3. Overcome your fears!
Overcome the fear of people, the fear of failure, the fear of death, the fear of the future, the fear of the unknown, the fear of rejection, etc. Fear will keep you in bondage to the devil, to people, to circumstance, to the status-quo and even to yourself! Fear will hold you back from breaking through! Fear will keep you in mediocrity. Fear will stop you from trying anything new; from breaking new grounds and new territories. Fear will stop you from investing in anything or anyone. Isaiah 54:2-4, “Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left… Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame”. The question is, “How much more would you be willing to do if you were sure you would not fail?” Note that, the children of Israel didn’t enter the Promised Land because of fear! Fear is a product of unbelief and it always leads to disobedience, if not overcome. To break through, you must confront and overcome your fears. Esther said “If I perish, I perish” but she never perished. The three Hebrews refused to bow to the image of gold and were thrown into the firey furnace. But they didn’t burn. If you will not bow to your fears, you will not burn! David’s mighty men broke through the garrison of the Philistines to get water from the well of Bethlehem. (1 Chron. 12) Sometimes you’ll need to break through the enemy territory to get what you need or desire! Jesus said “Behold I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt you”. (Lk. 10:19)
4. Hard work and diligence
“Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings. He will not stand before unknown men” (Pr. 22:29). God rewards diligence. People reward diligence. Diligent people get promoted, e.g. Joseph, as a slave in Potiphar’s house and even as a prisoner! People don’t want to get rid of or loose diligent workers e.g. Jacob in Laban’s house. “The hand of the diligent will rule but the lazy man will be put to forced labour”. (Pr. 12:24) “The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing. But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.” (Pr. 13:4) Note that, diligence isn’t just hard work; it is hard work PLUS taking care being thorough and being consistent!
5. Cultivating Healthy Relationships
There are things you can never break through as a one-man riot squad. In God’s economy, there is nothing like a self-made man. In the maturing process, we move from dependence to independence and then to inter-dependence! We need others as much as they need us! A healthy relationship is not a dependent or independent one but an inter-dependent one. Daniel had his own company in his consecration and prayers (Dan 1:11-16; 2:13-18). When peter and John were released by their own company, and reported all that happened to them. The Bible says when they heard, they all raised their voice to God in one accord in prayers (Acts 4:23,24). Paul left Titus in Crete, so that he should set in order the things that are lacking and appoint elders in every city (Titus 1:5). Take note that Titus was to appoint ‘elders’ and not an ‘elder’. Team leadership is the key because where one is weak, the strength of others can make it up. In a one-man leadership scenario, the organization will rise or fall on the one man. Jesus had twelve disciples, He also had the seventy. He never sent them out in ones, but in twos! One shall put a thousand to flight and two shall put ten thousand to flight. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says “two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labour”.
6. Help the Dreams of Others
What you make happen for others, God (through others) will make happen for you. Jesus said “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise!” (Luke 6:31) You can’t afford to be selfish. Joseph served his brothers. Joseph served faithfully as a slave in Potiphar’s house and was promoted. He served faithfully in the prison and was put in charge. He served the Baker and the Butler by interpreting their dreams. He threw himself into service; and through serving others, he broke through his own barriers. The Butler remembered Joseph and Joseph was brought to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams. Don’t forget that Joseph helped the dreams of others even when his own dreams were yet unfulfilled! Joseph named his first son Manasseh, saying that God has helped him to forget the pain of his father’s house. He named his second son ‘Ephraim’ meaning ‘fruitfulness’. (Gen 41:51,52) You can’t be fruitful until you get over the pain, the hurts, the betrayals of the past! You can’t help the dreams of others until you forget about your own self, your cares, your worries, your dreams, etc. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time; casting all your care upon Him for He cares for you”. (1 Peter 5:6,7) Leave your promotion and exaltation in the hands of God. One reason why some don’t serve the dream of others is because they don’t cast their own cares on the Lord. Ruth cast all her own cares on the Lord and served Naomi faithfully; even when there was nothing visible in it for her! Boaz said to Ruth, “it has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law, since the death of your husband and how you left your father and mother, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge”. (Ruth 2:11,12) Jesus said, “And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (Luke 16:12).
7. Humble Yourself
“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble”. (James 4:6) We have been talking about breaking through barriers – but those would be barriers, which are put in your way by satan, people or circumstances, not the one put there by God Himself! The above scripture says, God Himself, is the one resisting or setting Himself against or opposing, the proud! You can’t fight against God and win. The only way to break through this kind of barrier is by humbling yourself. To humble yourself is to take your place under God and in His order or scheme of things. It is to let Him be God in your life. To be humble is not to think low of yourself, but to think nothing of yourself in the light of God. Jesus said “I can of my own self do nothing”. He also said “for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of Him who sent Me”. (John 6:38). God gives grace to the humble. Grace isn’t only God’s unmerited favour, it is also His ability given to us to break through any and every barrier! Jesus said to Paul “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness”. And Paul said he would rather boast in his weakness, that the power of Christ might rest upon him. (2Cor 12:9).
Learn to ask for God’s help in the areas you need changes, in the areas of your weakness, in the areas you need breakthroughs, etc. It, however, takes humility to ask for help. When some nations came against Jehoshaphat, the Bible says, he feared and set himself to seek the Lord. (2 Chron. 20:3). When Paul and Silas were in prison, the Bible says they prayed and sang praises. (Acts 16:23-26). When Peter was kept in prison by Herod, the church prayed to God constantly for Peter to be released (Acts 12:5). When the King Nebuchadnezzar wanted to destroy all the wise men including Daniel. Daniel and his three friends sought mercies from God. And God revealed Nebuchadnezzar’s dream to Daniel. (Dan. 2). If we would ask God, He would help us break through our barriers. The other dimension of prayer is the warfare dimension. In this dimension, we pull down strongholds, cast down imaginations and bring thoughts into captivity, etc. This is personal warfare. Don’t forget that those barriers have found their way into our minds as reasonings, arguments, mindsets, thought patterns, belief systems, etc. So we need to get rid of them in warfare. We need to pull them down and replace them with God’s Word. In addition to pulling down strongholds in our minds, we need to war against those spiritual forces that want to hinder us. Don’t forget that the devil is called our adversary. Jesus said, “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons …” (Mk 16:17). Note that not all problems can be solved physically or mentally. Spiritual problems must be solved spiritually! Jesus said some situations don’t move except by prayer and fasting! (Mark 9:29). Ephesians 6:10-12 says, “Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
God bless you!
Rev. Funke Ewuosho
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