What does breakthrough have to do with your spiritual gifts?

My teaching series are loosely-coupled "building blocks." 


What I mean is that these different teachings aren't tightly-coupled sequences, where A must come before B.  Instead, they are designed to help someone fully live their life in Christ by addressing foundational, practical aspects with a "recommended" sequence.


The "unconformed" life means every aspect of life needs to be built up in Christ against the pressures and lure of the world.


I'll illustrate with the actual teachings that I currently offer.


The two existing teachings have been on "Unleashing Your Purpose through Your Spiritual Gifts" and "Breakthrough: Getting Unstuck."  The teaching I am working on now is called "Mighty: How Men in High Performance Careers Can Thrive Without Losing Their Soul."


If someone were to ask me what is the recommended "sequence," I would typically say that one should address the "blindspots" of their life, the "Dead End Drivers" as I call them in my "Breakthrough" teaching, as a foundation.  Preferably, this process would happen before someone were to explore their spiritual gifts.


My reasoning: the purpose of exploring one's spiritual gifts is to get the clarity and power to pursue your purpose.  My teaching on spirpitual gifts helps people to better build up their knowledge and application of their gifts to ultimately life a full, purposeful life.  This includes helping students to understand their relationships, including conflict, how to identify gifts in a work environment, and how to craft a clear "purpose" right where they are.


If one is feeling "stuck" because of some hidden or underlying misdirection in their personal "GPS" for their life (the "dead end drivers" which come from our innate sinfulness), then the pursuit of purpose could feel secondary.  Or judgment to discern one's gifts could be cloudy.


This isn't always the case. 


But most people would probably rather get unstuck than to start to develop their spiritual gifts.


To me, getting unstuck is a good starting point for any Christian because we are all called to grow and change; and remaining stuck limits that growth.


Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature. (1 Corinthians 14:20)

The Breakthrough teaching starts off by looking at how King David experienced breakthrough in the Battle of Baal-Perazim:


And David came to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there. And he said, “The LORD has broken through my enemies before me like a breaking flood.” Therefore the name of that place is called Baal-perazim. (2 Samuel 5:20)

Once someone learns to identify their own Dead End Drivers and grow in Christ through different types of Catalysts, as well as the foundational ideas of letting God use your state of stuck for the Unexpected, they are ready for the next challenge in life: pursue their calling.


Some people I interact with through my online community and email list deeply desire their spiritual gifts.  They understand that spiritual gifts can give them the courage and dependency on God to let them live a life serving Christ with greater impact than relying just on their own flesh.


But they are blocked.


Sometimes they blame this blockage on spiritual warfare.


While spiritual warfare certainly exists in this world, sometimes the battle is with ourselves.


I have discovered this principle of life--that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. (Romans 7:21)

In those circumstances, sometimes getting "unstuck" and having more clarity and calm, perhaps cutting the distractions and delusions, in one's life is necessary before diving into the details of one's spiritual gifts.


This foundation of understanding one's "dead end drivers" is also helpful because spiritual gifts can also show up in the way we sin and reveal our brokenness.


In my teaching, I guide people through how the fallen version of each of the spiritual gifts from Ephesians 4 can show up.  Clearing the ground through God's breakthrough waters in the "stuck" parts of our lives can be a valuable exercise before building up one's spiritual gifts.


This doesn't mean one can't start the pursuit of purpose without experiencing brekathrough, however.


Sometimes, the actual breakthrough may come from an understanding of one's gifts and calling.  That 'breakthrough' may answer the "Who am I in Christ?" and "Why am I on earth?"


Those answers, for some people, give the direction and energy to go forth and get unstuck.


It depends on the type of stuck you may be in.


Some people are stuck mostly because they don't have good direction -- a purpose or calling.  They don't have a significant bad habit or blind spot which keeps sending them in circles.


What they need is set forward on a direction with more "oomph" instead of wandering around in life or approaching decisions with timidity.


This is where unleashing one's spiritual gifts can come in.


Many people are stuck because they are operating on defintiions of who they are and what they are supposed to do imposed by other people.


But when you start to unravel how you have been wonderfully made by God through the gifts, your clarity and courage grows.


The two are closely related.  There is an implicit sequence -- I wrote "Breakthrough" first.  However, I have been developing Spiritual Gifts teaching for a much longer period.


The question depends upon you: where are you on your path to spiritual maturity?


If you're stuck, but don't know where to begin, then experiencing Breakthrough makes sense.


If you know you need clarity through Purpose, unleashing that purpose through your spiritual gifts would be a great place to begin.


Hope that helps.

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