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It’s time for a breakthru in your life

This weekend we’re starting the Breakthru Conference here in Gainesville.  We’re running it parallel with a World Race training.   We began last night with a little worship and prayer.  Right away, it started – a young man came up to me and asked for prayer.  He just found J…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
This weekend we’re starting the Breakthru Conference here in Gainesville.  We’re running it parallel with a World Race training.
We began last night with a little worship and prayer.  Right away, it started – a young man came up to me and asked for prayer.  He just found Jesus a month ago and left a life of drug addiction.  As I prayed for him, I got a picture of Jesus looking for his lost sheep.  Elsewhere people were seeking prayer just like him and beginning the process of getting a breakthrough.  And this morning the Spirit is already moving powerfully in people’s lives.
Last night around 2 a.m., I awoke from a dream. In my dream, everything I had ever earned was in a car in a suitcase.  And a thief came and took the suitcase.  In my dream I felt a tremendous sense of loss and violation.  Upon waking I felt God saying, “that’s what your enemy wants to do – he wants to take everything from you.  He is a thief.  You need to resist him.” And this morning at breakfast, I shared that with the participants here. We’re all alike insofar as we’ve been targeted by an enemy who hates us and wants to steal everything from us.
The premise of the conference is that while Jesus came to set the captives free, many of us haven’t really learned to walk in that freedom. We find ourselves slowed down by our past and by our habits.  We’ve embraced Jesus and his saving power, but we don’t experience what it is to walk in his grace.
American Christianity struggles with the concept of a personal God. Many of us have been taught that he only speaks through the Bible.   We grow up thinking “God doesn’t speak to us like he did to the disciples in the New Testament.”   We take the supernatural out of the faith that Jesus came to give us.  And we live bankrupt spiritual lives – talking about freedom, but not walking in it.  Yet we sense that.  Our spirits within us sense the disconnect.  The Southern Baptists just did an exit poll of those leaving the church and the number one reason they gave is that “the church is not spiritual enough.”  Western rationalism has robbed us of our heritage.
Ron Walborn is one of our speakers at this conference and he related to us a time that Jesus spoke to him and said, “For American Christians I’ve become the God of the last resort.”  He’s challenging us to believe the word of God more than we do our own bankrupt experience.  He’s saying that some of us when we get in a pool are “toe dippers” and others of us run and jump and do a cannonball.  He’s encouraging us to do a cannonball for God this weekend.
I wish you could be here with us, but wherever you are, I pray that you are passionately seeking your own “breakthru.”

Comments (10)

  • great blob.. i so believe its time for the church as a whole to step up to the edge and all do cannonballs!! blessings to you and your minisitry and for always putting out what the spirit lays on you!

  • You’re a great example of cannonball living, Seth!

    For me, vision trip = cannonball

    Whoever did a cannonball and didn’t want to immediately get out and do it again and again and again?!? Great analogy

  • On Satan being the great thief…

    What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?

    Over my lifetime and much more so over the past 12 months God has been preparing me for something special. Lest anyone think that God makes learning the hard lessons easy I have decided to share with you a strong lesson learned through adversity and hardship.
    Over my lifetime as some of you may know we have suffered a host of natural disasters including 3 separate floods, hurricanes, death threats in foreign countries, etc. In the midst of each occasion God has himself always seen us through and taken care of each and every need. God himself has worked all situations eventually for our good, although it has meant time separated as a family due to circumstances and many other unpleasant circumstances.
    It has been with great dismay that I have struggled month after month throughout this past year with unemployment, self employment, loss of investments and other related hardships.
    After nearly a year of constant daily struggles, I came to the stunning realization one day that my JOY had slowly methodically been stolen. I sat in a church worship service one Sunday morning and it dawned on me that everyone else was joyful and praising God and that although I tried my best I was not able to be joyful. I saw that I had no joy either in worship or in life in general. I am not the kind of person who is subject to depression or sadness because I have seen God work in our lives countless times before. This time, however, has been extremely different. The struggle has been very long and most of the time out of my control.
    It was hard to comprehend that although I had served as a self supported missionary for years overseas and that I had always dedicated my life to God, somehow the end result now was that my joy had been robbed. I specifically voiced to myself in a church service that this was what had happened to me… that I had allowed Satan himself to steal my joy in the Lord.
    It was very unsettling for me to know how great, how merciful and how wonderful God is and at the same time to have confirmation that I wasn’t joyful as a Christian.
    This is where I will begin to tell you what I have learned as the strong lesson after a year of enduring. The Lord has revealed to me some powerful lessons during this year and although we are still in the midst of this trial, I want to share with you this particular lesson that the Lord has recently revealed to me.
    There is a riddle that is found in Judges 14:14 that is put forth by Samson to the Philistines, and it is: “Out of the eater, something to eat, out of the strong, something sweet” This is a riddle that the Philistines could not figure out and they used Samson’s Philistine wife to get him to reveal the answer. In Judges 14:18 Samson reveals the following answer to the riddle, “What is sweeter than honey?, What is stronger than a lion?” referring to the fact that he had, with the help of God’s spirit, with his bare hands killed a roaring attacking lion and in fact had torn it to pieces. As he passed on his way to again visit the Philistines and to marry the girl from Timhah, he passed by the lion’s carcass and when he turned to look at it he saw a swarm of bees and some honey. Next he did something that seems really gross to us. He scooped out the honey from the carcass and he ate it. He also took some of the honey home and shared it with his parents, although he did not tell them where the honey had come from.
    What again was the answer to this riddle, “Out of the eater, something to eat, out of the strong something sweet” ? The answer was another riddle, “What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?” But if you notice, as I have, the answer to the second riddle was never clearly revealed. It is a case of answering a question with a question or in this case answering a riddle with a riddle. The answer to this second unrevealed riddle is one that I want to share with you as something revealed to me by God in the culmination of this year’s suffering and extreme hardship. I reveal this because I think God loves for us to be transparent in our sufferings if others can be uplifted. It is my hope that this will uplift you in your struggles and in your hardest times.

    What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?

    As I mentioned when I realized that Satan had in a very subtle way stolen my joy, I realized how great of a lose it truly was. The inability to feel, exhibit or share joy is a most desperate circumstance. You see we take JOY for granite in our Christian walk but Joy is truly a strength given to us by God. It is a power from God almighty that we must not allow Satan to ever rob from us. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit meaning that God is a Joyous God. His Spirit is as He is and thus if he through His Holy Spirit imparts to us, Love, Peace, Joy, Hope, etc… Then we are to understand that Joy is a part of his make up, his very nature, his character and as such it is to be a part of our very nature, makeup, character, personality. We are to be joyful. Galatians 5:22 is the text where God gives us joy as a fruit of the Spirit. Understand that Joy is powerful, Joy is sweet. In Philippians 4:4 we are commanded by Paul through the Holy Spirit to, “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice!”. It is one of the rare double commands. In the same sentence we are exhorted twice to always rejoice. How is this to be? How are we supposed to rejoice always and even more so as it is repeated twice in one breath?
    If you look at the book of Isaiah, who by the way was a Prophet who suffered much for God, you will find in Chapter 12 verse 6 where Isaiah says simply, “Sing for joy”. This means that our joy is to be expressed in song and praises. Not just in a worship service but alone in the car, as we walk down the road, as we endure an extreme hardship we are to sing for joy. Isaiah 52 and verse 8 adds “Shout for Joy!” meaning we are to have joy as our loud witness to those around us. Let them see that even with adversity the Lord is standing here with us. Joy is to be expressed as a loud witness of God’s wonderful presence in our lives. Isaiah 52:9 says that we are to “Burst into songs of joy!” Joy is explosively powerful and will be best viewed as one of those 4th of July fireworks shows that light up the sky with all sorts of pops and all colors of light. Joy as it burst on the scene is the very expression of God’s nature and love for all mankind. The power found in Joy is what we want to look at next.
    In the book of Luke in the New Testament we find various stories told by Jesus himself in which he lays out several very important facts about joy and the power therein. Luke 15:5 talks about the joy felt when a lost sheep is found. Luke 15:6 goes on to show that the joy is so strong that is shared with neighbors who are gathered together to celebrate. Luke 15:7 speaks of the joy in the heavens when a sinner repents and how the angels and heavenly host rejoice in this joyous occasion. There is a joy that causing sharing and celebration! Luke 15:23 talks about the prodigal son and how father was overcome with such joy that upon seeing his son afar off he ran to him and hugged him and went on to have a feast for him with the neighbors, workers and family. Luke 15: 32 says that when the older brother complained about the younger brother being treated so well although he had wasted his portion of the inheritance with prostitutes, the father says the following: “But we had to celebrate and be glad…” Joy has to be shared with others. Joy has to be expressed. Joy has to be a loud and powerful witness. Joy is a celebration. Joy is a result to be shared. Samson took some of the sweet honey home to his parents and in Luke the neighbors were called in to celebrate the return of the prodigal son and also in Heaven the angels and heavenly host were called together to rejoice over a repenting soul. Joy is a secret strength given by God and this joy is to be shared and celebrated with others.
    James 1: 2-8 talks about how we are to endure trials and temptations. It says, “Consider it PURE JOY brothers when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance, Perseverance must finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything” Immediately I saw an inferred difference between JOY and PURE JOY. Do you see it? What is the difference perhaps between saying consider it a joy and consider it a pure joy? In my understanding PURE JOY is pure in that it is not externally stimulated, but is an internally given or summoned joy given directly by God as an encouragement. When we see that God has given us JOY as a fruit of the Spirit we understand that we have an internal PURE JOY that is given by God himself as a part of his nature to us. We also understand that God’s work in us is not complete and that as the verse above indicates, Perseverance must finish it’s work because it has a great purpose to make us complete and not lacking anything. When we can grasp that in our struggles and trials we are being made more like Christ and we are being developed and molded then we can comprehend that God wants for us to be joyful about this fact. I found myself asking God on multiple occasions, “When is this going to end?” I have been through some very hard times, as I am sure most of you have, but I ventured to ask of God, “When is this going to end?” My answer is found in the stated fact that Perseverance must finish it’s work so that I can be made complete, not lacking in anything. In the mean time I am to consider this time of testing and hardship as a time that I am being counted worthy to suffer. 1rst Peter 4:12-19 will show you that our joy is expressed in the fact that we are counted worthy to suffer. Verse 13 says, “Rejoice that you too participate in the suffering of Christ”. This present suffering leads to us being overjoyed when His glory is revealed.
    PURE JOY is somewhat like the Pure Sweet honey from the carcass of the lion. As Satan attacks us God’s Spirit will give us the power to overcome him. It is oddly gross that the bees would make honey in the carcass of the lion. I know that there are bees which are called meat eaters who will feed on a dead carcass but I don’t know about producing honey there. The visual image and revelation here is that even from dangerous rotten, stinking, hurtful circumstances God can produce a pure sweetness for us, just as he produced sweet honey from the lion’s rotting carcass. God is able to maintain in us that PURE JOY that comes from Him as we are mindful to rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice. God equips us to deal with Satan’s attacks and he also assures us that he can use Satan’s attacks against us to build us up and strengthen us.
    In 2nd Corinthians 7: 4 Paul says, “I am greatly encouraged in all of our troubles, my joy knows no bounds…” Joy is uplifting and knows no bounds. In verse 7 he goes on to say that, “because of your comfort, longing, care my joy is greater than ever.” What we can take away from this passage is that our service of love to others magnifies the joy of the recipient. If you ever want to magnify someone’s joy then sincerely and whole heartedly minister to them and you will see their joy greatly increase. God himself is Joyous. Joy is a strategy of God for our own good and His. Joy is the very reverse of what Satan wants in your life. Satan would just as soon attack you and tear you to shreds and then devour you.
    Joy is the unfurled banner announcing God’s presence in our lives to everyone including Satan. People could say, “How can that sad, non content, moping person really be a Christian in the palm of God’s hand?” Joy is the banner and welcome mat that we have to exhibit to others on all occasions. Joy is an example to others. Joy is an encouragement to others. Joy is a secret strength from God himself to help us endure. Safeguard your joy and don’t ever let Satan take it from you. Jesus Christ himself first considered the great joy set before him before enduring the cross. Joy makes enduring possible. Joy is the secret ingredient in God’s recipe for our success and our perfecting.
    I want to finalize by looking back at the story of Samson and drawing another parallel that now makes sense to me. In Judges 16:17 Samson revealed to his wife after much, much prompting the following, “If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me and I would become as weak as any man.” I want for you to open you mind for a moment and liken JOY to Samson’s hair. His hair was the secret to his strength in much the same way that joy is given to us as a secret to our strength. I hope that you can see and comprehend the parallel that much as Samson stated, “If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me and I would become weak as any man”, I would venture to parallel that, “If my joy were shaved off, my strength would leave me and I would become weak as any man”. Joy is this very important for the Christian and you can bet that just as Samson’s wife constantly cried out and pressed him for the secret of his strength, Satan will continue to cry out and press upon us. Don’t ever let Satan steal your JOY less you become just as weak as any man!
    Joy is the answer to many of the riddles of life. Judges 14:14 : “ Out of the eater, something to eat, Out of the strong, something sweet” Judges 14:18 “What is sweeter than Honey? What is stronger than a lion?” Joy is sweeter than honey. The PURE JOY that God himself gives us is stronger than the lion.
    By the way, this same truth holds true for each of the fruits of the spirit. Each of the fruits of the spirit is sweeter than honey and stronger than a lion. Love, Peace, Joy, Patience, Kindness and Goodness are special gifts and tools from God. Never let Satan steal your love, peace, joy, patience, kindness or goodness.
    It is my hope that you are blessed by this right now or that you will be when your time of testing comes. Rejoice in the Lord always! And again I say rejoice !


  • i can feel the cannonball splashes “all the way” up here in minneapolis. love it – on my knees for waves of breakthrus during the conference this weekend, all thru training & in all the pools we are all sitting in, wherever we may be. let the ripples of our prayers be everlasting.

  • Bless you guys and everyone attending the conference. May you see breakthroughs aplenty, God getting a lot of glory and His kids getting free.

    Suitcase picture is really powerful by the way. Stark reminder the enemy doesn’t want to rob a couple of small things but everything. Well, he ain’t having mine!

    Have a fantastic weekend, lol Carol xx

  • Man I wish I could be there too! God’s definitely got me where he wants me – having no securities or control. I’ve been forced to rely on him. It’s hard, a new way of thinking for me. It’s almost like he’s the one taking my suitcase, even though there’s not much I’ve accomplished to put in there. It’s more my sense of worth found in accomplishments of the day rather than on my relationship with him. I’m praying for you as you lead thru this. Are the grandparents getting involved?

  • Oh man! Rusty and I were just talking about this the past week- how just the word and church NEVER impacted his life or made him change- it was an encounter with the Holy Spirit that changed his life in a radical way!

    We’ve also been realizing how much ‘religious’ baggage and bondage I’ve been in from my Southern Baptist background…(but I keep being invited to speak at Southern Baptist events. I think the Lord wants to use my connection there to bring some freedom and life to that group of people- so full of religiousity and habit but so empty from it and they haven’t yet realized they need more…)

    Thanks for blogging this; it’s confirmation for the work the Lord is doing in me!

  • I am so thrilled this became a reality. I remember talking about it in Guatemala. Wish I could be there! Praying for everyone there.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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