(How to…#7) have a breakthrough – part 3

December 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Apply new ideas and do not be afraid to challenge the status-quo.

In the book of one Samuel the nineteenth chapter, we find the story of how King Saul tried to kill the young David. (1 Samuel 19) David the newly anointed king over Israel had to wait until King Saul either stepped down or died before he could ascend the throne. The immature and inexperienced successor to the throne fled from the presence of King Saul, who tried to kill him, and took refuge at the old prophet’s house.

Prophet Samuel governed Israel for forty years before God appointed Saul the first king over the nation of Israel. After Saul’s disobedience and rebellion, God took the kingship away from him and let Samuel anoint a shepherd boy, called David. 1 Samuel 16:1

Samuel’s wisdom gave David the invaluable practical lessons in the ways and laws of God concerning the duties of the priests and of a king. What felt like a refugee camp for David, became his “spiritual laboratory” where his relationship with God was further shaped.

When David eventually mounted the throne, he did something only the High Priest was allowed to do. Until that time, the Ark of the Covenant resided in the most holy place of the Tent of Meeting. Here God met with the High Priest once a year, appeared on the mercy seat, pardoned the sins of the nation, and communed with him. The Bible states how David pitched a new Tent on Mt. Zion, placed the Ark of the Covenant therein, and worshiped before God in the tent on that mountain. (1 Chron 16:1 & 2 Chron 5:2) The answer to why God allowed someone who was not the High Priest to worship before the mercy seat may be found in the training he received from his mentor, the Prophet Samuel. David not only was a king but also thoroughly knew the ways of the priesthood and had a pure heart before God.

His challenge of the status-quo did not come from a proud and arrogant heart but from someone who was quick to ask forgiveness and always displayed a soft and humble heart of reliance on God. (Ps 34:18, Ps 51:17, Is 57:15) From this literal place of worship and figurative place of dependence, God gave David all the answers, victories, and breakthroughs he needed.


When Dr. Jonas Salk accepted the invitation from University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s Virus Research Laboratory as an associated research professor, he encountered a laboratory, which had no experience in the basic research he was accustomed to. It took considerable effort to bring this laboratory up to standard. Not only did he spend a lot of time building a respectable laboratory but he also devoted his time to writing scientific articles. Through these papers, the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis got hold of Dr. Salk and became his research sponsor.

The status-quo for the research for vaccine of that day was the use of live-virus vaccine. Salk challenged it and believed it was essential to use a killed-poliovirus rather that a live-virus in the vaccine. His colleagues were skeptical and thought a killed-virus could not be effective. Taken into effect that Salk was new in polio vaccine research, this unorthodox idea caused a division in the field.

However, Dr. Jonas Salk continued with his experiments and in early 1952, he administered a type I vaccine to children who had already been infected with the poliovirus. He then measured their antibodies and the results were positive. Under the supervision of his mentor, Dr. Francis, and sponsored by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, over one million children took part in the largest medical experiment ever to be conducted by the United States of America in 1954. On 12 April 1955, the vaccine was officially pronounced affective and safe in almost 90% of cases.


After Roger Bannister finished a disappointing fourth in the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games, he said the following, “the important thing was not the winning but the taking part – not the conquering but the fighting well”. However, he nearly quitted from running after this event but eventually decided to continue with a new goal: to run the mile in under four minutes. Because of his tight time schedule due to his medical studies, he had only 30 to 45 minutes available for running each day. This called for something new, a fresh approach to training. The status-quo during the 1950’s was long hours and distances in training, which the other athletes of his day applied. Furthermore, some people believed it was God-ordained for man not to run the mile under four minutes. They used to say, “four quarter miles, four laps, and four minutes – it is how God planned it”.

Bannister however, decided to try the Swedish training concept of fartlek. Only one other well-known athlete successfully used that method in the 1940’s. Fartlek is a Swedish word for “speed play”. With only 45 minutes every day and an unfamiliar training program he not only was the first person to run a sub four-minute mile, he also won the 1954 Commonwealth Games and took the 1500m title.


There are times when we believe things can never be done in another way – a different way. We even believe it is God’s will for things not to change. Somehow, we (or others) have convinced ourselves of the impossibility of a breakthrough. The answer may be in a fresh approach. We must seek the solution outside the well-known barriers of our own mind. Outside the “what do the others do or, what would others think”-mentality. We must be able to move beyond the limiting beliefs of those around us. Einstein said, “Insanity is when we are doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

King David moved “outside” the will of God for a king (to worship before the Ark of the Covenant) but God accepted David’s way because of the sincerity and attitude of his heart and mind. This new, fresh, and unorthodox way of King David, brought him numerous breakthroughs.


How do we receive such unconventional, fresh, and against-the-status-quo ideas, which may lead to our breakthrough?

Well, whether through direct Divine inspiration or through the guidance of a mentor, an article read or the insight of a friend,you still have to:


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

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

Matthew 7:7-11


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

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