Key Passage: Psalm 18
Key Text: Psalm 18: 28-29 – “For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness. 29 For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.”
History is replete with unfulfilled visions and dreams, uncompleted projects and abandoned inventions and creations. Myles Munroe said the richest place in the world is the cemetery. He said this to illustrate that many of those in the graves went there with some of their greatest inventions and ideas interned with their bones. God will not let us die with unfulfilled dreams and visions. We must die empty. As an observer of life and a student of success, I have discovered that many abandoned dreams, visions and projects are not necessarily the carelessness of those who are executing the project, but a more malevolent person, who is skilled at developing walls that would stop even the most envisioned in their tracks. Satan is the master of ‘provocations at the door of breakthrough’!
Most of these aborted visions and dreams are casualties of the devil’s meanest weapon. He is not a fool, just that God is so much wiser than him, so when we are dependent on God, we can overcome even this sinister strategy of Satan. What is a ‘provocation at the door of breakthrough’? To define it, I will tell you a story that every lover of football will remember. Zinidine Zidane, probably the best footballer in the world at that time had led France to the finals of the 2006 world cup against a weaker and older Italian team. It was a world cup for France to win. In the 110th minute we all saw something totally uncharacteristic of Zidane. He head butted Marco Materazzi of Italy and was consequently sent off. His departure from the pitch gave Italy the power to hold on and eventually win the title on penalties. This was the night Zidane and France should have been crowned as champions of the world. Zidane was undoubtedly the best player of the tournament and on the night was in superb form. It was like his ‘swan song’, when he left the pitch in disgrace and shame for a silly reaction to a provocation. We learnt that Marco Materazzi had employed the vilest but old weapon of abusing a person’s family member on the pitch to get them to lose their concentration. In Zidane’s case it was his mother and sister, the two most precious people in his life. He fell for it and the rest is history.
With this story, we can see what a provocation at the door of breakthrough is. It is a ruse or attack, aimed at the visionary to take their eyes off the goal or purpose long enough to frustrate the dream and abort it. It comes in many forms. It may be a personal issue or an attack on your person. It could be a family member close enough to have the impact and pull on the emotional heartstrings. It may be a sudden disaster that looks so great it will cripple everything. It may be even something to stir up righteous anger in us and then we overreact by trying to deal with the situation in our own strength. But even more important is the timing of these things. They come just as you are about to hit a big breakthrough. They come just before the day of great accomplishments. It is the timing of these things that make them so dangerous, and why we need to be so sensitive.
Remember Moses, after leading Israel for forty years and enduring all forms of attack, he was at Meribah and the children of Israel complained again for the umpteenth time about the lack of God’s provision and Moses was instructed to speak to the rock and it would give water. But Moses was so annoyed with the children of Israel that he went and struck the rock twice in anger. The water flowed for Israel, but Moses threw away his forty years work in one rash act of anger. He failed at the last obstacle before entering the Promised Land. He did not lead them into the Promised Land. He died with an unfulfilled vision.
David was a few days away from being made King in Israel and Saul was about to die. Then disaster struck in Ziklag and David’s entire city was burned down and his wives and children taken captive by the Amalekites. Thank God that David was wise enough to enquire of the Lord, because his men were about to stone him to death for the disaster. But David pursued, overtook and recovered all that was stolen from him and was able to mount the throne a few days after.
Jesus was about to go to the cross to pay the price for the redemption of mankind. As He was heading to Jerusalem, Herod sent word to him that he would kill Jesus if he came into Jerusalem in Luke 13:31-32, “At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you. 32 And he said to them, Go and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. 33 Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.” Jesus knew who was behind this ruse and he addressed him as the fox.
Truth is it takes God to help one to identify and sidestep these provocations. That is why in today’s passage we see that David made a very important statement. He said ““For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness. 29 For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.” We need God to enlighten our darkness and then we need His almighty strength to run against the troops of the enemy and scale the walls of opposition, so we can press on and get to the destination or our purposes.
Beware of the provocation at the door of breakthrough. Try not to react to everything. Try to wait and hear from God. Keep your focus on your goal and remember, by God you will overcome.
Let’s Pray: Father God, thank you that you are my present help in times of trouble. Father, I ask for your discernment in every situation. Help me not to react in my flesh and blow the opportunities and chances you give me. Help me to recognise the strategies of Satan and be able to sidestep them on my way to victory. Thank you for the grace to accomplish the vision you have given to me. In the name of Jesus I will not abort or abandon my God given dream for a ruse of the enemy. Amen.