And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’ ” And he said to Him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.”
- Mark 10:17-20 (ESV)
I think of the story of the Rich Young Ruler often. He is a man looking for breakthrough. Outwardly one would think he has it all. He’s a man with much worldly success but still he is searching for something more. As far as he’s concerned he’s already got a good life. He is pursuing the right things. Following the rules. But still he wants to make sure he’s got all the bases covered.
So, he looks to Jesus to give him an answer. Can anyone relate?
Jesus tells Him there is still one thing he needs to experience breakthrough:
Looking at him, Jesus showed love to him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But he was deeply dismayed by these words, and he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.
- Mark 10:21-22
Inevitably, when we find ourselves in seasons of breakthrough what we are really seeking is change.
And the truth is that even if we are desperate for it, change can be scary.
It always costs something.
For this young man it was his wealth. Maybe for some of us that holds us back as well.
For others it might not be material things but a certain level of comfort. We might recognize that we are in less-than-ideal circumstances but at least it’s familiar, at least we know what to expect.
Taking that first step towards breakthrough often requires us to leave behind what we’ve known to be true for a long time.
It could be a relationship, unhealthy habit or just something that is keeping us from God’s best.
For me personally, I love the idea of breakthrough but it also terrifies me.
I don’t want to let others down, I don’t want to appear as selfish. What if my breakthrough affects others?
Unfortunately, I sometimes hold back from experiencing breakthrough because I feel unprepared, inadequate or just afraid of the unknown change that might be coming.
The familiar, even if unhealthy, can feel friendly while the other side of breakthrough can cause excitement but also hesitation.
Thankfully, Jesus is great at getting right to the point and addressing our fears.
Sometimes the first step to breakthrough is praying for the courage to take the first step. When I’m not ready to receive what God might be wanting me to step into I often pray that I would desire it more. I pray for want.
Lord, I’m not ready but I want to be. Help me to want what you want.
The great news is that Jesus is not surprised by our fears. He meets us right where we are.
After the young man left Jesus noted how difficult it is for the wealthy to enter the Kingdom. He goes on to say it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.
What?!?! That seems crazy, impossible even.
In fact, His followers thought so too. They asked Him, who then could be saved?
Jesus reminds them and us that we’re not alone. When we seek Him with our heart, we’re no longer operating within our limits. Rather we can be assured that, “with people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27
He wants us to experience breakthrough. There are good things waiting on the other side, yes they might challenge us and stretch us but He will never lead us to places where He will not also go with us.
Whatever breakthrough you might be hoping for right now, it will inevitably cost something.
But we can take the first step in confidence knowing that we’re walking with the Lord who makes all things possible, even giving us a desire for that next step.