Learn from the breakthrough pig
Everyone whom God calls experiences resistance from the enemy. We engage in spiritual warfare. Typically the pattern goes something like this: God calls us and as soon as the enemy understands that we intend to obey God, he comes against us. We enter into warfare because of our calling and the battle is real. But God will bring us to a place that He will give us a breakthrough if we persevere. While breakthrough will come from God, we should not be passive in the process. This is illustrated by David’s struggle with the Philistines.
When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up in search of David; and David heard of it and went out against them. So they came up to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there; and David said, “God has broken through my enemies by my hand, like the breakthrough of waters.” Therefore they named that place Baal-perazim (1Chronicles 14:8-11NASB).
So David named this site “Place of Breakthrough.” Notice that as soon as David was anointed, his enemies came against him. David’s reaction was not to retreat in fear but to go out against them. While there was a real battle with real struggle and loss, David defeated his enemies as God gave him the breakthrough. But notice that David said that God did this “by my hand.” David was not a passive spectator but an active participant. He needed to fight and persevere in order to arrive at the breakthrough.
Many times, people who believe in miracles can become passive, expecting everything to fall out of the sky. While God does do wonders, he often does so with our participation. We must be willing to endure warfare and often the warfare is most intense just before the breakthrough.
Before I became a pastor, I was a farmer and raised pigs and cattle. The pigs were often let out in a pasture controlled by an electric fence. The fence did not hurt the pigs, but they did experience discomfort when they touched the thin wire that formed the boundary around the field. When we put the pigs into a new pasture, they had to find the boundaries. This meant a few days of squealing, but soon the pigs settled down peacefully, content to remain within the boundaries.
A similar scenario happens between the enemy and many believers. When we as believers begin to move out in a new calling or gift, we immediately come against a barrier that we need to get past. Often the discomfort that the enemy brings against us causes us to back off. We are tempted to live within a comfort zone, concluding that we are just not called or gifted to move in that direction. This is how the enemy controls many believers, by sending pain as soon as they decide to move out into new things.
There was one pig on our farm that I nicknamed “The Breakthrough Pig.” This pig broke through the fence three to five times a day. We could not control her. She would approach the fence, put her head down and begin to squeal before she even touched the fence because she knew what was coming. Then she would charge the fence and the wire would slide over her back. In a split second, she would be free. Over and over she did this because she knew that the breakthrough was worth the little bit of pain she endured to get free.
We need to be a little bit like the Breakthrough Pig. Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before Him. Don’t settle for a comfortable life when you can experience a breakthrough with God’s help.
• When the enemy comes after you, do you respond like David did?
• Is there an area of your life where you are passively waiting for a breakthrough instead of partnering with God?
This blog entry is an excerpt from a book Barry helped write called “Straight Talk To Leaders”. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to order your copy for $10 including shipping (40% discount)
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