The Test Of Breakthrough

Pressing Toward the Goal-Test of Breakthrough - Holly Cawfield

The Test Of Breakthrough
(from 2012)

Breakthrough 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 concerns.

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.

Throughout 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 few.

Finally, 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 confirmed.

And that 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 finally concluded?

The Lord 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.

Perhaps 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.” 

During the 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.

During 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 sufficient.” 

Yes, when 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,

Rise Up continues with this theme of breakthrough.