relationships, parenting, career, as well as our emotions, body performance and mental capacity. That’s another lesson for another time. I want us to think about our system, procedure or habits of how we rest. We must evaluate how much daily, weekly and yearly rest we need.

Yearly rest can be a week or several days of vacation each year. If your company does not give you paid vacation days, take advantage of holiday weekends that do not require you to miss work. Yearly rest is where you plan to take more than three consecutive days off. You can plan and budget a trip or just plan a “staycation”. Stay home and rest. Set an instant return message on your emails and phone to let your clients and team know that you are taking a vacation. You will return their call or email when you return from your vacation. While you are taking this time to rest, make it priority to truly unplug from your job and rest your mind and renew your spirit. This time is an opportunity for you to think about all the blessings in your life. Be grateful for what God has given you. Appreciate family, friends, relationships, provision and your purpose.

Weekly rest may be an entire day or half a day. This is where you “unplug” for a short period of time. Put away the phone. Get with friends or family and have FUN! Don’t bring up work, issues, and problems. Go watch a movie, play some board games, go to dinner, go hiking, canoeing, golf, skiing, fishing, shopping. Laugh, cut up, smile, enjoy each other’s company and live in the moment. This level of rest can be weekly or once every two weeks.

Daily rest includes your daily amount of sleep and a quiet time for reading, reflection and prayer. Most people need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each day. Prepare your bedroom and your brain for good quality sleep. Shut or silence phone notifications that may beep or cast a blue light through the night. Your brain will pick up lighting changes and sounds, while you are sleeping. Read a book before you sleep. A devotional and Bible is a great way to bring peace and relaxation to your mind and emotions.

3 Ways to Rest, Reflect & Renew

Developing a habit to rest and reflect will help you bring renewal to your mind, emotions and body. This routine is like reenergizing your batteries. It’s like refueling and providing preventive maintenance on your vehicle. A constant habit to rest will prevent you from not just burn out, it will keep you performing at a high level of creativity, passion and focus to reach your goals and desires for success in every area of your life.

  1. Rest & Read. Schedule a quiet time in your day that you will read something that will be beneficial for personal and spiritual growth. What doesn’t get scheduled doesn’t happen. Set the atmosphere that is conducive for reading and reflecting. What do you like? What do you enjoy? What relaxes you? Drinking coffee or hot tea in the morning? Sitting on the deck watching the sunrise or sunset? Playing worship, jazz, classical music on a low volume as background music? Pure silence? Prepare the moment. Your brain and emotions will anticipate and crave these quiet moments of rest.
  2. Reflect by writing in a journal. Express what you are reading, learning, how you are applying new principles, where you find joy, what areas you feel fulfilled. Write creative thoughts that come to you. Quotes that touch your heart and soul and express a deep truth. You can journal business ideas, ideas for inventions. Poems or songs may come to you in this time of reflection. Don’t be surprised when answers and solutions become clear for certain problems you are facing. Reflect on what is making your relationships healthy. Evaluate your priorities, are you reaching your goals, do you need a “tune up” or preventive maintenance in any of these areas?
  3. Renew your mind, soul and spirit. When you feel like life is spinning out of control; schedules and to-do list are increasing, I have found one small action has helped. Take time to get quiet. Get still. Press pause on life and give time for your mind and emotions to calm. I discovered something years ago that I love. Its one very simple way that brings quick rest and peace to my mind. On a warm June day in Tennessee, I was a young boy lying on my back in the middle of a grassy field. As I’m gazing into the sky, I notice a slight summer breeze that seemed to push and squeeze the clouds that looked like huge cotton balls. I was amazed as I watched the clouds begin to press together and form bigger clouds. As the clouds scrolled, the deep blue sky and spotless white clouds were intensified. As I’m watching this amazing scene, I realized how calm, relaxed and at peace my mind and emotions settled over me. I love God’s creation. I love how taking time to appreciate nature and God’s creation seems to bring rest and renewal to my soul. There is something so peaceful about taking quiet moments to gaze at the mountains, walking in the woods, staring into the bright blue sky or a starry night. Don’t underestimate the power of pressing pause throughout your day so you can embrace creation, nature, and the meaningful relationships in your life. Find a park and take a walk. Find a trail in the woods and embrace the sights and sounds of God’s nature. While you are in your quiet time, meditate on scripture, talk with God; thank Him for His creation and the blessings in your life. You will find this small step of pressing pause will bring clarity to your mind, calm your emotions and renew your spirit.

You may think you have to quit, you don’t have the strength to continue on, but what your body and mind may be telling you is develop a habit to frequently press a pause to rest, reflect and renew. I believe you will find renewed strength, energy and passion.

Isaiah 40:31 (NASB) Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.