Praying for a Breakthrough
A breakthrough is a military concept. When one army is able to weaken its enemy’s forces to the point of collapse, a breakthrough occurs, allowing that army to invade and take its enemy’s territory.
But in war a breakthrough only really matters if it occurs at a strategic location. And the evidence that a location is strategic is almost always revealed by the amount of enemy forces amassed to protect it. An enemy led by skilled generals plans to ferociously protect what it prizes highly.
This means that an invading army can expect its attempt to achieve a breakthrough to be met by a barrier of fierce enemy opposition. Increasingly intense fighting always precedes strategic breakthroughs. Strategic ground is not yielded easily.
This is as true for spiritual warfare as it is for terrestrial warfare. In the spiritual realm, as opposed to the terrestrial, the church is an invading force. Though we can easily slip into a defensive, circle-the-wagons mindset, Jesus clearly intends for us to be aggressors, not merely defenders. The Great Commission is to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). In a world that “lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19), that’s militant language. Our mission: to liberate those the devil has taken captive to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26).
But we must keep in mind that strategic ground is not yielded easily. Whether we’re battling for breakthroughs against our own stubborn sin or the unbelief of a loved one or breakthroughs in the missional advance of our local church, reaching unreached peoples, rescuing persecuted believers, orphans, sex slaves, or the unborn, we are up against “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). We don’t know exactly what that means, except that these forces are very strong.
Daniel 10:12–14 gives us a brief glimpse of what’s happening. Daniel had been praying and partially fasting for 21 days to gain greater insight into the revelations he had received (Daniel 10:3) when an angelic being finally showed up with an answer to his prayers. This messenger said that he had been trying to get to Daniel for those 21 days, but had been detained by “the prince of the kingdom of Persia.” The chief angel Michael had to come and free him.
This experience of Daniel is an example to us. It’s not a formula that can simply be boiled down to pray and fast for 21 days and Michael will come help you overcome cosmic forces. But it is an example of what is taking place outside of our sight. God does not want us to know more about the angelic realm than what he has revealed in Scripture, otherwise Scripture would have revealed more. But he clearly wants us to know that there is more going on than we see so that we will pray to him and fast until he gives us an answer.
The consistent pattern throughout the Bible is that every significant move of God is preceded by a season of increasingly difficult, discouraging opposition. And if we take Ephesians 6, Daniel 10, and other warfare texts seriously, we can understand why: God is invading what Satan considers his territory. God’s kingdom is breaking through the lines of the domain of darkness (Colossians 1:13).
If we are not encountering opposition, it’s likely we are not attacking a strategic location. But if we are, we are on to something. Where the enemy is fortifying his forces is where we must focus our assault.
And where the enemy is fortified, there is going to be a fierce fight if we are going to achieve a breakthrough. We are going to receive volleys of flaming darts (Ephesians 6:16). We are going to be attacked on the rear. There will be spies in the camp. There will be jeering and intimidation and accusations. There will be efforts to destroy our morale and determination.
So this is a call for holy determination. Keep praying and don’t lose heart (Luke 18:1). Just like in any large-scale war, there are many battles. Some breakthroughs are achieved relatively quickly; others require long, persevering endurance. But either way, breakthroughs require a determination to keep up the assault.
Usually breakthroughs are not achieved by prayer alone — there are works to be done and courage to be exercised. But real spiritual breakthroughs are not achieved at all without prayer. Concentrated, specific, persistent, prevailing prayer, often engaged in by two or more (Matthew 18:19), is needed to weaken our spiritual opposition. And fasting is a wonderful help. “Fasting tests where the heart is. And when it reveals that the heart is with God and not the world, a mighty blow is struck against Satan” (A Hunger for God).
So if you’re praying for a breakthrough and not seeing it, and in fact experiencing more temptations to discouragement, frustration, weariness, doubt, and cynicism than before, do not give up. Increasingly intense fighting always precedes strategic breakthroughs. Strategic ground is not yielded easily. You’re up against more than you know. But “he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). He has overcome the world (John 16:33) and he will give you justice (Luke 18:8).
Don’t lose heart. Grow determined. There’s a breakthrough ahead.Jon Bloom (@Bloom_Jon) serves as author, board chair, and co-founder of Desiring God. He is author of three books, Not by Sight, Things Not Seen, and Don’t Follow Your Heart. He and his wife have five children and make their home in the Twin Cities.29.9K
Biblical Finances –
Learning God’s Financial Strategies for Blessing your Life!
Find out surprising insights into biblical finances that will give you the financial advantage you need to eliminate debt and experience financial freedom.
If we follow God’s financial plan, we will begin receiving new ideas, new favor, new wisdom, and new self-control that will guide us toward debt free living.
If we follow God’s plan for our finances, we will increase in emotional peace and in financial assets – in the long run.
Note that there are seasons in each life where finances are not as vibrant. But it is not God’s will for us to live in debt. He wants us to be blessed. He does not want us to live in lack.
“The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger:
but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.”
Psalm 34:10 KJV
In fact, God intends for us to have more than enough so we can be givers to others AND not only givers but generous givers.
Biblical Finances taught in the Scriptures
Biblical Finances concerning Work
1. God tells us to work.
In fact, he tells us to work unto the Lord.
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” Colossians 3:23 KJV
This means that we are to work enthusiastically for our employer and / or for our customers even if we do not like them personally. God wants us to have a mindset that we are working for him not just working for a company. We are serving him not just people.
Work is not easy.
“An empty stable stays clean – but there is no income from an empty stable.” Proverbs 14:4 TLB
“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece.” Proverbs 16:26 TLB
“Do you know a hard-working man? He shall be successful and stand before kings.” Proverbs 22:29 TLB
“Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and never succeed.” Proverbs 12:24 TLB
Biblical Finances on Career vs. Accumulating things
2. God tells us to get skills and begin to use those skills and build our career before we seek to accumulate things.
“Develop your business first before building your house.”
Proverbs 24:27 TLB
Biblical Finances about Debt
God tells us to spend less than we make.
Sometimes there are unusual circumstances where we have to live on our savings or where we go in debt (without spending on unneeded things). But if it is possible, God wants us to live on what we make. Then his plan is for us to focus on living under what we make while pursuing a larger income.
3. God tells us to save.
Save for future needs – “The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.” Proverbs 21:20 TLB
“Take a lesson from the ants, you lazy fellow. Learn from their ways and be wise! For though they have no king to make them work, yet they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter.” Proverbs 6:6-8 TLB
Save for blessing our family after death – “When a good man dies, he leaves an inheritance to his grandchildren.” Proverbs 13:22a TLB
4. God wants us to avoid debt.
“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another.” Romans 13:8a KJV
The wisdom of God says not to get into debt buying things we do not need and certainly not things that will not appreciate in value. For example, getting into debt to get a college education is not the same as getting into debt to go on vacation. The more you avoid debt, the more blessed you are emotionally and financially.
5. Debt is stressful.
“The borrower is the servant of the lender.” Proverbs 22:7
We do not know what tomorrow will bring. Going into tomorrow in debt is not God’s best for us.
“Look here, you people who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we are going to such and such a town, stay there a year, and open up a profitable business. How do you know what is going to happen tomorrow?'” James 4:13-14a TLB
Biblical Finances concerning Over-working
How do you know that you will be able to pay your loan debts when they come due? If God has advised you not to get into a debt situation and you did not listen or you did not hear him – then he is not obligated to always quickly get you out of your tight financial situations.
6. God tells us to rest.
“It is senseless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, fearing you will starve to death; for God wants his loved ones to get their proper rest.” Psalm 127:2 TLB
“Don’t weary yourself trying to get rich. Why waste your time? For riches can disappear as though they had the wings of a bird.” Proverbs 23:4-5 TLB
Biblical Finances concerning Pursuing Wisdom
7. God wants us to seek wisdom.
“Wisdom is knowing and doing right.” Proverbs 3:21 TLB
“Have two goals: wisdom – that is knowing and doing right – and common sense. Don’t let them slip away, for they fill you with living energy, and are a feather in your cap. They keep you safe from defeat and disaster and from stumbling off the trail. With them on guard you can sleep without fear; you need not be afraid of disaster or plots of wicked men, for the Lord is with you; he protects you.” Proverbs 3:21-26 TLB
“Wisdom gives: A long, good life, riches, honor, pleasure, peace. Wisdom is a tree of life to those who eat her fruit; happy is the man who keeps on eating it.” Proverbs 3:16-18 TLB
“A wise man is mightier than a strong man. Wisdom is mightier than strength.” Proverbs 24:5 TLB
“He who loves wisdom loves his own best interest and will be a success.” Proverbs 19:8 TLB
“How can men be wise? The only way to begin is by reverence for God. For growth in wisdom comes from obeying his laws. Praise his name forever.” Psalm 111:10 TLB
“Determination to be wise is the first step toward becoming wise!” Proverbs 4:7 TLB
“My son, honey whets the appetite, and so does wisdom! When you enjoy becoming wise, there is hope for you! A bright future lies ahead.” Proverbs 24:13-14 TLB
Biblical Finances concerning Listening to Advice
8. God wants us to be open to godly instruction.
“There is safety in many counselors.” Proverbs 24:6b TLB
“If you profit from constructive criticism you will be elected to the wise men’s hall of fame. But to reject criticism is to harm yourself and your own best interests.” Proverbs 15:31-32 TLB
“A fool thinks he needs no advice, but a wise man listens to others.” Proverbs 12:15 TLB
“Don’t refuse to accept criticism; get all the help you can.” Proverbs 23:12 TLB
“Despise God’s word and find yourself in trouble. Obey it and succeed.” Proverbs 13:13 TLB
Biblical Finances on Giving
9. Our income is not just to bless us. God wants us to bless others.
“To help the poor is to honor God.” Proverbs 14:31 b TLB
“If you give to the poor, your needs will be supplied! But a curse upon those who close their eyes to poverty.” Proverbs 28:27 TLB
“Happy is the generous man, the one who feeds the poor.” Proverbs 22:9 TLB
Biblical Finances on Tithing
10. God wants us to give to him out of the first of our income.
“Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines.” Proverbs 3:9-10 TLB
11. God commands us to tithe.
A tithe is 10%.
“Will a man rob God? Surely not! And yet you have robbed me.” (God speaking)
“What do you mean? When did we ever rob you?” (God quoting us.)
(God speaking) “You have robbed me of the tithes and offerings due to me. And so the awesome curse of God is cursing you, for your whole nation has been robbing me. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so that there will be food enough in my Temple; if you do, I will open up the windows of heaven for you and pour out a blessings so great you won’t have room enough to take it in!” Malachi 3:8-10a
Many people say that tithing is Old Testament. But Jesus said, “‘Yes, woe upon you, Pharisees, and you other religious leaders – hypocrites! For you tithe down to the last mint leaf in your garden, but ignore the important things – justice and mercy and faith. Yes, you should tithe, but you shouldn’t leave the more important things undone.'” Matthew 23:23 TLB also see Luke 11:42 -Note that God put this teaching in two places.
The purpose of tithing: “The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives.”Deuteronomy 14:23b TLB
Does the Bible teach that you give your entire tithe to your church
or can you give some of it to other ministries or helping the poor?
I personally give a 10 percent tithe and then I give offerings to the Lord.
I enthusiastically support my local church but I do not always give my entire tithe to my local church. I believe that we are free to give our tithe entirely to our local church or partly while giving to other ministries and needy people as we see fit through guidance from the Holy Spirit.
Each one of us needs to seriously consider the biblical verses on tithing.
As you consider what you think about this issue, I encourage you to add the following verse to the verses you choose to read concerning this issue:
“Every third year you are to use your entire tithe for local welfare programs. Give it to the Levites who have no inheritance among you, or to foreigners, or to widows and orphans within your city, so that they can eat and be satisfied; and then Jehovah your God will bless you and your work.” Deuteronomy 14:28-29 TLB
Malachi 3:10 KJV says, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse.” Many people who do not know Hebrew think that the translation of “storehouse” is the local church. Here is the Greek definition from Strong’s Hebrew “Dictionary”:
This word that is translated “storehouse” in Malachi is translated in the Old Testament as: treasure(s) 61 times, treasury 10 times, storehouse(s) 3 times, cellars 2 times, armoury 1 time, garners 1 time, store 1; 79
Here are the possible definitions from Strong’s:
1) treasure, storehouse
1a) treasure (gold, silver, etc)
1b) store, supplies of food or drink
1c) treasure-house, treasury
1c2) storehouse, magazine
1c4) magazine of weapons (fig. of God’s armoury)
1c5) storehouses (of God for rain, snow, hail, wind, sea)
Biblical Finances concerning our Integrity
12. God wants us to be fair.
“The Lord demands fairness in every business deal. He established this principle.” Proverbs 16:11 TLB
“God is more pleased when we are just and fair than when we give him gifts.” Proverbs 21:3 TLB
“He who gains by oppressing the poor or by bribing the rich shall end in poverty.” Proverbs 22:16 TLB
“Don’t rob the poor and sick! For the Lord is their defender. If you injure them he will punish you.” Proverbs 22:22-23 TLB
“Lord, who may go and find refuge and shelter in your tabernacle up on your holy hill? Anyone who……… does not crush his debtors with high interest rates, and refuses to testify against the innocent despite the bribes offered him – such a man shall stand firm forever.” Psalm 15:1, 9 TLB
13. God wants us to pay our bills on time.
“Don’t withhold repayment of your debts. Don’t say ‘some other time,’ if you can pay now.” Proverbs 3:27 TLB
14. God wants us to be gracious, full of compassion, and righteous.
“Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
Who delights greatly in His commandments.
His descendants will be mighty on earth;
The generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches will be in his house,
And his righteousness endures forever.
Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness;
He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.
A good man deals graciously and lends;” Psalm 112:1-5 NKJV
Biblical Finances concerning Lending
15. God wants us to have enough to lend to others
“A good man deals graciously and lends;” Psalm 112:5 NKJV
16. God wants us to be cheerful givers.
“God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7b NKJV
Biblical Finances concerning co-signing Notes
17. The Bible says: Don’t co-sign a note.
“Unless you have the extra cash on hand, don’t countersign a note. Why risk everything you own? They’ll even take your bed!” Proverbs 22:26-27 TLB
“It is poor judgment to countersign another’s note, to become responsible for his debts.” Proverbs 17:18 TLB
“Son, if you endorse a note for someone you hardly know, guaranteeing his debt, you are in serious trouble. You may have trapped yourself by your agreement. Quick! Get out of it if you possibly can! Swallow your pride; don’t let embarrassment stand in the way. Go and beg to have your name erased. Don’t put it off. Do it now. Don’t rest until you do.” Proverbs 6:1-4 TLB
Biblical Finances concerning Gambling
18. God does not want us to gamble.
“Wealth from gambling quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows.” Proverbs 13:11 TLB
“The man who wants to do right will get a rich reward. But the man who wants to get rich quick will quickly fail.” Proverbs 28:20 TLB
“Trying to get rich quick is evil and leads to poverty.” Proverbs 28:22 TLB
“Steady plodding brings prosperity; hasty speculation brings poverty.” Proverbs 21:5 TLB
Biblical Finances concerning Monitoring your Finances
19. Be observant and watchful of your Finances
“Riches can disappear fast. And the king’s crown doesn’t stay in his family forever – so watch your business interests closely. Know the state of your flocks and your herds.” Proverbs 27:23-24 TLB
Biblical Finances concerning Money Attitudes
20. Don’t love money.
“He who loves money shall never have enough. The foolishness of thinking that wealth brings happiness!” Ecclesiastes 5:10 TLB
“For the love of money is the root of all evil.” 1 Timothy 6:10 KJV
Also see: Matthew 6:24
These are some of the many concepts that God wants us to understand. God wants our finances to be based on his biblical finances.
“He is the God who keeps every promise.” Psalm 146:6b TLB
The promises of God are yes and amen.
Nevertheless, the Bible also tells us that there are secrets to his promises.
For example, “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.” Isaiah 1:19 KJV
“Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed (children) shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.” Psalm 112:1-3 KJV
“Wait on the Lord, And keep His Way, And He shall exalt you to inherit the land.” NKJV
We need to find his promises, speak them out loud, and make sure we are being obedient to God. Then we need to put on the full armor of God and come against the enemy’s strategies to steal and destroy our finances.
WALK THE PATH LAID OUT FOR YOU
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me”(Mark 8:34 NIV1).
“You are not being smart; this makes no sense!” “We’ll love you even if you’re not successful.” “How can you leave a profitable career for the ministry? You won’t make as much money. You might have to give up your house. Really, this is all just stupid.” We heard all of these comments and more as my husband prepared to leave a successful business in surrender to God’s call to ministry. We knew that no matter what men said, we would submit to God’s purpose for our lives. Because of Christ’s example, we had faith that full surrender to God’s purpose, taking up your cross, ultimately brings victory in His kingdom.
Do you ever wonder what people thought as Jesus surrendered to God’s purpose for His life? What did they whisper under their breath as He stood in humility while He was mocked, scorned, beaten, and forced to take up His own cross? Can’t you imagine that in the disciples’ fear they wanted Him to demonstrate His power? Or, at least, to justify Himself and to rationalize His decision to submit to emotional and physical torture and death? But, Christ knew that taking up His cross would ultimately bring victory over sin and death. He knew that He must take up His cross and submit to death so that there would be a resurrection.
Taking up your cross means much more than picking up your burdens. It means much more than enduring trials and tribulations. It means much more than living with hardships. It means that you are willing to give up everything, even your own life, for Christ’s sake. It means that you are willing to submit to rejection, ridicule, humiliation, scorn, or even martyrdom, in submission to His calling on your life.
What has He called you to do? You may not have been called to leave your family and go to a faraway missions field. You may not have been called to give up a secular vocation to follow Him in ministry. You may not have been called to plant a new church. Never forget that every individual’s calling is equally important in Christ’s kingdom. Take up your cross as Christ did. Walk the path He has laid out for you with endurance and perseverance, knowing that as you surrender your life to Him, you receive the gift of being led by Him in triumphal procession (2 Cor. 2:14).
Dear Father, You are holy and just and perfect. Thank You for placing a call on my life. Thank You for giving me purpose. Help me to take up my cross. Give me strength to walk a path fully surrendered to You. Thank You for the promise that as we keep your commands and follow You in submission, Your joy is in us and our joy will be complete. AmenFOUNDER SERIES 7:6