Something is going on, and you want a breakthrough. You need God to come through for you in your finances, your mental wellbeing, your marriage, the stuff weighing you down. Why isn’t “it” happening? What does breakthrough look like anyway? How do you get there?

Looking for the instant fix has become part of our way of life. A pill to make you feel better. Fast food or a TV dinner when you’re hungry. Any imaginable information or entertainment available on demand.

And we want the same from God. So you go looking for the next conference, the next Christian book, the next spiritual discipline, the next person to pray for you that will fix everything and bring you a breakthrough.

Sometimes God works that way. Most of the time, however, He takes us through a process.

Here’s why. Here’s what that looks like. And here’s what to do in the meantime.

The Process in You

Perhaps you’ve heard the term “a twenty-year overnight success.” Or, “there are no drive-through breakthroughs.” The reason is not because God can’t; it’s usually because of the process in you and me that is needed.

God could have taken the children of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land in, at most, a few weeks. It took forty years because of what was needed to break their slave mentality and bring them to where they could even sort-of follow God’s directions in taking possession of the land.

David was anointed to be king at somewhere around age 17. During the approximately 13 years it took before he was eventually crowned king he became king; developing the heart and mind and skills to be the leader of the nation.

At age 12 Jesus knew He must be “about My Father’s business.” (Luke 2:49) It was 18 years later before His ministry began. During that time His human understanding of His mission and His human skills developed to where He could actually accomplish that mission.

You may feel as though “it’s” taking far too long to experience what you desire God to do for you. But an important question to consider is, What is God wanting to do in me during this process? Who is He creating me to become?

Facing the Opposition

This world is not yet the way God would have it. We are told to pray “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” because His will is not yet being experienced in completeness. (Matthew 6:10) We are living in a war zone.

There’s much in our world that only makes sense when you take into account Satan’s kingdom of darkness. Human trafficking, extreme poverty, COVID-19, even the war in your own heart – is that God’s will? No.

But it is the enemy’s will. And as long as we live in this world we will be contending with the conflict between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness.

That does not mean we are to be afraid. But we must operate with the understanding that we are still in the mopping-up operation of this great conflict. Our breakthrough is opposed. God’s will for you is opposed.

The good news is, spoiler alert: Jesus wins!

And His victory is available for you and me today. Engaging in healthy spiritual warfare does not magically “beam you up” to a life without troubles. But it is an indispensable factor in reaching the kind of Fully Alive life Jesus has available.

And you can learn to pray accordingly.

Meanwhile . . .

So what do you do in the meantime? What you do now can make a difference in what your breakthrough looks like. Here are a few things.

  1. Deal with your stuff.

You’ve been wounded. You are not yet all that God desires you to be. And restoration of the heart and spiritual maturity don’t happen in a moment.

Make sure you are cooperating with God in the process of transformation He uniquely has for you. When baggage from your past shows up, deal with it. Actively seek healing. That it itself can be a full-time job during certain seasons. And it’s an ongoing aspect of God’s work in your soul that you will need to tend to.

And regularly the Holy Spirit will put His finger on something in your life and say, “This right here, it needs to change. Let me change you here.” And when He does, say Yes! The longer you resist, the longer your misery. He knows what needs to happen for you to become the person He created you to be. And keep saying Yes to that process.

  1. Keep walking.

Keep growing your roots deep. Continue taking care of what is within your area of responsibility. If you can’t steward $100 wisely, why would God give you $10,000, or more? As Joyce Meyer has said, if you can’t handle a sink of dirty dishes, why would God give you a greater responsibility?

Whatever the last thing you heard or sensed from God, keep doing that until God makes something else clear. If you’re anxious, be diligent about taking care of the thoughts in your mind. If your marriage is troubled, make certain you are daily seeking to be the spouse God desires you to be. Being faithful in what you do know to do makes more possible.

Continuing to walk can seem discouraging if you’re alone. You need people around you to help support you in that process. Intentionally connecting in a community may be difficult, but it will make all the difference.

  1. Ask, “What’s going on?”

Is it your own “fault”? Is it something God is trying to mature in you? Or is it the enemy’s assault? What’s going on?

I’ve learned to ask Jesus that question. And when there’s a sense of His answer, it’s amazing the level of energy that comes.

So learn to ask Jesus, “What’s going on here?” Be open to His answer. This is a great question to also address with other trusted believers; their perspective can help.

And when you share your experience of breakthrough and someone says, “Wow! That happened in a moment!” you’ll respond, “If you only knew the journey it took to get here!”

May God guide you and bring you to the breakthrough you need most.

Your Turn: Have you imagined “breakthrough” would happen in an instant? What might God be doing in you along the way? Leave a comment below.

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  • Breakthrough rarely happens in a moment. And your breakthrough is opposed. But there are things you can do to overcome obstacles to breakthrough. Tweet that.

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