Last week I left you with (I hope) an appetite for more, and today we will begin to unwrap just that as we pick up the first practical tool for stewarding your breakthrough(s):
Contending for the breakthrough God wants for you.
This, of course, implies that there must be an alignment (and therefore possibly an adjustment) of our expectation, so that it matches God’s design. Sometimes Heaven’s blueprints need to be synced with our picture of His plans.
Step one is all about making sure you have the right blueprints for the space or season God has appointed for you, and not just the ones you drew or imagined for yourself. More often than not, when we receive a promise from God, we get busy dreaming and planning out what it will look like when it is fulfilled, and how we will arrange things in our lives around it. But I’m sure most people would agree that the promise almost always looks different than we thought it would, when the time finally comes for it to arrive. Not only does the promise look different than we expected it to, but the process usually does, as well.
As a mini-example, consider the story of Joseph in Genesis, who was given great and precious promises – even prophetic dreams – from God. He shared the good news with his family, hoping they would rejoice in his good favor. Instead, their jealousy began a trail of tears for Joseph, as he encountered one disaster and difficulty after another. He was promised elevation, authority, and favor, but he found himself sold into slavery, a servant to another man’s authority, and at times losing favor with those he was appointed to serve. I’m sure he was tempted to believe that he might have missed it somewhere…that maybe it was bad pizza rather than a true dream from the Lord.
The good news is that it wasn’t. The not so good news is that, while he heard and received correctly, he didn’t necessarily steward so well the promises he had been given. He expected everything God spoke to just happen, to just come to pass suddenly. We do that sometimes, don’t we?
But in order for what God had spoken to come to pass, Joseph needed a journey which would prepare him to hold such promised greatness. That journey proved to be nearly the death of him, but in the end, the promises were fulfilled, because God is faithful to finish all that He begins in us and for us.
Waiting for God to fulfill His promises (a.k.a. stewarding your breakthrough) can be discouraging, if not devastating, if we have dreamed, planned and prepared for one thing, only to behold another. It’s not that the “other” is a less favorable option – in fact, most of the time it is far better, because that’s how God rolls. Even when it doesn’t look or feel good, it still always is, because He is good. His goodness pours through every intention of His heart, even while we struggle to believe it.
But pouring all of our mental, emotional, spiritual, and sometimes physical energy into a hope that’s dressed in the latest, greatest designer-labeled packaging doesn’t always yield what we’ve believed it will. Often, we receive instead a burgeoning hope wrapped in swaddling clothes that reeks of donkey fodder and trampled hay. In all actuality, the promise wrapped in humble means – the blueprints drawn by the hand of God Himself – turn out to be more full of hope and blessing than we can possibly imagine. It’s just difficult to see when we’ve had our sights set on another set of prints.
I remember a season when God spoke over my life that He was going to exalt me. It made me nervous, but it was a clear word, and I knew I needed to line my expectations up with it somehow. I imagined that I would be suddenly thrust into purpose and position, but that wasn’t at all what happened.
Instead, I was catapulted into a season of deep humility, in order to prepare me for being raised up. At first I was confused, but as I sought the Lord and searched His Word, I was comforted by the promise that when we humble ourselves before the Lord, He will be faithful to exalt us at the proper time. He was indeed keeping His promise. It just didn’t come wrapped in the package I thought it would. It didn’t line up with my version of the blueprints.
It seems simple, but I’ve learned a great secret to this exchange: ask God what His plans look like. Ask to see His picture, rather than run with your own. He will be faithful to show you as much as you need to see. And the rest He will reserve for the proper time.
Giving God the right to unfold His plans in His timing, and giving Him the right to surprise me, has led me into a life of awe and wonder. When I stopped needing to know what it would look like in advance, freedom came riding in on the wings of joy, and life became open to the stream of blessing that comes from trusting God completely and leaning not on my own understanding. Now when a promised breakthrough takes a seeming left turn, I rejoice in the adventure ahead, because I know God is in charge, and all of His plans end up being amazingly, abundantly good!
Dear Woman of Breakthrough, today is a good day to trade in your plans for God’s. You may be surprised on many accounts, but you will not be dissatisfied! He is a Master Architect and a Wise Builder. He has dreamt only the best for you!
Join us next week as we unpack the second practical tool for stewarding breakthrough:
Discovering and Engaging with the Processes Attached to Your Breakthrough.
Until then, may you prayerfully seek the blueprints of Heaven for the promises you carry!
(Photo images courtesy of http://www.pixabay.com)