Friday, May 17, 2024

Breakthrough 101: The Prerequisite

 By: Lauren Thomas 

When I got to college and looked at my degree program outline, there were certain classes I was excited to take! So, I was understandably disappointed when I learned that I couldn’t take just any class I wanted. Some classes had prerequisites. A prerequisite is a required class that is preparation for a more advanced class.


Sometimes, breakthrough has a prerequisite. 

Sometimes, God is looking for some action on our part before He entrusts us with the breakthrough we are seeking.


Sometimes, obedience must come before breakthrough.

In Joshua 3, the people of Israel needed a miracle to cross the Jordan and enter the Promised Land. Though 40 years prior, God had parted the Red Sea for the Israelites, this miracle had a prerequisite: obedience. God gave Joshua specific instructions for crossing the Jordan. These instructions involved the priests stepping into the flowing water while holding the Ark of the Covenant. When the feet of the priests touched the waters, God held back the waters in a heap so that the Israelites could cross over! God required this obedience before He provided the miracle. If Joshua had not followed God’s instructions, would God have held back the waters? (See Joshua 3.)


Another example of the obedience-breakthrough connection also involves the Jordan river. A man named Naaman, commander of an opposing army, had a serious skin disease. When he heard of the power of God, he traveled to Israel to ask for healing. The prophet of Elisha, commanded Naaman to wash seven times in the Jordan to be healed. Naaman didn’t want to obey these instructions. After all, the Jordan was muddy and disgusting. Why couldn’t the prophet have waved his hands over Naaman’s body? Or asked him to wash in the cleaner waters of his own country? When Naaman finally decided to obey what had been instructed, his obedience resulted in a miraculous healing. (See 2 Kings 5.) 

Of course, there are times when God provides the miracle, the breakthrough, without any initiating action on our end. Praise God! Then, there are times when we are living lives of surrender and full obedience, but still don't receive the breakthrough we are seeking. That is hard. And I cannot explain it away. But I also can't explain away the profound connection throughout the Bible between obedience and breakthrough. 


Jesus himself said that obedience would result in blessing:


He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Luke 11:28 NIV


Obedience isn’t a prerequisite to God’s love. It certainly isn’t a prerequisite to salvation. However, sometimes God asks us to obey before He allows us to see our breakthrough. 


If there’s an area of your life in which you are waiting for breakthrough, consider, where is God asking for obedience? Move toward obedience. And maybe you’ll see that breakthrough coming!



Can you think of any other Biblical account in which obedience was the prerequisite to breakthrough?

Sometimes God tests us to see if we will be obedient before he entrusts us with what we are asking for. He wants to know if we trust Him and if we can steward the breakthrough He wants to give us. Are you stewarding obedience in your life? 

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