(How to…#6) have a breakthrough – part 2.

December 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Every now and again, most people come to a place in their lives where a breakthrough is needed.

During the past year, my wife and I twice needed financial breakthroughs. Some people need a leap forward in their business and for others an improvement in marriage relationship is of paramount importance. Others must find a dramatic improvement in their health, while some is in a crisis about the way their children behave. It does not matter in which area of one’s life a breakthrough is needed; there is a systematic and proven way of ensuring such a sudden development.

The Oxford Dictionary gives that explanation to the word breakthrough, a sudden important development, or success.

The Webster’s says it is a decisive or dramatic advance, especially in research, knowledge, or understanding. In a military sense, it means an attack that penetrates an enemy’s defensive system into the rear area.

For the purpose of this topic, I want to use three people from different aspects of life who experienced great breakthroughs as proof for this structured, even scientific method of securing a breakthrough. They are King David from the Bible, Dr. Jonas Salk who invented the poliomyelitis vaccine, and Sir Roger Bannister, the first athlete who ran a sub 4-minute mile. We shall see the similarities in the methods employed by the three men, although each needed a breakthrough in a different area of life.

The similarities are:

  1. All three trained under excellent mentors. (previous article)
  2. All three, for a number of years, worked very hard prior to their breakthrough.
  3. They were unafraid to apply new ideas not previously tested and to disagree with the status-quo.
  4. They pushed the boundaries of what were previously thought to be impossible.


2. Hard work

The wise King Solomon once said (in Proverbs 12:11 and 14:23), Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense and, all hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. This man Solomon, the son of King David, wrote from personal experience as he followed in the ways and footsteps of his father.

King David established the kingdom of Israel through forty years of fighting on the battlefield until all his enemies were subdued. It was on one of those occasions that he needed a breakthrough – “an attack that penetrates an enemy’s defensive system into the rear area” – as the Webster’s dictionary defines the word breakthrough. In 2 Samuel 5:17-20, David inquired of God if he should attack or not. God gave permission to proceed but did not do some supernatural act in delivering Israel from the Philistines. King David had to take up the sword and go down to the theatre of war. There was work to be done!


Dr. Jonas Salk was born in New York in a family that was materially poor and uneducated. Nevertheless, his parents urged their children to study and work hard. After completing his medical studies, he accepted residency at the Medical School of the University of Pittsburgh. It was here that he worked for 8 years to develop the polio vaccine. Eight years of commitment, perseverance, and hard work before the breakthrough came.


The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win” and achievement was something which came by hard work” were the sayings of Sir Roger Bannister.

His methods in training differed from the other 1500m- and mile-training athletes. He used his scientific background – he was a medical student – to understand the stimulus responsible for improvements in fitness and performance. He used to say, Does it work? Does it not? You learn by your mistakes…” Not afraid to make mistakes, he pushed through one of the boundaries of athletics. A boundary which all thought was impossible to break.


Many people want their breakthrough on a golden plate. I know many people, good people, Christian people that are praying and believing for their breakthrough. They want the golden plate, the supernatural act, the divine intervention while they are doing nothing. I do not say you cannot have it that way. What I am saying, judging by the lives of some of the extraordinary people of the Bible and some of the great men who lived the past 100 years whom all experienced astonishing breakthroughs, is that none of them just prayed, and believed. They all did what the Apostle James wrote about 2000 years ago, “but do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” and “for as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:20, 26)


If you are hoping for a breakthrough in your marriage, what are you doing about it? If your financial position is looking very bleak, do you have a plan of action? Do you have a mentor who can give you the necessary advice? How many books or articles have you read about that specific area where you need a breakthrough? It is not likely to happen while watching a movie or lying on the beach.

Your breakthrough needs your effort, your time, and energy to start the momentum towards the breakthrough, the sudden improvement, or success.


After King David got his breakthrough against the enemy, he called the place Baal-Perazim, which means the God of the breakthrough. David did the fighting but gave God the honour and acknowledgement for the victory. (2 Samuel 5:20) He could take the credit for himself, calling attention to his fighting skills and strategic abilities. However, this characteristic of King David is one of the reasons he was called a man after God’s own heart. (Acts 13:22)


Keep on asking, keep on knocking, and keep on seeking.

You will find your answer, the door of opportunity will open, and the much sought after breakthrough will surely come.

About Edgar Phillips
Husband, Dad, Ordained Minister and Missionary who loves God, Pastoral & Functional Therapist, Imago Professional Facilitator, EFT practitioner.

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