As I look back over my life and seek to understand how breakthroughs have occurred, certain principles stand out. I share them with you in the prayerful hope that you may be able to apply them to your own life as well. Whether you’re 8 or 80, you can continually experience spiritual breakthrough.
Many years ago, the Holy Spirit spoke to me in an audible voice. As I was waking up one morning, He clearly said, “Your only gift is breakthrough.”
At first this statement made me wonder whether the Lord was saying I wasn’t a good teacher or preacher. It made me feel bad about myself. But as I thought and prayed about it, I sensed that the Lord wasn’t discounting my preaching ability but instead was communicating to me that I had a rare and unique anointing to “break through.”
Being able to break through into a new place is essential in many areas of life. Many of us need breakthrough in our physical bodies, our finances, our careers, our relationships. But my focus is spiritual breakthrough.
By spiritual breakthrough, what I am referring to is this: Those of us who are born again have received God’s Spirit. It’s not a philosophy. It’s not simply a way of thinking. We have inherited the very substance of God. We are born of His Spirit. The Ruach HaKodesh, or Holy Spirit, lives inside the believer as a real entity. If we had supernatural vision, we’d be able to see Him just as we can see with our natural eyes. As the Spirit of God strengthens us in our inner man, we begin to expand in the Spirit and take territory in the Spirit, which ultimately leads us into freedom and breakthrough.
1) Believe breakthrough begins and ends with God.
It’s important to recognize that breakthrough begins and ends with God, just as our relationship begins with Him. It’s not based on something we’ve done but on something He did. Jesus said, “You did not choose me but I chose you” (John 15:16a, NASB). So when I look for breakthrough in my life, I cast myself on God and trust that He will bring it about.
Too often people are focused on what they personally can do to create breakthrough, to get to the next level, to achieve whatever it is they want to do. But relying on yourself will not take you where you want to go. You must completely cast yourself upon the grace of God.
Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but … all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27). I never could have gotten where I am by my own efforts. I got here because God supernaturally opened doors and created opportunities.
Don’t look to yourself; look to God to transport you into a new realm. “It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13, NASB 1995). We must surrender our entire existence into His hands and realize that everything good that happens to us is a gift from Him.
2) Have a vision for more.
I want to encourage you to believe God for a greater experience of His glory. God can supernaturally do more for you than you can ask or think, but you must believe His Word and have a vision for it. If you’re content where you are, you’re not going to experience much breakthrough. You must believe that there’s more you can experience than your present reality.
You must also be willing to let go of where you are. The Israelites crossed over the Jordan into the new land into which God was calling them. My point is that sometimes people want more, but they won’t move on from where they are. They won’t let go of the relationship that’s holding them back. They won’t let go of the addiction. They won’t let go of the ungodly habit. They won’t let go of the religious trappings.
You must be willing to let go of what God is requiring you to let go of so you can step into the new thing. You won’t get there by trying to hold on to it. Don’t let fear hold you back.
We must have a vision for more and believe that breakthrough by God’s Spirit is possible. Jesus said, “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). Imagine what it would feel like to be totally free—free of worry, fear and all bondage. Jesus said this is achievable. No matter where you are right now, believe that God can bring you into victory. “Is anything too difficult for the Lord?” (Gen. 18:14a).
3) Have childlike faith.
Even before I came to know Jesus, I had a simple, childlike faith in God. I believed God loved me.
How many of you remember when you were children? You believed in God. You didn’t know a lot of Scripture but you believed in His goodness, you believed in His love and you believed in His power. You had a simple, childlike faith. And then as you aged, you gained knowledge and lost that trust.
But God wants to bring us back to a place of simple, childlike trust. Remember that Jesus said, “Unless you … become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3b). If we want to enter the kingdom more fully, if we want breakthrough, we must become more childlike.
What does it mean to be childlike? It means knowing who we are in His love, being confident in His goodness and feeling safe in Him. The world is dangerous in the natural; it’s a scary place. Like Yeshua’s disciples, who were terrified of the perilous and potentially deadly storm on the sea of Galilee, so we too often are afraid of what we face in this world. But consider that Yeshua rebuked His disciples for their lack of faith (see Luke 8:25).
God wants us to have the heart of a child, to simply trust Him and believe we are loved by and safe in Him. This will create a channel, an open door for the Spirit to flow more fully through us, creating breakthrough in and through us.
4) Be willing to be different.
How can we experience breakthrough if we’re not willing to stand out and be different? If we try to be just like everybody else, we won’t get breakthrough. Yeshua said, “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?” (John 5:44).
In other words, if we are more concerned about fitting in or being liked and accepted than we are about getting free, we will never receive breakthrough. We must step out and follow Him, even if it means being misunderstood or rejected by family, friends and those around us. Forerunners, pioneers and those who reach breakthrough are not controlled by a desire for others’ approval.
5) Take action.
An element of breakthrough happens in conjunction with our action. I pointed out earlier that breakthrough begins and ends with God. As Zechariah the prophet wrote, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit” (Zech. 4:6b).
But that doesn’t mean God isn’t calling us to get engaged. Only the Holy Spirit and experience can teach us where waiting on God and taking action meet. For breakthrough to happen at some point, we need to take action.
My dad once said to me, “Keep shaking the bushes, and eventually, something will fall out.” There is a time to step out and act. Jesus said to the man with the withered hand, “‘Stretch out your hand!'” When the man did so, his hand was restored (Matt. 12:13). Note: This man wasn’t healed until he did something.
After King David defeated his enemies, he declared, “God has broken through my enemies by my hand, like the breakthrough of waters” (1 Chron. 14:11b, emphasis added). Notice that God broke through by David’s hand.
When the children of Israel needed a breakthrough to be saved from the Egyptians, the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land” (Exod. 14:15–16). Moses and Israel had to act to see God’s power released.
Don’t hesitate to take action when the Holy Spirit is leading you to act. Breakthrough happens when we are in alignment with Him.
6) Expect opposition.
When you begin to pursue more of God and all that He has for you, you will experience opposition. People will try to stop you. The devil will try to stop you. You will pay a price for being willing to be different and for allowing God to work in and through you to accomplish His purposes.
I’ve experienced this opposition in my own life from every side—the Messianic community, the traditional Jewish community and Christians who don’t understand the importance of the Jewish roots of our faith. The reality is that supernatural anointings attract supernatural opposition.
Consider the fate of John the Baptist and the 12 apostles, 10 of whom were martyred. Consider also that Yeshua said, “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20b). Expect resistance. Breakthrough requires that you press through resistance.
If you want breakthrough, if you want divine momentum, if you want to be used of the Lord to create a pathway for other people to follow, you must be willing to pay the price. The first one through the wall always gets bloody.
7) Cling to God.
Finally, breakthrough happens when we cling to God, which creates and releases spiritual power within us. We must become completely dependent on Him. We must come to the place where we realize that in and of ourselves, we are weak, vulnerable and unable to do life alone. The grace of God comes to the one who is depending on Him, generating breakthrough—spiritually, physically, emotionally and circumstantially.
Some years ago, I took a team from the Messianic congregation I was shepherding to minister at a church on a frigid Sunday night. I brought our dance troupe with me. At the end of our ministry, while I was still in the building packing up all my things, the husband of one of our dancers ran in from the parking lot in a panic. He said, “Come and help! My wife just fell down in the parking lot!”
My first thought was, Lord, why did this happen? This woman just got done dancing for You. Surely You could have kept her from falling! Your Word says You protect us, bless us and give us victory. This doesn’t line up with Your Word.
Two days later, the Holy Spirit clearly spoke to me as I was driving in my van. “The reason you see My people falling and failing is because they are not trusting Me,” He said.
When He said the word trust, I understood exactly what He meant. Within the concept of trust is the idea of clinging to God. In essence, God was saying, “People are falling; they’re not seeing success and getting breakthrough because they’re not clinging to Me. They’re not practicing a constant awareness of Me. They’re not fully sharing their lives with Me, talking with Me all the time. They are not inviting Me in continually.”
If we truly want breakthrough, we need to cling to God all day long, every day, moment by moment—looking to Him for guidance, wisdom and the leading of the Holy Spirit. As we do this, we will receive breakthrough. It’s a sure thing. “Those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17b).
As we cling to God, continually crying out to Him and depending on Him as we walk through life in weakened states, His Spirit flows into us like a canal or river, filling us and inevitably lifting us up in the power of the resurrection and creating spiritual breakthrough.
This is the only thing that lasts. Everything else eventually fades away. We can’t take our cars with us. We can’t take our houses with us. We can’t even take our loved ones in the flesh with us. What we do take with us is who we have become in the Spirit through the grace of Yeshua HaMashiach in our lives.
READ MORE: For stories of real spiritual breakthrough, check out breakthrough.charismamag.com.
Rabbi Kirt A. Schneider is the host of the popular TV and radio broadcast Discovering the Jewish Jesus. For more than 30 years, Rabbi Schneider has been teaching people how Jesus fulfilled Messianic prophecy and completes the unfolding plan of the Messiah. Schneider is the author of several books, including Called to Breakthrough, Rivers of Revelation, The Lion of Judah, The Book of Revelation Decoded and Awakening to Messiah.
Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.