Everywhere I go there is confirmation for the word that has been released in this season of blessing and double. My husband and I have seen confirmation after confirmation and yet ...
This year of 2017—this breakthrough year—has not been easy. Anyone else out there feel that way? I know I'm not the only one.
I believe that is because there is a second part to that word of breakthrough which is "contend"!
I was talking to my friend Kim Potter earlier this week. She had texted me several times letting me know she had felt prompted to pray for me. There was a reason.
In the last couple of months, some incredible doors have opened even as I have faced some incredible battles. Recently I was able to speak before the United Nations. I also just received an invitation to the National Prayer Breakfast. Doors within the area of government have opened this year and I have been amazed. But even as I have seen breakthrough in one area, as the owner of a small business, I have taken hit after hit. An unexpected repair. A cluster of unexpected bills. Multiple clients who were ready to sign a contract, and suddenly they had to delay the project. Every client who was on a monthly retainer stopped due to their own challenges.
Every. Single. One.
Just when it seemed breakthrough was on the horizon, it delayed.
So in the midst of incredible new open doors, this giant of lack kept getting taller all the time. What is your giant that mocks you? For he is about to be felled.
As Kim and I compared notes, we recognized that while we had both experienced some tremendous breakthrough this year, there were other areas in which we had not yet seen anything at all! Not an ounce. If this is a year of double blessing, (and it is) then why are we all not walking in it yet?
"I think we are to contend for it," Kim stated as we talked.
It wasn't just a comment. It was an anointed word. We both sensed it.
It is a word for us all.
Blessing and breakthrough are absolutely what is available in this season. But we can be in the midst of blessing and watch as it passes us by. Why? Because we must contend for the promise. Some blessings just drop in our laps. But others, and usually the big ones, require that we contend for them.
The Israelites were given the promised land, but they had to take the promised land. They had to contend for it.
Caleb understood that principle. He understood that the promised land was his inheritance; it was given to him, but yet he still had to take it.
"So now, give me this hill country that the Lord spoke about on that day. That day you heard that the Anakites live there in large, fortified cities. Perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I will drive them out, as the Lord said" (Josh. 14:12-13, MEV).
The word of breakthrough and double portion is our inheritance. It is ours. And yet, it will not be without a fight. It will be won first by prayer and then by action.
As I consider the past, every single major miracle I have experienced in my life has come through contending. There are some promises and blessings that come in our lives that come easily. But there are others that will only manifest when we stand and say, "I'm not leaving here until you bless me."
Do you understand that principle? Jacob did. He fought with the angel and refused to let go until he received a blessing and breakthrough. How could Jacob be so bold? Because he needed a miracle and he wasn't going to settle for less.
"The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream along with all that he had. Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him there until daybreak. When the man saw that He did not prevail against Jacob, He touched the socket of his thigh, so the socket of Jacob's thigh was dislocated, as he wrestled with Him. Then He said, 'Let Me go, for the day breaks.' But Jacob said, 'I will not let You go, unless You bless me.' So He said to him, 'What is your name?' And he said, 'Jacob.' Then the man said, 'Your name will no more be called Jacob, but Israel. For you have fought with God and with men, and have prevailed.' ... Then He blessed him there" (Gen. 32:22-31 MEV).
Jacob contended for a miracle because he was desperate. As he contended for that blessing he gained something more. It changed him and strengthened him. In that encounter, the Lord changed his name to Israel which means "to contend and to prevail."
Do you need a blessing today? Have you been standing, waiting and watching as others have received their blessing? Have you have asked, "Lord, where is mine?"
Have you attended meetings where everyone else seemed to receive a word, and yet you left seemingly empty-handed? Where others received promotion and you felt invisible? Where it seems your prayers to heaven have hit a lead ceiling? Don't stop. Contend.
Times are changing. This season we must understand how to contend for what He has promised, because there is coming a season in which provision will still be there, but not in the way that we have been used to. That regular paycheck may disappear, like my retainer clients who paid on a monthly basis disappeared and suddenly my ability to pay bills had to shift. As I asked the Lord about this strange season, I sensed that this wasn't just a challenge I faced. It was a message of things to come. Things are shifting. We have to learn the walk of trusting Him for provision as never before.
That is not a fearful word. It is a word for knowledge. Let me tell you that even in the wilderness there was complete provision. It is a place of growth and a place to learn trust and contend.
What does that mean? In the Greek, contend means "to engage in a contest" or "strive for the mastery." Taking hold of the promises of God is a battle where Satan will do everything in his power to keep your inheritance—God's promises for you—from you.
Has your inheritance been delayed or stolen? Contend for it.
Where is there an area of lack in your life? It is not what He has promised you. Contend for the Promised Land. It is yours—but you have to take it.
Even after this hard year of struggle, every single day I get up with the expectation that THIS will be the day of breakthrough. I am not letting go. When we refuse to let go, we will see breakthrough for He is the God of breakthrough.
Impartation to Victory
For those who are in that land of waiting, it will not be forever. Tomorrow may be that tipping point. Don't quit contending. Not long after Kim and I hung up the phone, after months of contending, my situation hit tipping point.
Before the day was over, one of my retainer clients called to be reinstate, an upcoming ministry trip was completed funded from an unexpected source, and a client sent me a new project out of the blue. Everything can change in a day. Don't give up.
Does that mean the battle is over? Hardly.
What we must recognize is as long as we are on the earth the battle will not be over. We must contend for His promises in our lives, for our families, for our nation.
Here are five important steps:
- Clean House. Go before the Lord and make sure there is nothing that stands in the way of your breakthrough. Unforgiveness, offense and sin all can hinder blessing.
"This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God" (Matt. 5:23-24, MEV).
- Give. During this time, not only did my husband and I make sure we continued to tithe, but we pressed in (contended) in giving first fruits in His timetable rather than ours. We took Him at His word where He stated:
"Bring your full tithe to the Temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in my Temple. Test Me in this and see if I don't open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams" (Mal. 3:9-11, MEV).
- Listen. It is important to spend time not just praying, but listening. Spend time in His presence to what He wants to share with you and write it down. We can miss a moment when we don't listen or when we don't take the time to write down and preserve what He is saying to us (Jer. 33:3).
- Find your Promise. We have an entire book given to us full of promises. Let the Holy Spirit illuminate His Word to you today and the promise He is breathing on in this season. Sit and read the Word until you sense the Spirit stirring something in your heart as He speaks it into you and brings it to life. As you speak it out, it will renew your faith and it will set in motion the very provision pregnant within that word.
- Contend. Don't stop. That's really it. We don't stop until we see the blessing. Like Jacob we wrestle and don't let go until it comes. The first-century rabbi, Honi, which Mark Batterson details in his book, The Circle Maker, contended during a devastating drought. He walked out in public, took his staff and drew a circle around himself as he declared, "I'm not leaving, God, until it rains." Honi didn't move when a trickle of rain began. He contended.
When we start to see breakthrough, don't stop contending. It may have started to rain, but don't settle for just a trickle, pray for the overflow He has promised.
We are in interesting times. We've never seen anything like it. We are going to see amazing miracles and provision, while at the same time we will be in some of the most severe battles we have ever encountered. They will be simultaneous. It is vital that now we learn how to contend for the provision for the days ahead.
If you are discouraged and weary today because you, too, have had a hard year and have a giant mocking you, I say to you today and I release the battle cry of victory to you, contend! The battle is yours if you will contend until it comes.
Karen Hardin is an author, minister and literary agent. She is called to exhort, encourage and help raise up the remnant. She desires to empower those who have grown weary so they can reposition to walk in identity and destiny. Her work has appeared in "USA Today," "World Net Daily," "Crosswalk.com," "Charisma," "CBN.com," "The Elijah List," etc. To read more from her blog, "The Light and the Remnant: Prophetic Insights for the Days Ahead" go to karenhardin.com or email her at: [email protected]
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