What’s the Formula for Breakthrough?
Reblogged from Authentic Joy
We love formulas. Give us five prayers that unleash the power of heaven or three steps to walking in victory and we are all over it like a hog in mud! We approach the bible with this same mindset. We read about Daniel and all of a sudden we have a new formula called the Daniel fast! We read about the worshippers who circled Jericho and we have another formula: leading spiritual warfare with praise! However, as I study the scriptures I’m becoming more and more convinced that the only formula is that there is no formula! I mean, if we made a list of all the different strategies the people of Israel employed to win their battles, it would be quite a long and diverse list. No two strategies seemed the same. It seems that God emphasized not a formula-based faith but a God-dependent faith. The formula is to hear from God all the time, every time.
This was brought home to me in a fresh way as I studied Matthew chapter 2 yesterday. It is a really interesting chapter in that it contains the fulfillment of three Messianic prophesies. It starts with the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, Israel. Then Joseph has a dream by which the Lord warns that Herod will seek to kill the child and directs Joseph to take his family to Egypt. Finally, after Herod dies, Joseph takes his family back to Israel (but to the town of Nazareth this time), again prompted by divine direction. The author of Matthew is careful to point out that there is a prophecy about the Messiah coming from each of these three cities; Bethlehem, Egypt and Nazareth.
So I tried to put myself in Joseph’s shoes but with a 21st century mindset… I know, quite a mind-twister lol. Ok so here I am, I got the Saviour of Israel in my care… (no pressure). I’m also a Jew so I know the scriptures pretty well (like by heart) and I know that there are three prophesies about where this child comes from. So what’s the formula for successfully raising God’s promised Messiah? Which city should the child be born in? Do I plan a visit to each city? When? In what order? To figure it out, I naturally pull out my Strong’s Concordance and study all the Hebrew words in the prophecies and Google all the articles and YouTube videos on Messianic prophecies. (By the way, this exercise kinda reminded me of the eschatological gurus who keep getting the end of the world wrong… hmm.. whatever happened to all the blood moon fanfare last year?… anyhoo, I digress…)
The thing is, that was not how Joseph approached life…not at all. He simply did what God told him when God told him. An angel of the Lord appeared in a dream and told him to go to Egypt, so he went. Another angel appeared in another dream and sent him back to Israel when Herod died and he went to Nazareth. Simple. No formula. Just a simple faith that totally trusted God to direct his path.
As I begin to think about my 2020 goals, I’m thinking in 2020 I want to get back to a simple yet powerful faith. I want to grow in obedience to the Holy Spirit, step by step, day by day… there are no formulas, only a life fully surrendered to Christ and completely led and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
A NOTE FROM BARB :
My pastor often says that, “God doesn’t recreate the experience of others for us. He has unique and different plans for or each of us” Therefore, there is “magic formula”, there is only complete dependance on Him.