By Dave Baldwin, Pastor of Outreach
He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.
- John 3:30
The idea of personal breakthrough can be a tricky one. If you type in the words “personal breakthrough” into Google, the results that come back all have something to do with self-help seminars , books, yoga, and a host of other humanist solutions. It isn’t until page 5 of Google’s search results that a Christian link pops up, and you have to browse all the way though to page 7 before you get a link to a sermon that has anything to do with God or the Bible. Therein lies the problem. Most personal breakthrough solutions that people offer, have “you” as the focus.
In order to experience breakthrough in our personal lives we have to remember that it is God, not us that conquers sin. Trying to take on sin ourselves is a fool’s errand. No matter how strong your resolve, your willpower, your determination, it will fail you sooner or later. Our flesh is weak. Many Christians with good intentions try to encourage one another by saying things like, “You can do it, Philippians 4:13 says ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’” However when our focus in that sentence is the “I” can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, instead of I can do all things through “CHRIST” who strengthens me, we set ourselves up for failure.
John the Baptist says it right in John 3:22-30. When his followers came to him complaining about that Jesus guy who was stealing all the recognition, John the Baptist had to correct them by proclaiming, “He (Jesus) must become greater and greater and I must become less and less” (v 30). That is where breakthrough happens in our lives. It has nothing to do with the strength of our will. Victory through willpower only builds up our egos and makes it so that we don’t need to acknowledge God in our lives. Breakthrough has everything to do with Jesus becoming greater and greater in our lives and us becoming less and less.
As you pray this week for breakthrough in your life, whether it is victory over sin, or finances, or restoring broken relationships, or whatever is on your heart, pray that God would make himself greater in that area that you are struggling with, and give your desire to be in control of the victory over to Him.
Questions for Reflection:
1. What is the main area(s) you need to see personal breakthrough in your life this year?
2. Do you struggle with trying to rely on your own strength or willpower to get through life’s challenges? Pray that God would show you the areas that He needs to be greater in your life this year.