Summary: Breakthroughs are not usually obvious and when breakthrough becomes obvious, it has usually been in process quite awhile.
Intro.: Breakthroughs are not always obvious. It’s often difficult to recognize their point of origin. They are like the “magic eye” pictures that we often see: On the surface it’s just a mass of colored dots. However, when we concentrate and focus on looking beyond the surface, the image hidden beneath materializes. Also, breakthroughs do not begin when they are discovered, they have a much earlier origin. Breakthroughs ALWAYS BEGIN at the point where we set ourselves to seek the Lord through extended, intensive prayer coupled with fasting and humility.
READ: Daniel 10:2-4 & 12.
I. Everything that God does is Birthed through Warfare & Confrontation
A. While Daniel was praying, warfare was being conducted over the nation
1. Even though Daniel was unaware of the battle or even his part in it
B. Wherever Jesus went, He provoked warfare
1. Demons would cry out, provoked by His presence
2. Healing and deliverance occurred as a result of their interaction
3. Many people tried to stone Him, drive Him away or even kill Him
NOTE: If we pray for His presence to come, provocation will come with Him and we will partake of all the warfare that He provokes.
II. Most believers identify “blessing” as “breakthrough”
A. No one ever breaks through in blessing - blessing is the end result of breakthrough
B. You breakthrough only in confrontation – Have you ever player “Red Rover?”
NOTE: Think of a battle line in a war. When does breakthrough really happen? When one side rushes through the bullets and the bayonets, engages the enemy and then defeats that particular company of soldiers. The high fives and backslaps of celebration are not the breakthrough, the confrontation, engagement, persistence and overcoming were the breakthrough.
C. For us, many times, worship is warfare
D. We face several layers of obstacles before we recognize breakthrough
1. The first is almost always “ourselves” our own personal issues & challenges to fight
2. The next is usually “others” that we may have unresolved issues with
3. Finally, we have to deal with the enemy that wants to keep us from worshipping
NOTE: Sometimes before we even get through all of these things, worship has concluded
III. God is a God of War
A. In times of warfare we will see a side of God that we do not see at any other time
1. It is important for us to become familiar with this aspect of God
2. Why? – so that we can learn not to fear, but to embrace & become like our Warrior God
B. God is not afraid, upset or provoked by the enemy
1. If fact, He laughs in the face of His enemy because God knows Himself & his enemy
NOTE: God wants to put not only His characteristics of holiness and lovingkindness into His church, but also the characteristics and qualities of His warring nature.
C. This can only happen on the REAL battlefield – which is where breakthrough begins
1. Not on a battlefield of personality conflicts or power struggles in the church
2. Many churches have designed their own battlefields and they attack each other
3. God doesn’t need to show up at these battles because the real enemy is not there
NOTE: When we learn to enter into the fray that God has entered, we will see the Mighty Warrior in action
Concl.: Remember, breakthroughs are not usually obvious and when the breakthrough becomes obvious, it has usually been in process quite awhile. Our discovery of a breakthrough is often revealed only when it’s time to celebrate.
So don’t mistake blessing as breakthrough. Also remember the battle line in natural warfare & how it is broken through.
The obstacles to breakthrough: Self, others (false battlefields) and the enemy
The REAL battlefield is one of intercession, fasting & humility. It is this arena of confrontation that will reveal our heart for breakthrough. It is here that God will reveal Himself in ways not before experienced. The nature and spiritual capacity of a church changes dramatically when the God of battle presents Himself in its midst.
Warfare may not be our choice, but we are in a battle whether we want to be or not. We need to stop fighting battles designed by our flesh or the enemy and align ourselves with God on His battlefield and prepare for divine breakthrough!