Break In, Break Out, and Breakthrough

So, David came to Baal-perazim, and he defeated them there, and said, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water.” So he named that place Baal-perazim (master of breakthroughs)”

– (2 Samuel 5:20)


A dictionary meaning of breakthrough is to overcome something and have an achievement. All the incredible things in different spheres of human endeavors are because of numerous breakthroughs. In the scripture above, David had just been made king over all of Israel. The Philistines, the arch enemy of the Israelites, mobilized all their forces to make war against him. They reasoned it was a vulnerable moment for David and wanted to take advantage of him. By divine direction David prevailed over the Philistines and achieved victory over them. Below are some things to consider.

Break in: A wise man said for us to break out we must first and foremost break in. The challenges, obstacles and difficulties that we face in life are not just external, but they are also internal. Saul and the armies of Israel were held bound for 40 days by Goliath and would not attempt to fight because they were defeated within them. They were so overtaken with fear within that they did not even make any attempt towards Goliath. When David got on the scene, and on hearing the threats of Goliath tried to fight him. David was able to fight Goliath because he had a different mindset from the others. The self-image David had within him was that of a Giant Killer. The struggles we face most times are as a result of our beliefs and the image we carry within. We must first breakthrough within in order to breakthrough without.

Break out: A rut is a long deep track made by the repeated passage of the wheels of vehicles. On muddy and bad roads like we usually have in some developing nations, the first vehicle that passes on the muddy road creates a track (or rut) and subsequent vehicles will follow the track. And because of repeated passage on the same spot, the road gets deeper and deeper and at some point in time vehicles will get stuck in the rut. A person stuck in a rut is locked in a behavior (usually bad) that is not allowing them to overcome and have breakthroughs. To have breakthroughs we must break out of unproductive and destructive ruts, and take on good, productive and habitual behaviors that will make us overcome and achieve.

Breakthrough: The victory and breakthrough of David in Baal-perazim was possible because of divine direction. It was also possible because of the mighty men of David. Some four hundred men who were in distress, debt and discontented had gathered around David in the wilderness when he was running from King Saul. He became captain over them. It was these undesirable men that David groomed and developed to become mighty warriors. Thirty-seven out of the four hundred had incredible dossier and they were called the mighty men of David (2 Samuel 23:8-39). David was able to transform low lives to mighty men by providing leadership and modeling what a good leader should look like. He transformed their thinking by helping them to breakthrough the limitations within them. He transformed them by helping them to break in and break out. These men in turn never allowed David to lose any battle. He was able to let loose the giants within them.

CONCLUSION: To have breakthrough, our minds must be regularly renewed, and we must cultivate behaviors that make possible the outcomes we desire. God will only help us to the degree that we cooperate with Him in thoughts, words and deeds. Have a month full of breakthroughs in Jesus’ name.

Power Of Testimonies

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”

– (Revelation 12:13, NKJV)

A testimony in Christian parlance is simply an evidence or proof given by a person who experienced firsthand the power and miracle of God. Below are some points to note about the power of testimonies viz:

Testimonies tell of God’s acts: “O God, You have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things You do” (Psalm 71:17). Testimonies are praise reports of what God has done. Testimonies are tools of witnessing the good news and reports of the Almighty God. Joshua was instructed by God to bring out of the Jordan River 12 stones and set them up as a memorial in Gilgal to testify to succeeding generations how God gave them passage by parting the Jordan River (Reference: Joshua 4). God wants us to testify of His good deeds.

Testimonies encourage others: “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us” (2 Corinthians 1:4, NLT). The aforementioned scripture says one of the crucial reasons God delivers us from trouble is for us to relay to others going through similar challenge how God delivered and comforted us. Many have triumphed over challenging situations because of the encouragement they received from others who have gone through same.

Testimonies beget testimonies: A brother in our church lost his job unexpectedly. He pleaded his case with the organization and surprisingly he was recalled back within a week. He shared his testimony in church. Not too long after, another brother lost his job and based on the strength of the previous brother’s testimony he believed God and got the exact job back. Testimonies ignite faith in the hearts of the hearers, and what God has done before He is willing to do again.

Testimonies eliminate grumbling and complaining: Many people do not see grumbling and complaining as sins. A close look at the scriptures show that they are sins that God detests so much. We are admonished not to complain and grumble like the Israelites in the wilderness (1 Corinthians 10:10). Many of them were destroyed in the wilderness because they kept complaining against Moses and God. A habit of regular testifying of the acts of God will reduce and eliminate complaining in our lives.

Testimonies silence the devil: Our main text tells of how Angel Michael and other angels overcame the devil when war broke out in heaven (Revelation 12:7-12). They overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the words they spoke. The same way they overcame, we will also overcome. Satan is the accuser of the brethren, and one sure way to counter his accusations is by the words of our mouth and our testimonies. By going forth and telling of God’s goodness to us, we silence the voice of accusation raised against us (Isaiah 54:17). Testimonies are confession of faith that silences the devil.

CONCLUSION: Testifying about God’s acts also includes regularly speaking of His wonders as elucidated in the scriptures. As we tell of how He parted the Red Sea, brought down the walls of Jericho, stayed the sun for 24 hours nonstop, etc, our faith in Him will grow and personal testimonies of His gracious acts will be enormous in our lives. Have a testimony filled month in Jesus name.

Beauty For Ashes

“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, TO GIVE UNTO THEM BEAUTY FOR ASHES, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”

– (Isaiah 61:3, KJV).

Prophet Isaiah in the above verse was stating part of the roles and functions of the anointing. Ashes in the Bible is a symbol of deep grief, mourning and penitence. Job was said to sit in ashes after he got news of losing his children, possessions and struck with painful boils (Job 2:8). Tamar, the daughter of David was said to put on ashes after she was raped by her half brother Amnon (2 Samuel 13:19). Many are in deep mourning at this time due to the loss of loved ones to COVID-19. Some people have suffered losses of jobs, health, opportunities, etc. Many are hopeless because of what life has thrown at them. Below are some truths to consider:

Isaac received beauty for ashes: “And Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent and she became his wife. He loved her deeply, and she was a special comfort to him after the death of his mother” (Genesis 24:67). Because Isaac was born to Sarah when she was 90 years and being her only child, he was very pampered. Isaac and Sarah shared a serious bond. The death of Sarah had a devastating blow on Isaac. The scripture quoted says Rebekah, the new found wife of Isaac became a special comfort to him. She filled the gap Sarah left in Isaac’s life. Our God is a Restorer who heals wounds and binds up the broken-hearted. He gives beauty for ashes once we do not give up hope and trusts implicitly in Him.

Jacob received beauty for ashes: “But when they told him all the words of Joseph which he had said to them, and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived (and warmth and life returned)” (Genesis 45:27). Jacob had thought his son Joseph was dead after his brothers sold him to slavery, and in turn lied to him that Joseph had been killed by a wild beast.  Jacob was devastated because Joseph was his favorite son. He never really recovered from the news of Joseph’s death. By divine orchestration, after 22 years Joseph was found and reconciled to his brothers. When the news got to Jacob that Joseph his son was alive and was Governor in Egypt, the Bible says his spirit revived, and warmth and life returned to him. God compensates those who mourn in Zion and gives them beauty for ashes (Psalm 30:11).

The nation Israel received beauty for ashes: Prior to 1948 there was no nation called Israel. The Jews were scattered all over the world while the Arabs occupied the Promised Land. They suffered under Adolf Hitler who wanted to exterminate all of them in the Holocaust and in the process killed six million Jews. They were scattered all over the world and were dominant in Europe, and having no homeland of theirs they were persecuted, harassed and oppressed wherever they found themselves. They were hated because of their religious inclination and economic prowess. Satan drummed up hatred for them because of God’s special interest in them. With the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Jewish independence lost 2000 years prior was renewed. The Prophet Ezekiel affirmed that the dry bones God asked him to prophesy over was the nation of Israel. From hopelessness and despair their homeland was restored. They got beauty for many years of ashes.

CONCLUSION: Have you suffered loss of any kind in this pandemic? The God of Heaven appoints to those who mourn in His Kingdom beauty for ashes. The one thing that guarantees restoration, renewal and recovery from God is being in His kingdom. It is those who mourn in Zion (His kingdom) that has the guarantee of their ashes being replaced by beauty. Are you a member of His kingdom? If no, accept Jesus Christ today.

Ade(Gboyega) ESAN

2021: Year Of Rising

“And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, AND HOW I BORE YOU ON EAGLES’ WINGS AND BROUGHT YOU TO MYSELF.”

– (Exodus 19:3-4, NKJV)

The highlighted scripture above tells us how God caused the Israelites to rise above the challenge of the Red Sea. In this year, like all others, there will be challenges. Some people will be overwhelmed and overcome by these challenges, while others will ride and glide over the challenges 2021 will present to them. It is my prayer you will be among the latter group. Below are some things we need to do in order to rise over 2021 challenges, viz:

Repent: Repentance is simply turning to God and doing works befitting of repentance (Acts 26:20). Repentance has to do with the exercise of the mind. In Yoruba language (spoken in Western Nigeria, Togo, Benin, some parts of Brazil and Cuba), the word repentance means deep introspective thinking that leads to a change in behavior. Many of the challenges faced by mankind are caused by sin, poor choices and being far from God. Repentance upgrades our lives and is antidote to the sin challenge which bedevils mankind.

Inspire yourself: Mary, the mother of Jesus ran to the house of her relative Elizabeth after the Angel Gabriel announced she was going to conceive supernaturally. The moment Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby in her womb leaped and she was filled with the Holy Spirit and she began to prophesy to Mary (Luke 1:39 -45). What an account! Inspiration causes a stirring in our hearts that leads to the delivery of purpose and destiny. To rise in 2021, be regularly inspired by the teaching, preaching and personal study of the Word of God.

Sanctify yourself unto God: As believers in Christ, God has set us apart to Himself for a holy purpose (Ephesians 1:4-5). The second leg of sanctification is that we must yield to God and further separate ourselves from the world. The more sanctified we are, the more we will see divine manifestations. The clear instruction Joshua gave the Israelites before they overcame the Jordan River challenge was that they sanctify themselves (Joshua 3:5).

Innovate: The pandemic and the new world order has thrown up new challenges that require new approaches. Innovation is creativity that has to do with new ways of doing things. A new wineskin (animal skin used to hold wine) with elasticity is required to accommodate a new fermenting (and expanding) wine. An old rigid, hard and inflexible wineskin cannot accommodate a new wine (Matthew 9:17). Just as the world is becoming overly complex and complicated so also are the challenges of the present time. There is need to regularly pray to God for new insights, new anointing and approaches to tackle the challenges of the 21st century.

Negotiate with the Word of God: A dictionary meaning of negotiate is to obtain or bring about by discussion or by conference. Negotiation include two-way communication, persuasion, strategizing and cooperating. All the aforementioned are ingredients of a good and effective prayer that obtain results from God. In negotiation two parties arrive at an agreement or consensus based on terms of the contract that is favorable to each party. If the terms are not favorable to either party, there will not be a contract. The Word of God reveals the mind of God and shows us what is acceptance to the Divine. To rise in 2021, we must align with God’s will as shown in His Word. (Scripture reference: Isaiah 41:21, Amos 3:3).

Grow exponentially: Exponential means rapid increase. Because the challenges we see today are daunting and unprecedented ordinary growth may not suffice anymore. We must be deliberate to grow mentally, spiritually, socially, financially, etc. To grow exponentially, we must increase our capacity and devour more. And growth in all forms is usually a function of exposure. Exposure to the right information, association and location. Isaac was able to overcome the challenge of the Philistines contesting with his inherited wells because of the grace of God and an enlarged capacity and he outgrew his challenges as a result. (Scripture reference: Genesis 26: 15-30).CONCLUSION: Receive grace to rise in 2021. Have a blessed new year in Jesus’ name.

Faith Appropriates

“And He said to her, daughter your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your affliction” (Mark 5:34, NKJV).

One of the dictionary meanings of the word appropriate is to take for one’s own use, typically without the owner’s permission. And some of the synonyms of appropriate is to seize, commandeer, arrogate, take over, lay claim to and acquire. The story surrounding the scripture above is that of a woman who had been hemorrhaging for 12 years and could not get a cure. When she heard that Jesus was passing, she said to herself that if I touch His garment, I will be well. Though there was a crowd thronging Jesus, she managed to reach Him and touched Him. Immediately she was healed and simultaneously Jesus felt some anointing leaving Him. She is a typical case of faith appropriation. She took her healing by simply believing. She did not ask for special prayers nor Jesus’ permission before she received her miracle. Below are some points to consider:

Faith appropriates what Grace has made available: GRACE is acronym for God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. The glorious riches available for the Christian was made available by Christ through His finished work on the Cross of Calvary. Jesus paid fully for the redemption of mankind. He paid the debt of sin and the ultimate penalty of sin which is death. This is the basis of the New Testament and the framework by which we receive God’s best. Real faith acknowledges what Jesus has done and rests entirely in it.

Faith appropriates by forgetting the past: The Israelites that God delivered from Egypt never had a closure on Egypt. Though they left physically, but mentally and emotionally, they were still in Egypt. They kept on remembering the cucumbers and garlics and the relative serenity Egypt offered them. They preferred to remain permanently in Egypt as slaves to the temporary discomfort of the wilderness on their way to the Promised land. They complained and murmured incessantly to Moses and God about taking them out of Egypt. Because of their attitude and not letting go of Egypt they perished in the wilderness. Dwelling in the past will not allow us to have faith in the present and hope for the future. The past, if not carefully dealt with, will rob us of the future.

Faith appropriates by unbroken focus: “Now when the time was almost come for Jesus to be received up (to heaven), He steadfastly and determinedly set His face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51).  Jesus on His way to Jerusalem to be crucified needed to pass through Samaria but the Samaritans refused Him passage. Because He was resolute and focused on Jerusalem, He found another way. The woman in our introductory verse was resolute about getting well. A magnifying glass focused on a combustible object under the rays of the sun will invariably spark a fire and cause the object to be burnt. Faith and focus are Siamese twins. For faith to appropriate the grace of God, focus must be in place.

Faith appropriates by obedience: Christians are intended by God to be highfliers. A pilot flies an aircraft in very high altitudes simply by obeying a code of instructions. Failure to comply totally to instruction means disaster and destruction. Appropriating God’s best is always at the other side of obedience. Jesus told the paralytic man “take up your bed and walk” (Mark 2:11). He told the man who was sick for 38 years after healing him, to go and sin no more (John 5: 14). Faith and obedience (corresponding action) work together. Faith is not stand-alone.  Both general and specific instructions from God are critical for faith to harvest and sustain Heaven’s blessings.

Faith Appropriates by Thanksgiving: The first thing Jesus did when He was about to raise Lazarus was to give thanks (John 11: 41). He taught His disciples in the Lord’s prayer to first praise and worship God. He was modelling Heaven’s protocol for us. For a transaction to be complete there must be offer and acceptance. God has offered us His best through Jesus Christ; the way to receive His innumerable blessings is through incessant and effusive thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the receiving hand of faith.

CONCLUSION: May your faith and confidence in God soar in these uncertain times in Jesus’ name. Have a blessed month.

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