BREAKTHROUGH - DAY 12
Jan 21 3:18 AM

BREAKTHROUGH - DAY 12

Jan 21 3:18 AM
Jan 21 3:18 AM

So far, God has taken us on a journey through which He has given us a beautiful glimpse of His heart toward us. We have seen His love through the Gospel story, the bestowing of His Holy Spirit upon us as His chosen people, the way He chooses to use us to accomplish things in His name, and the fantastic grace He shows us by being the one that empowers us to abide. Sometimes it can be easy to read these things and have the head knowledge of its truth, but the thought of truly letting go and allowing God to shape us in the way He sees fit can feel daunting. I’m sure the same angst was felt by the Israelites as God called them to trust Him with their refinement through Jeremiah. God did this through imagery of Him being the potter and they the clay.

 

Read Jeremiah 18:1-6.

Just as He called them to trust, we must do the same. Take a moment and examine your posture. Ask the Lord to help you shed your defenses and lay yourself in humility for Him to create what He pleases in you.

Now reflect over the process of crafting pottery. No step can be skipped. It must be created with patience as it is slowly formed moment by moment to the potter’s desire. The clay is under the authority of the potter as he skillfully creates it into a masterpiece. The potter, intimately aware of its needs in order that it can be formed in the way He wishes.

 

Read Matthew 6:25-34.

This trust we are called to is a step by step, moment by moment kind of trust: tomorrow can worry about itself. The Lord is calling you in this moment to be present and place your faith in Him now. Not looking behind and not looking ahead. Right now. That’s it. Yet in the same breath, just as we have found before, it is the Lord that will sustain us to do this.

Andrew Murray in Abiding in Christ says, “Abiding in Jesus is not a work that needs our minds to be engaged each moment, or our attention to be directly and actively occupied with it. It is an entrusting of ourselves to the keeping of Eternal Love, in the faith that it will abide near us and with its holy presence watch over us and ward off evil, even when we have to be intently occupied with other things. In this way the heart has rest, peace, and joy in the consciousness of being kept when it cannot keep itself.” (p.82)

 

Isaiah 27:3 (KNJV) paints the imagery of God’s protection beautifully as it says,

"
I, the LORD, keep it, I water it every moment; Lest any hurt it, I keep it night and day.
   -  Isaiah 27:3 (KNJV)

PRAYER

Finish your time by thanking God for His provision and ask Him to increase your faith to trust Him moment to moment.

 

BREAKTHROUGH - DAY 11
Jan 20 3:30 AM

BREAKTHROUGH - DAY 11

Jan 20 3:30 AM
Jan 20 3:30 AM

Take a moment and read the prayer below taken from Be Thou My Vision. As you do, ask the Holy Spirit to refine your heart that you would see these things come to fruition.

"
Grant, Almighty God, that as you shine on us by your Word, we may not be blind at midday, nor willfully seek darkness, and thus lull our minds asleep; but may we be roused daily by your words, and may we stir up ourselves more and more to fear your name and thus present ourselves and all our pursuits as a sacrifice to you, that you may peaceably rule, and perpetually dwell in us, until you gather us to your celestial habitation, where there is reserved for us eternal rest and glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
   -  John Calvin

PRAYER

Finish your time by sitting in awareness of God’s holy presence that is with you now. What is He speaking over you?

 

BREAKTHROUGH - DAY 10
Jan 19 3:27 AM

BREAKTHROUGH - DAY 10

Jan 19 3:27 AM
Jan 19 3:27 AM

Prayer moves the heart of God. He has said in His word that the prayer of a righteous person has great power (ESV, James 5:16). God has stated “…Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (ESV, Luke 11:9). He has declared that when we call upon Him, He will answer and will tell us great and hidden things that we have not known (Jeremiah 33:3). We are told that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed and we tell a mountain to move, the mountain will move (Matthew 17:20). The beautiful grace of God is shown in Romans 8:26 as it says,

"
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
   -  Romans 8:26

What a gift. God Himself, pleading on our behalf, inspiring our souls, giving us wisdom as we get a glimpse of His heart.

 

We’ve spent a lot of time during the span of this journey praying and seeking for the Lord to speak in such a way that we would hear Him. We’ve talked about the importance of our heart posture and coming to the Lord with true humility. We have done this because true transformation and sanctification cannot come from a prayerless life. God uses the very act of prayer to grow us—how can a relationship grow without the depth of communion?

Jesus’ disciples asked the Lord to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1), so we ask too. Spend a moment and ask that God would teach you the power of prayer, knowing it is a wonderful nuance of a back-and-forth conversation between us and God the Father (both receiving and petitioning).

Romans 8:26 (read above) holds the same rich confession we have made before: apart from God, we can do nothing, nor do we have any good thing (John 15:5 & Psalm 16:2). As we learn to pray, we must realize first that prayer is more listening than it is speaking. 1 John 5:14 says that we have confidence in approaching God because we know if we ask in accordance to His will, He hears us and He will give us what we ask for. We must be willing to wait on the voice of the Lord to speak, and the Holy Spirit to convict for us to discern His will so that we might pray for those things. It is truly astounding that God would use the power of prayer to accomplish His will. Again, we see so much dignity placed upon us in light of this truth.

Richard J. Foster in Celebration of Discipline: The Path of Spiritual Growth encourages the use of child-like-faith through allowing God to speak through our imagination because it opens the door to faith. We’re not conjuring up something using our imagination or manipulating the heart of God, but as we ask God to inspire. Foster says, “Our prayer is to be like a reflex action to God’s prior initiative upon the heart. The ideas, the pictures, the words are of no avail unless they proceed from the Holy Spirit who, as you know, is interceding for us ‘with sighs too deep for words.’”

Knowing that God does not speak in contradiction to His written word, finish your time by asking the Lord to inspire your prayers and bring things to mind for which to pray. For Him to create a child-like-faith in your prayer life. Be patient as the Lord enables you to grow in this practice.

May you allow the space needed to discern the voice of the Lord. May you not only hear Him speaking words and phrases to you, but more so, hear the very rounding of His mouth as the words form. That you would hear the intake of breath He prepares with which He speaks life over your soul, giving you breath to your very lungs. May you in turn use this breath to declare boldly wonderous things of Him.

 

BREAKTHROUGH - DAY 9
Jan 18 3:03 AM

BREAKTHROUGH - DAY 9

Jan 18 3:03 AM
Jan 18 3:03 AM

Spend your time reading over this prayer written by Saint Patrick, taken from a culmination of prayers in Be Thou My Vision. Allow it to be your prayer for today and perhaps one that you return to in the future. As you do so, pay attention to your heart posture and examine your sense of submission toward genuinely allowing God the space to do these things.

"
I bind myself today:
To the power of God to guide me.
To the might of God to uphold me.
To the wisdom of God to teach me.
The eye of God to watch over me.
The ear of God to hear me.
The word of God to speak to me.
The way of God to lie before me.
The host of God to defend me.
Amen.
   -  Saint Patrick

PRAYER

Finish your time by waiting on the voice of the Lord. You’ve asked Him to speak, now is the time to listen. Is there scripture He has brought to mind? Is He speaking words of dignity and value over you? Spend at least 3-5 minutes here.

 

BREAKTHROUGH - DAY 8
Jan 17 3:56 AM

BREAKTHROUGH - DAY 8

Jan 17 3:56 AM
Jan 17 3:56 AM

Read Romans 12:1-2

 

Last week we looked at the power of the Gospel and the way it informs all we do. This week is no different. This fantastic fellowship we have with God through Jesus leads to no other response than a beautiful life full of sanctification. In other words, the renewing of our mind, which comes from time with the One we love, inspires a holy change in the way we live.


As a follower of Christ, if we desire for true transformation to occur, full surrender must be our heart posture. We must pose ourselves before the God of all creation in humility, knowing that He is going to create a masterpiece through our submission.

 

The submission we mean is not one of bondage to follow religious regulations, but more so that of self-denial, not of self-shame or self-contempt. Jesus says in Mark 8:34, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” This self-denial is that of dignity and value. God, in this very moment, sees and knows the depths of your sin, yet still beckons you to come and follow Him. Yet, knowing our own inability to do this in our own strength, we look to Him.

"
The anointing which you have received from Him abides in you…and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
   -  1 John 2:27

Our gracious God has anointed us with the Holy Spirit, and through Him, He will teach us how to abide.

 

PRAYER

Take a moment and ask the Lord what area in your life you may be trying to white knuckle control. Ask Him to show you patterns you have created that may need to be surrendered and altered. As you do this, open your hands, and face them upward as a physical act to either show or encourage your heart posture to let go of control. Spend at least 3-5 minutes here.

 

Maybe you felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to be diligent and create space to meet with Him daily. Perhaps you found you need a miracle to break the weight of the bondage you wear. Or maybe you felt the pull to make yourself more available to deepen fellowship with those God has placed around you. Well, fellow believer, one of the blessed ways God uses the Church is by providing accountability. Don’t step away from this moment of conviction without bringing someone you can trust into it with you. So, whatever it is, let this be an encouragement to step in obedience, trusting that God will supply the strength to follow through. Allow Him to be the one to bear this burden but be diligent enough to lay it at His feet.

 

Finish your time by asking God to bring to mind the person(s) you should bring into this journey of refinement.

 

True, never-ending declarations of pure grace found in Jesus and the shouting of praise will never be enough to even touch what our God is worthy of. With that we come, we enter today, and offer our everything to the Lord. We confess, Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the power, Yours is the glory forever (Matthew 6:13). May God enable your eyes to see His glorious work of refinement on your life.

 

If you are craving more specific resources to deepen your walk with the Lord, take a look at theheights.org/breakthrough.

 

BREAKTHROUGH - DAY 7
Jan 16 3:18 AM

BREAKTHROUGH - DAY 7

Jan 16 3:18 AM
Jan 16 3:18 AM

If you’ve been following along as we have released each day, today is Sunday. As a day of rest and communing with the Lord, we ask that you spend your time reflecting over what God is shaping within you. Use the following questions as prompts as you discern:

 

God, what is it that You made stand out as I have participated in this devotional so far?

Father, is there anything I am holding back from You? Would you reveal it to me?

What would you have for me as I move forward in my walk with You in light of these things, Lord?

 

Finish your time reading through this prayer written by our own Matt McBrayer:

"
Gracious God,

We have seen this week that we are not perfect nor are we deserving of Your goodness and mercy. But thank You that because of the bloodshed of Jesus, we have been made right in Your eyes and rely not on our own works to get us to Heaven, but the completed work of Jesus Christ on the Cross and through His resurrection from the grave.


(Spend a few minutes quietly remembering your own conversion experience. How did you first encounter God? What did the Holy Spirit say to you in the first moments of your faith?)

 



Jesus, we thank You that we are not worthy, yet You have freely given Your righteousness to those willing to come to You. Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the gift of salvation which You have given each of us. We pray for those who have not heard or accepted the gift of salvation. For those who have not yet accepted, we pray for an urgency in their souls to arise. For those who have not heard, may You conform us into people who share the Gospel at all times with all people.

 

(Spend the next few moments thinking about the people you encounter every week. How would you interact with them differently if you knew that they had never heard the Gospel? How might you bring up the Gospel in a non-intrusive way?)

 



Holy Spirit, we ask You to guide and guard us as we go forth and proclaim the Gospel. May no person be able to say of us, “I didn’t know if he/she had faith.” Rather, may our faith be so evident and clear that we are clearly burdened for the nations to know who Jesus is and why He is God. Amen.
   -  Matt McBrayer

 

Beginning tomorrow, we will continue our 14-day journey and discover more on the topic of what is looks like to create space to discern the voice of the Lord. May God bestow wisdom upon us as we seek and ask for His guidance to live in fellowship with Him.

 

BREAKTHROUGH - DAY 6
Jan 15 3:08 AM

BREAKTHROUGH - DAY 6

Jan 15 3:08 AM
Jan 15 3:08 AM

Take the day to read over this declaration from Zacharius Ursinus, a theologian from the 16th century, gathered from Be Thou My Vision. Allow His heart for blessing the Lord be contagious and stir an affection so great that you beam from within with gratitude toward God.

"
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not the good he has done to me, who forgives all your sins and heals all your infirmities, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with grace and mercy.

The Lord is merciful, patient, and of great goodness. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor does he repay us according to our offense. For as high as the heaven is above the earth, he shows his grace toward those who fear him. As far as the rising of the sun is from its setting, so far he removes our transgression from us. As a father takes pity on his children, so the Lord takes pity on those who fear him. Who also did not spare his own Son, but has delivered him up for us all and has given us with him all things.

In this way, God shows his love toward us, that Christ died for us while we were still sinners. So we will all the more be saved by him from wrath, after we have been justified by his blood. For if we are reconciled to God by the death of his Son while we were still enemies, how much more will we be saved by his life, after we have been reconciled to him. Therefore, my mouth and heart shall proclaim the Lord’s praise, from now on and forevermore. Amen.
   -   Zacharius Ursinus

 

PRAYER

Finish your time by thanking the Lord for his continued goodness toward you.

 

BREAKTHROUGH - DAY 5
Jan 14 3:30 AM

BREAKTHROUGH - DAY 5

Jan 14 3:30 AM
Jan 14 3:30 AM

Read Romans 3:23-26.

 

The more we spend in the presence of God, the more we see and recognize the stains on our own clothing and the need for new dress. We begin to witness the holiness of God, His perfectly distinct nature that sets Him apart from all creation. We recognize His provision, His grace and mercy, His glory. The perfect standard of good that only ever leads to us becoming overwhelmingly aware of our lack.

 

Today we are going to take the time to confess and end with a time of assurance in the truth of the Gospel. This rhythm of confessing and reminding ourselves of the grace offered through Jesus is overwhelmingly important if we are to move forward and gain greater intimacy with God. He is calling and pursuing you with such passion and is asking you to bring your all. So, we come and bring it—hiding no detail in our confession.

 

CONFESSION

 

Chances are, even if you are reading this at the very start of your day, you have already sinned and have need to confess before the Lord. Either you’ve had a moment of ill thought against another, you’ve acted poorly to a spouse or family member, or perhaps you read the paragraphs above and had the thought you’re not doing that bad and you have no need to confess (which in and of itself calls for confession and prayer for God to shed light in your shadowed corners). Maybe it’s something that God has been convicting you to do for some time now and you have left it undone in disobedience; potentially to the point that you have become numb to the Holy Spirit’s conviction on the subject. Whatever it is, now is the time. The presence of God has not left you, though you may have become unaware. He already knows the depths of your sin. The longer you hold tight to this, the longer you allow the enemy to have a strong hold on you.

 

Spend the majority of your time today confessing fully to the Lord ways you have sinned against Him. A journal and pen might be helpful for you to fully process and create an uninterrupted train of thought as you allow the Holy Spirit to bring things to your mind. Allow this to be a safe space where you recognize the weight you have been carrying. Ask God to help you feel it lifted off your shoulders as you sense Him taking the weight upon Himself.

 

ASSURANCE

 

THANKS BE TO GOD. Did you catch a glimpse of His loving gaze? Did you feel the warmth of God wash over you as you poured out your heart before Him? For those in Christ, you are a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come, and there is nothing and no one that can take that victory from you. Listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit as He declares LIFE over your weary soul. Allow Him to be the one to give you the breath needed to move and act in such a way that brings God the utmost glory.

 

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (ESV, Matthew 11:28-29 [emphasis added]).

 

This is the Gospel. Jesus wearing the burden of our sin upon Himself and showing us abounding grace that we might experience TRUE rest which only comes from time in His presence. A wonderful promise to us. We need only come in faith and full surrender, and He will supply the strength to live a life that honors Him.

 

 Andrew Murray says it best in his book, Abiding in Christ:

"
How little such dear souls know about this life. They don’t realize that abiding in Christ is meant for the weak and is beautifully suited to their frailty. It is not the doing of some great thing and does not demand that we first lead a very holy and devoted life. No, it is simply weakness entrusting itself to a Mighty One to be kept, the unfaithful one casting itself on One who is altogether trustworthy and true…Our part is simply to yield, to trust, and to wait for what He has promised to perform.
   -   Andrew Murray

May we learn the blessed truth of our sinfulness and His surpassing grace. May we live in such a way as to remember that His mercies are new every morning. May God speak, and we be still enough to hear and humble enough to obey.

 

BREAKTHROUGH - DAY 4
Jan 13 3:20 AM

BREAKTHROUGH - DAY 4

Jan 13 3:20 AM
Jan 13 3:20 AM

Take the time to read through this prayer for illumination from Be Thou My Vision. Just like Day 2, today is a day for you to sit, reflect, and wait on the voice of the Lord. As you read through this prayer, ask God to refine your heart to yearn for these things. Ask the Lord to craft in you a true desire to discern His voice as you become more familiar with His written Word.

 

"
Divine Spirit, illumine to me the words of the Lord.

Show me the wealth of glory that lies beneath the old familiar stories.

Teach me the depths of meaning hidden in the songs of Zion,

Raise me to the heights of aspiration that is reached by the wings of the prophet.

Lift me to the summit of faith that is trod by the feet of the apostle.

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. Amen.
   -   George Matheson

 

PRAYER

Spend the rest of your time allowing God to bring truths of scripture to mind.

 

BREAKTHROUGH - DAY 3
Jan 12 3:29 AM

BREAKTHROUGH - DAY 3

Jan 12 3:29 AM
Jan 12 3:29 AM

Take a moment and read John 14:15-27.

After the Passover meal, Jesus spoke with His disciples of things to come, one of which being the coming of the Holy Spirit. Just as promised to His disciples, after His death, resurrection, and ascension, the Holy Spirit fell upon the people like a mighty rushing wind. Fantastic signs of God’s holy presence residing in and flowing through His people left the multitude amazed and astonished at the work of God. (Read Acts 1-2 for greater context.)

We can see the Holy Spirit moving and working in our midst as He brings truths of scripture to mind and draws us to greater intimacy with Himself. The Holy Spirit communicates and testifies to us of our true identity as a child of God (Romans 8:16) and beacons us to know Him more fully through a lifelong journey of sanctification. He is the one that empowers us to love and follow God that we might bear these wonderful spiritual fruits: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22).

So, where does that leave us? Through Day 1 and today’s reading, we know the fullness of the Gospel and a small portion of what God can do through His Holy Spirit. But do we actually have faith that He will do what He has promised: that He will never abandon you? Maybe you find yourself today yearning to the deep depths of your soul for a divine encounter with the Lord. For the Holy Spirit to fall afresh upon you and rejuvenate a life full of beauty and splendor as you soak up His enriching whisper that feeds your soul.

Be encouraged, fellow believer, because God Himself is speaking now. He is the one encouraging and enabling you to dive deeper into this lifelong journey with Him. The life of a believer can have its ups and downs due to our own faulty efforts, but rest assured in faith that it is GOD who establishes us.

"
He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God.
   -   2 Corinthians 1:21

First thing first, release your sense of striving and allow God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to be the one to firmly hold you to Himself.

Take a moment and ask the Lord if there is any area in your life you are trying to control in your own strength rather than allowing Him to sustain. Don’t brush past this, spend at least 3-5 minutes in silence to allow God to bring things to mind.

 

Finish by reading a quote from the 19th century author, Andrew Murray’s Abiding in Christ, and thank God for His constant pursuit and the strength to live for Him.

"
Dear believer, the blessing is indeed within your reach. He who establishes you with us in Christ is God. What I want you to take in is this: Believing this promise will not only give you comfort but will also be the means of obtaining your desire. You know how Scripture teaches us that in all God’s leadings with His people faith has everywhere been the one condition for seeing His power manifested. Faith is the ceasing from all our natural efforts and all other dependence; faith is confessed helplessness casting itself upon God’s promise and claiming its fulfillment; faith is putting ourselves quietly into God’s hands for Him to do His work. What you and I need now is to take time, until this truth stands out before us in all its spiritual brightness: It is God Almighty, God the Faithful and Gracious One, who has undertaken to establish me in Christ Jesus.
   -   Andrew Murray

 

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