2017 has been declared as the Year of Breakthrough by at least three Christian prophets and probably more. Most people I know will say a hearty amen to the word breakthrough, but what does it really mean?
What are we asking when we ask God for a breakthrough?
Breakthrough Happens as We Are Going
It's interesting that breakthrough is a noun, not a verb. Most of us see the word as a verb. Breakthrough is an event that happens when we are doing something. It happens when are active, not passive.
Online dictionaries define breakthrough in several ways: "a sudden, dramatic and important discovery or development"; "an instance of achieving success in a particular sphere or activity"; "a discovery or achievement that comes after a lot of hard work; a time when you begin to be successful at something."
Doesn't Happen in A Void
There is something very distinct about a breakthrough. It doesn't happen in a void. We have to be doing something first for a breakthrough to happen. We have to be working on something, and all of a sudden, a discovery or development occurs that makes all the difference. Notice, though it comes "after a lot of hard work."
Breakthrough is not where we are sitting around asking God to do something for us. It comes when we ask God how or if we should do something and then follow what He tells us.
In 1 Chronicles, David and his army are up against the Philistines. He asks God, "If I go out and fight them will you give me the victory?"
"And the Lord replied, 'Yes, I will.'"
"So he attacked them at Baal-perazim and wiped them out. He exulted, "God has used me to sweep away my enemies like water bursting through a dam!" That is why the place has been known as Baal-perazim ever since, meaning, 'The Place of Breaking Through'" (see 1 Chron. 14:10-11).
David didn't ask God to do the job for Him. He said plainly that He was but an instrument used for the breakthrough to happen. He had to believe that if God said He would give him the victory, then He would do it. However, David had to have the faith to engage in the battle.
How to Get a Breakthrough
This is where some of us fall short. We are prone to sit and complain that nothing is happening in our circumstances. We cry out to God that we need a breakthrough in our finances, in our health, in our jobs, in our relationships.
Jesus has already told us, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that the Father may give you whatever you ask Him in My name" (John 15:16).
So, if you ask for a breakthrough, why will the Father give it to you? So you can go and produce lasting fruit. Friends, we are the verb in breakthrough. God is the noun. We act on His behalf and at His direction. When we act according to what He tells us to do, He will make sure the event called breakthrough happens.
In this year, God is going to set up situations where as we are paying down our debts and spending less, eating right and moving more, being diligent to search for jobs and improve our skills, loving and forgiving each other each other all of a sudden breakthrough will come. We just have to be doing what He has already told us to do.
Our jobs are to walk out our journeys, to ask God if we should do this or that and then, when He tells us the direction, we are to do it with faith and action. God will work supernaturally, but He needs dedicated natural vessels to use to work through.
Ask for Breakthrough
Don't just wait for breakthrough. Get to work. Do what you know to do, what God has shown you to do. Breakthrough will happen in the midst of what you are doing. Ask for it specifically. Then, watch for it!
Teresa Shields Parker is a wife, mother, business owner, life group leader, speaker and author of Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor and Sweet Grace Study Guide: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Overcome Sugar Addiction and Sweet Freedom. Get a free chapter of her memoir on her blog at Teresa Shields Parker.com. Connect with her there or on her Facebook page or Twitter.