2 Samuel 5: 20            NLV

So David went to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there. “The Lord did it!” David exclaimed. “He burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” So he named that place Baal-perazim (which means “the Lord who bursts through”).

There is a common expression among Christians. We talk about receiving a breakthrough. When you have persisted against a problem or like David, an enemy, and the victory finally comes, we often characterize that as the breakthrough. This expression comes from David’s exclamation on God’s goodness.  You can see the breakthrough language more clearly from the New American Standard Bible which reads, “So David came to Baal-perazim and defeated them there; and he said, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me like the breakthrough of waters.” Therefore he named that place Baal-perazim.” I chose the New Living Version for today because of it’s compelling visual imagery. God breaks through like a raging flood! He comes all of a sudden and with great might.

Do you need a breakthrough? What have you been standing for, believing for? Declare, like David, that this is your Baal-perazim, your place of the bursting forth of God’s power. God is our victory, not our own might and that was one of the secrets of David’s breakthrough as you can see in his language. He said, “The Lord did it!” What you don’t see is that before he even went out to battle, he prayed. He prayed until he heard God’s answer. Once he was assured of God’s word and presence, he went out against the enemy and Yahweh delivered the enemy into David’s hands.

The theme of the previous paragraph is more than a sermon, it is an entire book. We need to pray and meditate, spend time with the Lord and listen to His voice. We must wait and be steadfast in our time with the Lord until we are certain of the instructions he has for us. Then, we can go forth in strength and power. We should never labor in our strength, never. God said, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,” (Zechariah 4: 6). We are commissioned to move by God’s Spirit only. This is the partnership of which I frequently write. Before we engage in the war or even tomorrow’s to do list, we are commanded to first inquire of the Lord. That is what David did. He asked God what he should do, and he didn’t move until he had the Lord’s answer. Then with the Lord’s answer in our pocket, we move forward with the power of the Spirit. The Spirit then delivers the enemy into our hands or accomplishes the task or goal for us. Then we proclaim, “The Lord did it.”

There you go, the paradigm for success. Pray, wait if need be, hear God’s voice and then release His power into the situation. Then you, too, can declare God’s goodness and proclaim the day of the breakthrough for God will burst forth for you just like he did for David as you follow David’s success plan. Get God’s word, hearken to His voice. Perhaps then you will name your house Baal-perazim.

Cheer and Courage

Psalm 31: 23 – 24              Passion Translation

Listen to me, all you godly ones: Love the Lord with passion! The Lord protects and preserves all those who are loyal to him. But he pays back in full all those who reject him in their pride. So cheer up! Take courage all you who love him. Wait for him to break through for you, all who trust in him!

I hope some of you took me up on the idea of reading each of these psalms in their fullness as your daily Bible reading. I recommend you read this psalm in the Passion Translation. It reveals David’s emotions and the context of his lyrics better than any of the other translations. If you read the whole psalm, you will see how he arrives at this concluding statement.

He felt abandoned by the Lord, but then realized God was on the scene rescuing him. David hid himself in the Lord and was vindicated despite those who spoke ill of him and mocked him. In the end, David and Yahweh have again triumphed.

David learned something on this journey and what he learned he summarized and attempted to convey through this song. The morale of the story is, take heart, be of strong courage. Let your heart be fortified because the Lord, your God, is on your side and together, you will prevail. God has never forsaken you and never will. Like David, there may be times you feel very alone. You may wonder where God is. Well, I can tell you. He is right there with you. If you close your eyes and listen to the voice of your heart, you will find God’s presence there with you.

David advised us to love God passionately because he learned that this is the secret to life and success in all things. Jesus, referring to Deuteronomy 6: 5, said, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH,” (Mark 12: 30). See, I am guessing there is a huge life lesson in here from David and now Jesus. What are they telling us? David and Jesus are teaching from the same book here. In fact, if you want to see how tuned into the spirit of Jesus David was and how relatable Jesus found David’s writings, look at verse 5 where David wrote, “Into Your hand I commit my spirit,” the words famously uttered by Jesus on the cross. Both of these men knew suffering. They knew what it was like to face unprecedented tribulation. And now, in this seminar living in the breakthrough their combined recitation is love God with all you are, with all the strength of your body, mind, spirit and soul. This is how we get our breakthrough. This is how we live in the blessing of the Lord. We throw our whole selves into a love relationship with he who died for us and the Father who gave him up for us. He is the Lord of the breakthrough, the one who breaks through the barriers and problems for us. Our part is to love him passionately, and why wouldn’t we?