The movie “Breakthrough” was appropriately titled because John Smith and his friends fell through the ice, and John was subsequently submerged under water for 15 minutes and went without a pulse for an entire hour. However, even though the title, “Breakthrough” refers to the breaking of the ice and the drowning of John Smith, almost every character in this real-life story needed and underwent some kind of breakthrough. What could be our takeaway?
Hear the Apostle Paul’s words from II Corinthians 1 and then chapter 4:
2 Corinthians 1:8-10 8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us…
2 Corinthians 4:7-10 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
Believers, understand that your suffering, your hardship, your trials aren’t random. Did you catch the two verses that were bolded? Paul said, “But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God, who raises the dead.” He said, “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”
God has a purpose for allowing suffering and difficulty in our lives. It is to teach us to fully rely on God and to reveal the life of Christ in and through our lives.
How many of you want God to bless you? How many of you want a breakthrough? Here’s the thing: We all want to be blessed, but none of us wants to be broken. We all want our prayers answered, but none of us wants to have to realign our will to God’s will. We all want God to put His stamp of approval on our hopes and dreams, so none of us wants to surrender those hopes and dreams so that God can crush and remake them into the dreams that He has for us. My big takeaway from the movie, Breakthrough,” was that brokenness is what leads to true breakthrough.
Until we surrender everything to God, until we give Him access to us and give Him freedom to remove from us what doesn’t belong, what offends His holiness, what will get in the way of our destiny, we won’t truly have the breakthroughs in our lives that we want or need.
Brokenness means surrendering our will to God’s will. When we allow God to break us, we are allowing Him to strip us of our self-sufficiency so that we can take on the life of Christ. Listen, God only dwells in two places in power. He is seated in power in a high and holy place, and the Word of God teaches us that He is with and working with the person who is lowly and contrite in spirit.
Isaiah 57:15-16 For this is what the high and lofty One says– he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. If you want a breakthrough, if you are in a situation that you don’t see a way through, if you can’t take it anymore, whatever “it” is, and you need an answer to your prayer, you are going to need to humble yourself before the Lord. James 4:10, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”
God is with those who are contrite in heart. Contrition, you can look up the definition, has an aspect to it that means to grind something into a powder. Contrition has this facet of being pulverized, reduced to nothing. God is near to those who are willing to be pulverized. Understand that our pride could get in the way of a breakthrough in our life. It may need to be pulverized. Our self-sufficiency could be getting in the way of a breakthrough that we desperately need. It may need to be crushed. Why would our pride or our self-sufficiency need to be crushed? Well, why would God give a breakthrough to a proud person? So that they could be more proud of themselves? That wouldn’t make sense? Why would God give a breakthrough to a self-sufficient person? So that they could rely more and more on themselves? That doesn’t make sense. The goal is to get us to rely on Jesus.
No, it is in the crushing, the grinding of our egos, the reduction of our self-importance, the surrender of our gifts and talents, the relinquishing of our earthly dreams, that we receive all God has to give, and until we get this principle of brokenness ingrained in our hearts and minds, we won’t be able to receive the manifold blessings God has to give. In the crushing we are to learn to fully rely on God, and we are to allow Him to deposit the life of Christ into us that others may see it, long for it, and experience it for themselves. I guess what I am suggesting this morning is that God won’t give a breakthrough to unbroken people. If God is going to bless you, He is most assuredly going to break you first.
The life of Christ isn’t deposited into people who want to live their own lives. There is no room for your life and Christ life to dwell in you simultaneously. It has to be one or the other. If you want the breakthrough, if you want the blessing, you have to be willing to be broken. You have to be willing to allow God to expose your pride, to expose your independence, to expose your self-sufficiency and your sin.
Pride says, “I can do it myself.” Pride says, “I don’t need you, God.” If those were true statements, you wouldn’t ever need a breakthrough. You would have it all under control. You would never have a prayer request or a need. What I am suggesting to you is that your breakthrough is more about Christ breaking through in you than it is about any earthly outcome you could experience.
Do you want God to be at work in your life? Let Him have the steering wheel. Let Him take full control of your pain and suffering. Let Him be the one to provide the way out of your misery. I’ve found that sometimes God uses the trials of life to take us so low that He becomes our only option because He wants to be our only option every time.
God is calling us to brokenness in order to bless us with the breakthroughs that can come no other way. In the breaking there is a breakthrough in the making. Let God have His way in you.