Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3
finally came. For years I wondered how
it would come and, even more, I wondered how I would react when the day finally
arrived. It wasn’t a primary concern
through the crucible of course because each day had its own struggle to learn
the lessons of faith and perseverance.
How I’d react when breakthrough finally came was only a mild question
that floated through my mind occasionally and was really the least of my
Yet I did
wonder. Would I find myself wreathed in
smiles and rejoicing in the victory of the Lord?
Would I be humbly grateful? I
just didn’t know and could only leave all the outcomes to God and take the
crucible, as well as the breakthrough when it came, one day at a time.
the years of The Great Test in my life I read countless times that the victory
of the Lord would come. I read it in the passages of scripture about
Joseph or the Psalms or Paul and especially the Resurrection. I read it in the encouragement the Lord would
send through His contemporary obedient people like Olivia Reitz Long, Becky
Porter, Mrs. C. Cowman (Streams in the Desert) and others. Each day I would dig through the scriptures
and pray, listening for the voice of the Lord as to the strategy for that day
and He would lead me as He did His people in the wilderness. He would speak through His Word and His
Spirit and He would speak strategically through people like Marsha Burns or
Christine Beadsworth or Henry Falcone or Glenn Jackson, to name only a very
the day of breakthrough came just a few weeks ago and full confirmation of it
only days ago. My reaction has been unexpected.
At first, I
didn’t dare believe it. It just didn’t
seem as if the long-awaited breakthrough could be real and so I walked through the
initial days as if on eggshells. A
couple of weeks later there came a day when it seemed as if the breakthrough
was going to fall apart and I would be sent (metaphorically) back to my
prison. I paced and prayed and found
myself doing a whole new form of warfare that I’d never experienced
before. I was alone at home and began to
yell “NO”. At that moment I didn’t
realize it was a form of warfare. I only
knew that I was seeing the potential of victory being snatched away by a
decision made by someone else. I yelled
‘NO’ so loudly my throat was sore for two days.
And while I was doing that the Lord was speaking ‘NO’ to the person
making that decision.
I began to
dig in the garden. Quite literally,
digging a new foundation bed around the house and I repeatedly heard “take back
the land” in my spirit. So I kept digging in the garden and digging in
the Scriptures until the day came when the breakthrough was officially
was the day when my reaction and breakthrough test came unexpectedly. I wept.
I couldn’t understand why and what was happening to me. Shouldn’t I be rejoicing? Was it grief? Relief that the ordeal was
took me back to Joseph and a part of the story that I’d known but never really
understood. When he came face-to-face
with his brothers who had betrayed him so many years earlier and had created
for him all the years of slavery, prison and servitude, he wept. His weeping was heard throughout the palace. Was he grieving? Relieved that he was finally
re-united with his family? Both?
There is a
time for this grieving. For those of you
who are in the crucible your
breakthrough IS coming. You’ve been
through a time of testing that you haven’t even been able to properly describe
to anyone and only the Lord knows how difficult it has been. You may well find yourself surprised by the extent and depth of grief for the years of pain or betrayal or loss you’ve experienced and if so,
give in to the tears. Let them flow for
out of them will come the release of love and forgiveness. You know Joseph was able to forgive his
brothers and comfort them in their own remorse by telling them what they meant
for evil God used for good.
you’re at the point where you just don’t want to hear that breakthrough is
coming. Toward the end of the test I
could barely read anything of hope because hope deferred truly did make my
heart sick. I just couldn’t bear to read
of it and could only keep my head down and get through one day at a time. But the day DID come and the hope WAS
fulfilled. Yours will be too but keep in
mind that in victory there is another test.
There is pride or complacence or perhaps some other area of your life
where you are particularly vulnerable.
This is the time to watch and pray with all diligence. I particularly remember Joyce Meyer saying
something many years ago: “When you get
your breakthrough seek the Lord like a desperate person.”
As Job was
coming to the end of his awful crucible the Lord spoke to Him by asking
numerous questions. They all pointed to
the power and might of our God, the One who creates, delivers and saves. Then comes Chapter 42 and the Lord instructs
Job to pray for his friends who had made his test even more difficult. In this we see the echo of Joseph’s forgiveness
and it points to the words of Christ on the cross, “Father, forgive them for
they know not what they do.”
time of our Great Test the Lord has been purifying and refining our
hearts. I recall Christine Beadsworth
writing about our blind spot and we each have at least one. Only the Lord can reveal what it is but
perhaps one of the most common may be bitterness which can take root so easily
after a prolonged trial. Be on guard and
keep your heart wide open to the Lord.
Perhaps the most important thing we’ve discovered during the time of
trial is that we are not our own. It’s a
hard-won lesson. I’ve found myself
saying, “finally, I can get my life back.”
Even as I type this I see how inappropriate that is because I actually
don’t want my life back, at least not as it was. “Not my will but Thine be done” has to be the
bottom line lesson of this crucible.
these years of trial seeking the Lord daily was my primary focus and a
full-time job. It’s probably yours
too. I’m discovering that in a time of
breakthrough it’s even more necessary.
The flesh is always weak and will be until we shuffle off this mortal
coil. “Take heed when you think you
stand, lest you fall” is a constant reminder but so is “My grace is
your breakthrough comes, as it surely will, seek the Lord like a desperate
person. Just as He sees us through the
trial of difficulty, He will see us through the victory…..victoriously.
May the Lord bless you and keep you, Holly Rise Upcontinues with this theme of breakthrough.