Cross Your Jordan: Preparing for Breakthrough

 
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A few weeks ago, my wife Janice and I held our first baby shower when the reality of parenthood really smacked me in the face. The week leading up to the shower, Janice was ecstatic to spend time with loved ones but I was so nervous. As I explored the nervousness, I discovered insecurities and unprocessed fears. Will I be a good father? How was I fathered? Is she going to be healthy? Am I ready?

Up until then, it was easy to occasionally forget I would be a father because my daughter wasn’t in plain sight. But it hit me: ready or not, my daughter is coming. Having the timeline of nine months helped us to prepare. But anticipation alone wasn’t enough for me to be consistently active and intentional. As much as I wanted to be and do better, I wasn’t seeing the breakthroughs I desired. I found myself going back and forth from frenzied productivity to feelings of burn-out.

For most of us, waiting for breakthrough is difficult. The lack of tangible fruit can weary, frustrate, even burn out our hearts. It can be one of the most heart-wrenching and excruciating experiences our souls face. You anticipate God’s faithfulness, you hold onto his promises. But the definitive victory doesn’t seem to come. The process of waiting can often leave you disillusioned, hurt, and confused. But take hope in this: for the same reason it is so difficult, it can be the most formative experience in our relationship with Christ.

then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.” Joshua 3:5

Consecrate Yourselves

In Joshua 3, Israel was in a season of weariness and little fruit. They saw a whole generation pass away in the desert. There was no definite victory, just a series of defeats and discouragements. They were a grumbling people in less than ideal circumstances. Yet, somehow, they made it to the Jordan. Did they know what was going to happen next? Probably not. You can bet on a healthy dose of skepticism and complaints as they waited on the banks of the Jordan. But in the waiting, Joshua set direction for his people. What was his command?

Consecration. As we wait and anticipate God’s breakthrough, consecrate your life. As you wait, actively set your heart and mind unto God. Consecration is the intentional preparation of oneself in anticipation of someone or some occasion.  It is the beautiful bride preparing mindfully and spiritually for her special day. It’s the new parents reflecting and re-ordering their lives in preparation for their child. Consecration is to remove clutter, refocus priorities and rededicate wholly to God in anticipation of the new. Consecration is crucial.

This is the pattern throughout the Bible. When God was about to pour out a new blessing on His people, He consecrated them. Moses in the Midian desert. Joseph in exile and in prison. Jesus himself in Egypt, and in 30 years of carpentry and obedience to his earthly parents. Before God uses people, he hides them to facilitate consecration.

Missing Piece Today

The path God sets for breakthrough is usually narrow, hidden and long. Yet, so many of us short-cut this process and settle for an easier, more lucrative short-term deal. The results are flashy, but they’re often short-lived and ultimately disappointing. Little long-lasting change actually occurs in us

Could it be that, today, we aim for the breakthrough at the cost of consecration? In anticipation of the breakthrough, do we severely underestimate the necessary consecration? In search of the next vision and thing, am I missing the simple faithfulness God requires of me in this season? It’s not a matter of legalism to earn His love for us, but it’s more of “Can he trust you with the next level of blessing/responsibility”? How can we respond in such seasons of little breakthrough?

Return in Full Surrender

“For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling,” Isaiah 30:15

The anticipation of my baby girl has led me to slow down, reflect, and make many lifestyle changes in just the past few months. I’ve started to work out more (which is a miracle). I’ve created more space in my schedule to spend with my wife, reorder our house, and cherish remaining moments. I’ve even re-devoted my heart to the basics of my devotional life and have seen fruit there. However, in all these things, God’s invitation remained: full surrender. Let go of control, and entrust your whole life yet again to me. Your family, your life, your breakthrough are all in my hands.

Whether you are in ministry, school or work and you’re stuck in a grind season, I want to encourage you. There is a breakthrough coming for you. As you anticipate the breakthrough, consecrate yourself by slowing down, and re-directing your heart toward God in whole surrender. God will accomplish far more through your surrender than through your activity. Trust in his process.


Jiwon J Lee (@pastorfromdownunder) is a husband, soon to be father and youth pastor at New Life Vision Church in Koreatown, CA. He graduated with a M.Div from Talbot Theological Seminary, and currently lives in Koreatown, CA.

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