5 Keys to Spiritual Breakthrough

The answer begins with God.

By Lesli White

What can lead us on the path to spiritual breakthrough? Many of us want to know if we’re on the right course. That’s why so many of us ask ourselves if we’re the direction we’re going in is right. We all want to make sense of what God is saying to us and where He is leading us. While we all want the answer revealed to us but many don’t have a clue where to find the answer when the starting place is very simple: God. There is no better place to go than to Scripture for the answer. The Bible offers great insight into God’s plan and will for His people. The Lord has a great plan for your life. Scripture tells us, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11). Do you know where God might be calling you? Do you want to live your best life so that you can achieve spiritual breakthrough? Do you want to better hear God’s voice so these answers may be revealed to you? Here are five keys to spiritual breakthrough.

Tune Out the Noise

If you want to achieve spiritual breakthrough, It’s important to tune out the noise around you, if only for a few moments each day. How many times have you prayed today and if you haven’t prayed at all, ask yourself one simple question: why? Many of us will answer this question with excuses when God should be center. It’s time to cut the excuses. Jeremiah 33:3 tells us “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” God wants an intimate relationship with us and prayer is the best way to communicate with God. He wants us to actively call on Him so that He can answer our prayers.

Learn How to Listen to God

Another key to spiritual breakthrough is the ability to hear what God is saying to you. It’s easy to talk to God, but it’s a lot harder to listen to what He is telling us. Truly listening to God and hearing His voice is one of the first steps to achieving spiritual breakthrough. It’s very difficult to hear God’s voice when we are listening to every other voice besides His. The writer of Hebrews tells us that we can train our ears to recognize the voice of God above all the noise. “But solid food belongs to those who are full of age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14). When we practice, by reason of use, we are able to discern whether what we hear is of God, our flesh, or the Enemy. It’s important that we hear the Holy Spirit and recognize the ways He is speaking and working through us. Jesus said, “He who has ears [to hear], let him be listening and let him consider and perceive and comprehend by hearing” (Matthew 13:9). Pray that God will give you a hearing heart to listen and hear where He is calling you.

Trust in the Power of Prayer

How many times have you heard someone say “prayer has power”? They aren’t just saying it to say it. They’re saying it because they have seen the impact of prayer in their own life. Prayer is a powerful tool for achieving spiritual breakthrough. Prayer also helps us to find strength and hope. We should actively pray and trust in its power to change our circumstances for good. Your faith life directly correlates to the quality of your prayer life. Prayer has the power to change not only the people and things around you. Prayer also has the power to change you from the inside out. When you’re in need of strength, remember that God is the number one healer and can guide you in endless ways. If your heart and life are centered on God, His Word and His Holy Spirit, you can rest assured that He will direct your path to greatness.

Focus on What Really Matters

Another key to achieving spiritual breakthrough is to eliminate what doesn’t matter in our lives and focusing on what does. Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” How many times in life have you been distracted? When we’re focused on things and people that aren’t important to our growth and goals, it will only take away from our lives. When a challenge shows up in your life, focus on what really matters. Trust God that has your best interest in mind, even if you’re not sure what He’s doing or where you’re being led. Pay attention to what God is teaching you this very moment. What is He saying to you? Once you remove the distractions in your life, you will be on your way to living your best life.

Knowing Some Situations Are Only Temporary

Regardless of the circumstances we face and the hand that we are dealt, we should know that they will soon pass. Knowing this can help us achieve spiritual breakthrough. When someone says this, it is usually in the context of a painful or otherwise unpleasant situation that is happening at the time. The phrase means that the situation is only temporary. It is a great phrase to remember when it comes to any circumstance you’re facing. While seasons come, they will also pass and things are bound to get better eventually. In our times of joy and in the darkest hours of pain, God’s love not only sustains but also remains.No matter what trial we face in life, God is still the same.

Spiritual breakthrough can be achieved when we focus not only ourselves, but also on God, especially where He is leading us. God brings out the best in us when we give Him our best. The Bible tells us, “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:12). Just as Timothy was focused and committed to God’s call, and not distracted or distracted by those around him, we too should model this in our own lives. As you grow in your relationship with God and separate yourself from the distractions that hold you back, you will be on your way to achieving spiritual breakthrough.Lesli White is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and a concentration in print and online journalism. In college, she took a number of religious studies courses and harnessed her talent for storytelling. White has a rich faith background. Her father, a Lutheran pastor and life coach was a big influence in her faith life, helping her to see the value of sharing the message of Christ with others. She has served in the church from an early age. Some of these roles include assisting ministry, mutual ministry, worship and music ministry and church council.   

Grace for the Moment

LOVE PROTECTS

The Lord God made clothes from animal skins for the man and his wife and dressed them. Genesis 3:21

that simple sentence suggests three powerful scenes. Scene 1: God slays an animal. For the first time in the history of the earth, dirt is stained with blood. Innocent blood. The beast committed no sin. The creature did not deserve to die.

Adam and Eve did. The couple deserves to die, but they live …

Scene 2: Clothing is made. The shaper of the stars now becomes a tailor.

And in Scene 3: God dresses them. “The Lord … dressed them.”

Adam and Eve are on their way out of the garden. They’ve been told to leave, but now God tells them to stop. “Those fig leaves,” he says, shaking his head, “will never do.” And he produces some clothing. But he doesn’t throw the garments at their feet and tell them to get dressed. He dresses them himself. As a father would zip up the jacket of a preschooler. God covers them.

from A Love Worth Giving

GENESIS 3-4

The Beginning of Sin

Now the snake was the most clever of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day the snake said to the woman, “Did God really say that you must not eat fruit from any tree in the garden?”

The woman answered the snake, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden. But God told us, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden. You must not even touch it, or you will die.’”

But the snake said to the woman, “You will not die. God knows that if you eat the fruit from that tree, you will learn about good and evil and you will be like God!”

The woman saw that the tree was beautiful, that its fruit was good to eat, and that it would make her wise. So she took some of its fruit and ate it. She also gave some of the fruit to her husband who was with her, and he ate it.

Then, it was as if their eyes were opened. They realized they were naked, so they sewed fig leaves together and made something to cover themselves.

Then they heard the Lord God walking in the garden during the cool part of the day, and the man and his wife hid from the Lord God among the trees in the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said, “Where are you?”

10 The man answered, “I heard you walking in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”

11 God asked, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat fruit from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?”

12 The man said, “You gave this woman to me and she gave me fruit from the tree, so I ate it.”

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “How could you have done such a thing?”

She answered, “The snake tricked me, so I ate the fruit.”

14 The Lord God said to the snake,

“Because you did this,
    a curse will be put on you.
    You will be cursed as no other animal, tame or wild, will ever be.
You will crawl on your stomach,
    and you will eat dust all the days of your life.
15 I will make you and the woman
    enemies to each other.
Your descendants and her descendants
    will be enemies.
One of her descendants will crush your head,
    and you will bite his heel.”

16 Then God said to the woman,

“I will cause you to have much trouble
    when you are pregnant,
and when you give birth to children,
    you will have great pain.
You will greatly desire your husband,
    but he will rule over you.”

17 Then God said to the man, “You listened to what your wife said, and you ate fruit from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat.

“So I will put a curse on the ground,
    and you will have to work very hard for your food.
In pain you will eat its food
    all the days of your life.
18 The ground will produce thorns and weeds for you,
    and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 You will sweat and work hard for your food.
Later you will return to the ground,
    because you were taken from it.
You are dust,
    and when you die, you will return to the dust.”

20 The man named his wife Eve,[a] because she was the mother of all the living.

21 The Lord God made clothes from animal skins for the man and his wife and dressed them. 22 Then the Lord God said, “Humans have become like one of us; they know good and evil. We must keep them from eating some of the fruit from the tree of life, or they will live forever.” 23 So the Lord God forced Adam out of the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 After God forced humans out of the garden, he placed angels and a sword of fire that flashed around in every direction on its eastern border. This kept people from getting to the tree of life.

The First Family

Adam had sexual relations with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.[b] Eve said, “With the Lord’s help, I have given birth to a man.” After that, Eve gave birth to Cain’s brother Abel. Abel took care of flocks, and Cain became a farmer.

Later, Cain brought some food from the ground as a gift to God. Abel brought the best parts from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift. So Cain became very angry and felt rejected.

The Lord asked Cain, “Why are you angry? Why do you look so unhappy? If you do things well, I will accept you, but if you do not do them well, sin is ready to attack you. Sin wants you, but you must rule over it.”

Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out into the field.” While they were out in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Later, the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

Cain answered, “I don’t know. Is it my job to take care of my brother?”

10 Then the Lord said, “What have you done? Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground. 11 And now you will be cursed in your work with the ground, the same ground where your brother’s blood fell and where your hands killed him. 12 You will work the ground, but it will not grow good crops for you anymore, and you will wander around on the earth.”

13 Then Cain said to the Lord, “This punishment is more than I can stand! 14 Today you have forced me to stop working the ground, and now I must hide from you. I must wander around on the earth, and anyone who meets me can kill me.”

15 The Lord said to Cain, “No! If anyone kills you, I will punish that person seven times more.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain warning anyone who met him not to kill him.

Cain’s Family

16 So Cain went away from the Lord and lived in the land of Nod,[c] east of Eden. 17 He had sexual relations with his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. At that time Cain was building a city, which he named after his son Enoch. 18 Enoch had a son named Irad, Irad had a son named Mehujael, Mehujael had a son named Methushael, and Methushael had a son named Lamech.

19 Lamech married two women, Adah and Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal, who became the first person to live in tents and raise cattle. 21 Jabal’s brother was Jubal, the first person to play the harp and flute. 22 Zillah gave birth to Tubal-Cain, who made tools out of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah.

23 Lamech said to his wives:

“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice!
    You wives of Lamech, listen to what I say.
I killed a man for wounding me,
    a young man for hitting me.
24 If Cain’s killer is punished seven times,
    then Lamech’s killer will be punished seventy-seven times.”

Adam and Eve Have a New Son

25 Adam had sexual relations with his wife Eve again, and she gave birth to a son. She named him Seth[d] and said, “God has given me another child. He will take the place of Abel, who was killed by Cain.” 26 Seth also had a son, and they named him Enosh. At that time people began to pray to the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. 3:20 Eve This name sounds like the Hebrew word meaning “alive.”
  2. 4:1 Cain This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “I have given birth.”
  3. 4:16 Nod This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “wander.”
  4. 4:25 Seth This name sounds like the Hebrew word for “to give.”

New Century Version (NCV)

The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

PSALM 2:1-6

The Lord’s Chosen King

Why are the nations so angry?
    Why are the people making useless plans?
The kings of the earth prepare to fight,
    and their leaders make plans together
against the Lord
    and his appointed one.
They say, “Let’s break the chains that hold us back
    and throw off the ropes that tie us down.”

But the one who sits in heaven laughs;
    the Lord makes fun of them.
Then the Lord warns them
    and frightens them with his anger.
He says, “I have appointed my own king
    to rule in Jerusalem on my holy mountain, Zion.”New Century Version (NCV)

The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

PROVERBS 1:8-9

Warnings Against Evil

My child, listen to your father’s teaching
    and do not forget your mother’s advice.
Their teaching will be like flowers in your hair
    or a necklace around your neck.New Century Version (NCV)

The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

MATTHEW 2

Wise Men Come to Visit Jesus

Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea during the time when Herod was king. When Jesus was born, some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the baby who was born to be the king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this, he was troubled, as were all the people in Jerusalem. Herod called a meeting of all the leading priests and teachers of the law and asked them where the Christ would be born. They answered, “In the town of Bethlehem in Judea. The prophet wrote about this in the Scriptures:

‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are not just an insignificant village in Judah.
A ruler will come from you
    who will be like a shepherd for my people Israel.’” Micah 5:2

Then Herod had a secret meeting with the wise men and learned from them the exact time they first saw the star. He sent the wise men to Bethlehem, saying, “Look carefully for the child. When you find him, come tell me so I can worship him too.”

After the wise men heard the king, they left. The star that they had seen in the east went before them until it stopped above the place where the child was. 10 When the wise men saw the star, they were filled with joy. 11 They came to the house where the child was and saw him with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. They opened their gifts and gave him treasures of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 But God warned the wise men in a dream not to go back to Herod, so they returned to their own country by a different way.

Jesus’ Parents Take Him to Egypt

13 After they left, an angel of the Lord came to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up! Take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt, because Herod is starting to look for the child so he can kill him. Stay in Egypt until I tell you to return.”

14 So Joseph got up and left for Egypt during the night with the child and his mother. 15 And Joseph stayed in Egypt until Herod died. This happened to bring about what the Lord had said through the prophet: “I called my son out of Egypt.”[a]

Herod Kills the Baby Boys

16 When Herod saw that the wise men had tricked him, he was furious. So he gave an order to kill all the baby boys in Bethlehem and in the surrounding area who were two years old or younger. This was in keeping with the time he learned from the wise men. 17 So what God had said through the prophet Jeremiah came true:

18 “A voice was heard in Ramah
    of painful crying and deep sadness:
Rachel crying for her children.
    She refused to be comforted,
    because her children are dead.” Jeremiah 31:15

Joseph and Mary Return

19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph in a dream while he was in Egypt. 20 The angel said, “Get up! Take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, because the people who were trying to kill the child are now dead.”

21 So Joseph took the child and his mother and went to Israel. 22 But he heard that Archelaus was now king in Judea since his father Herod had died. So Joseph was afraid to go there. After being warned in a dream, he went to the area of Galilee, 23 to a town called Nazareth, and lived there. And so what God had said through the prophets came true: “He will be called a Nazarene.”[b]

Footnotes:

  1. 2:15 “I called . . . Egypt.” Quotation from Hosea 11:1.
  2. 2:23 Nazarene A person from the town of Nazareth. Matthew may be referring to Isaiah 11:1, where the Hebrew word translated “branch” sounds like “Nazarene.”

New Century Version (NCV)

The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.Copyright © 2006 by Max Lucado.

NIGHT LIGHT FOR PARENTS

Serving One Master The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. 1 Timothy 6:10 We are very concerned about the impact of materialism on families today. During the hardships of the Great Depression, it was easy enough for parents to tell their kids that they couldn’t afford to buy everything they wanted. But in these more opulent times, children see that you can afford to purchase their hearts’ desires—if not with cash, then with your magic credit card. And then there are the advertisers that spend millions of dollars to stimulate your kids’ lust for their products—toy monsters; dolls that eat, walk, and talk; designer shoes and clothes; and more. Your children begin to develop an “I need more” mentality that can be terribly destructive in their adult years. It’s why so many people are hopelessly in debt today. It’s what spawned a popular bumper sticker a few years ago: “He who dies with the most toys wins.” The sticker should read, “He who dies with the most toys dies anyway.” Jesus delivered a very different message when a rich man questioned Him about the path to eternal life. Jesus said to “sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven” (Matthew 19:21). The man walked away because he was unwilling to part with his wealth. It simply isn’t possible to seek, worship, and serve both God and money (Matthew 6:24). Now is the time to choose for your family. Before you say good night… How much of your time is invested in that which is of no long-term significance? What can you do to reduce the influence of materialism? Father, we know that our children’s attitude toward money will be shaped to a large degree by our own. Please take us by the hand and lead us toward Your heart’s desire for this important area of our lives. Amen. From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bible Pathway – September 25

Read Micah 1 – 7

Highlights:

God’s astonishing power and might (1:3-4), worthy of praise and worship (7:7-20). Father sheds tears (1:8). Jesus foreshadowed (2:13; 5:2,4). Persecution (4:11-12). Check out the bottom line (6:8).

Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God. But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin (Jonah 1:1-3).

The history of Israel is clearly outlined in the Bible. For generation after generation, they repeatedly fell prey to being drawn away from the Lord to serve false gods. This did not only happen to the common people, but to their kings, priests and prophets, as well. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (2 Tim. 4:4).

The sin of idolatry, or worshiping other gods, is in violation of the Law of God. As a matter of fact, it breaks the first two of the Ten Commandments. It is important to remember that disobedience is the original sin and therefore encompasses all sin. I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth (Ex. 20:2-4).

The Lord always responded in the same way to the disobedience of the nation of Israel. His actions were always fashioned to produce the same outcome. The Lord would send some sort of correction that would cause them to turn their worship back to Him.

In these verses, the Lord is speaking to the prophets who have no faith in Him. He explains the judgment that is coming to them. Their ability to receive prophecy from the Lord was gone. This was a just punishment that should have moved them to realize how much they needed God. We all have the ultimate need for the Lord in our lives. These prophets needed God because, without Him, they would be powerless people.

It is interesting to note that Micah is given the full range of abilities from the Lord just as the others are stripped of theirs. This demonstrates that Micah was a true prophet of God who followed and worshiped only Him.

We must be careful never to stray from God. We may never understand the loss that comes with betraying the Lord and turning to idolatry. There are many gifts that God has given us to use that are never given to those not following the Lord. When we follow God, we open ourselves up to receive spiritual gifts which enable us to better fulfill His will and plan for our life.

Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy (1 Cor. 14:1).

Thought for Today:

When the path ahead looks uncertain, remember God promises to direct us as we trust in Him.

Christ Revealed:

As the Ruler in Israel (Mic. 5:2). Jesus will rule not only Israel but the world. She brought forth a man Child, who was to rule all nations (Rev. 12:5).

Word Study:

1:16 Make thee bald, and poll thee for thy delicate children, Shave your head as a sign of sorrow for your children, who shall be taken from you into exile; 2:5 none that shall cast a cord by lot, no one who shall divide inheritances (because there shall be no inheritance to divide – see vs. 4); 2:7 straitened, limited; do not My words do good to him that walketh uprightly, this speaks of our Creator, the Spirit of the Lord, and His Word, His perfect Guide to life; 2:13 The Breaker refers here to Messiah; 6:9 hear ye the rod, obey the rod, the instrument of the coming judgment of God.

Prayer Suggestion: Lift up your prayers to God with your whole heart (Ps. 119:58,145).

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 145:14