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.

Check Your Cracks

3 Ways to Measure You are Building on the Right Foundation

One of the most important parts of a building is its foundation. The foundation of a building will determine its strength and longevity. Some parts of the foundation of a building is hidden, but if the foundation is faulty a lot of problems will be exposed. Planning and paying attention to details cannot be overlooked when it comes to the foundation. It’s very important to determine what kind of building you desire… two story, three story, sky rise, and then commit to what kind of foundation you need in order to build.

Jesus’ teaching is very clear and to the point about foundations. In just four verses He unveils a powerful truth that can bring ANYONE great success in life.  He shares in Matthew 7:24-27, the foundation of a house will determine its ability to endure high winds, floods and storms that beat against it. There’s no “if’s” or “but’s” in the illustration of Jesus’ instruction. The house WILL stand or fall based on the foundation in which it is built upon.

I want to draw our attention to something a little more specific about the foundation. The entire foundation is important. But what is even more important is the very first element in the foundation. Architects, builders, carpenters, and masons refer to it as the cornerstone or chief cornerstone. If the very first brick, block or concrete measurement is off, the entire building will be out of square. One inch off at the foundation can show up half a foot off in the roof. Walls will be out of square, kitchen cabinets and counters will not fit right, tile flooring will be off.

Our life is like a building. Personal habits, family relationships, marriages, our spiritual life, our character, integrity, choices and beliefs. These are very important elements in our life and all of them are affected by our foundation. One major part of our foundation is our belief system. How we believe will determine our perspective and will sway our decisions in a certain direction. This is why the Scripture teaches us, the VERY FIRST “STONE” in our foundation must be Christ. Jesus Christ is our foundation. His life modeled before us, becomes our model. His teachings and character becomes our standard for living, behaviors and choices.

Paul affirms this truth in Ephesians 2:20-22, “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Isaiah prophesied Christ would come as a proven, perfect cornerstone that one could build their life upon. “So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic. 17I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line;’” (Isaiah 28:16-17).

Peter quoted the Isaiah Scripture in 1 Peter 2:6, “For in Scripture it says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame’”. Notice the emphasis on placing our trust in Christ is how we lay the foundation that will produce a life that we can be proud of.

TWO MEN, TWO BELIEFS, TWO DIFFERENT OUTCOMES

It would be wise for us to observe Christ’s teaching in Matthew 7:24-27:

  • Two men have  the desire and vision to build the same house.
  • Two men hear the same truth.
  • Two men have different beliefs and perspective how to build.
  • Two men build on two different foundations.
  • Two men face the same storm.
  • Two men have completely different results from their effort and investment. One is destroyed and the other endures the storms.

3 Ways to Measure that You are Building on the Right Foundation.

  1. How much time, effort and attention do you give to your relationship with Christ? Christ must be the first foundation of your life. We invest in the things that we love and value. We love Christ, we desire His presence, we value His instruction; therefore, we will spend time in His Word and in conversation with Him.
  2. Before you take your “cues” or advice from anyone, do you look to Christ and His teachings are your model and pattern for your life? When it comes to ideology, preparing for life, dealing with relationships, decisions and behaviors… the culture will get it wrong, cool people will get it wrong, popular people will get it wrong, Christ NEVER gets it wrong. He is our model, template for our foundation.
  3. Check your cracks. Do you allow Christ to adjust your perspective? Do you allow Him to change your mind? Are you familiar with repentance, correction and reconciliation? NO ONE gets it right ALL the time. They are not that good. To keep our foundation from deteriorating and contamination we must allow Christ, the perfect foundation be our inspector. Place your foundation, beliefs, ideas up to Christ’s and compare it.

We can be confident that a foundation built on Christ, will endure tests, temptations and struggles. I know you will be happy with the outcome of your life, when Christ is your Chief Cornerstone.

David Shannon Wooten

4-17-17

WHAT PEOPLE MEAN TO HARM YOU WITH, GOD WILL USE IT TO BRING YOU TO YOUR DESTINY

Can you imagine…

  • You are promised a leadership role and to be of great influence in your near future, but instead…
  • Your brothers are jealous of your potential and despise you to the point they conspire to take your life.
  • They throw you into a pit, fake your death and tell your father that you are dead.
  • Your brothers sell you as a slave. You are taken to a foreign country.
  • You are working for free and your boss’s wife accuses you that your tried to rape her and you go to prison for something you did not do.
  • You start helping people in prison. You end up helping the right person who can possibly redeem you. This person promises to remember you and get you out of prison. But they end up forgetting you.

Do setbacks sound familiar to you? People trying to hurt you? These events are exactly what happed to Joseph in the Bible.  You can read Joseph’s details in Genesis chapters 39 through 51. Joseph was despised and rejected by family, people lied about his integrity and character, he was overlooked for promotion, he served time for a crime he did not commit, but yet we read how Joseph seemed to have the right perspective and attitude throughout the entire process.

How we adjust our attitude toward people who try to hurt us and toward the setbacks in our life is so important to what comes next in our life.

We can try to get revenge, get even, allow bitterness to rob our joy and destroy our optimism. Or we can learn from Joseph and place priority on our integrity, perspective and attitude.

We may not be able to control what happens to us, but we have the power to control what happens IN us. Attitude and perspective positions us for a better outcome.

Jimmy Dean said, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

Adjusting our “sails” toward the wind is adjusting the right attitude toward the wrong that people do against us. It’s adjusting the right perspective when circumstances do not go the way we expect them to. Our attitude and perspective determines which direction our life will sail.

Joseph made a statement that allows us to observe the foundation of his heart. Genesis 50:19-20, “But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” This is the rock solid foundation that allowed him to not crash and burn during those trying times, but rather position him to reach his purpose and destiny.

Like Joseph, we can choose to believe God has allowed us to go through trying times, but better days are coming. “I am in the place of God”. The hurtful things that people do, do not dictate our destiny. Remember, while Joseph was going through this process, God was still watching over Joseph and blessing him along the way. God blessed Joseph while working for free. God caused him to prosper (Genesis 39:3). While Joseph was in prison, God was with him, showed kindness and gave him favor with people (Genesis 39:20-21).

When God wants to favor you, NO ONE has the power to stop it.

  • God can take your destruction and turn it around and place you in your destiny.
  • God will use your setbacks and use them to “set you up” for greater things.
  • God can take the doors that have been slammed shut in your life and cover you with His favor to open greater doors.

What people mean to harm you with, God will use it for your good.

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.

Signs You May be STUCK in Your Past

1. You are consistently talking about your past.

We can get stuck rehearsing who hurt us, how we have failed, what we are lacking, how we are rejected, who is not supporting us, how we don’t have the right skills, talent or education.

Rehearsing the “curse” will not reverse the “curse”. It just keeps it connected and alive.

2. You refuse to formulate a good plan for your great future. 

God states that He has a good plan for our future in Jeremiah 29:11. Why do we delay in formulating a good plan to move forward? If God has a great plan for our future, then shouldn’t we be planning with God?

Don’t plan on failing, plan on succeeding. That’s what God is planning for you.

3. Your passion has died for your future.

Do you have more stories about your past than dreams for your future?

When you have passion for your future, you dream. God wants you to dream about your future. In fact, your expectation and thoughts give God something to work with. Your expectations and thoughts fuel your faith for your future. Look at Ephesians 3:20, Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, God says, “Whatever you think or dream about for your future, I will exceed your expectations.”

God does not want us stuck in our past. Spending more energy, thoughts and passion on your past means less energy and passion toward your future.

“You can’t have great success in your future if you stay stuck thinking about a failed past.”

It is HIGHLY important for your relationships that you do not get stuck in your past failures.

“How you see yourself will be how you see others.”

Judges 6:12-16 shares with us that God was trying to call Gideon for a greater purpose, but Gideon was stuck about his past. He was very upset about how things were going the last several years. Gideon’s perspective was that things was so bad in his past, he basically called God out and said that God had abandoned him. Gideon had low self-esteem, he seen himself as the weakest and least person in his family and nation. But that’s not what God seen.

God said…  “Gideon, you are a mighty warrior.”

Gideon said…  “I am the least in my family and nation.”

 God said… “Go in the STRENGTH you have.”

Gideon said… “I come from a weak family.”

 God said… “I am sending you.”

Gideon said… “God has abandoned me.”

Arguing with God about what your past and what you don’t have will not bring the breakthrough sooner. It only delays what God is desiring to bring into your life.

Four things God taught Gideon that will help us get UNSTUCK:

  1. Your family history is not your destiny.
  2. Stop thinking like a victim, and start believing you are a victor.
  3. Speak at a higher level of faith when it comes to your future. God doesn’t address Gideon’s low perspective by arguing. God simply declares a higher Truth over Gideon.
  4. Don’t let anyone else hold the pen while writing your story. (A quote by Harley Davidson.)

You may not feel hope for your future but God does. God wants to do something new in you. Remember God specializes in CREATING. He is a God who saves us from disaster, delivers us from evil, opens closed doors, transforms us into a new creation.

Consider His word which declares we are not captive or bound to our past…

Isaiah 43:18-19, ““Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Philippians 3:13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,

I declare your God is bigger than your past. You are not stuck, but are free to reach forward to the greater things God has prepared for you!