I preached a message this past week at a women's ministry event (Revive 2016 Girls Night Out), and I wanted to share many of my thoughts and notes from that moment here. I'll be breaking it into bite-sized, blog pieces. Here's the first part . . .

I’ve been passionate about breakthrough and victory since I was, maybe, 6 years old. It’s the earliest I can remember pretending to speak to imaginary, large crowds of people about how they could win at life. I believe that transmitting an anointing for breakthrough and victory is part of my core purpose. To be a beacon for victory and breakthrough in the earth. To help people to realize they can actually get the things God has promised them. They can get to where he’s promised them they will go.

There is a starting point to breakthrough, and it’s not what many of us think. Because the world has its own ideas of what it looks like to break through. It has its own process. And while it may appear to work for some, it’s actually sub-par to what the Lord has designed and planned into the hearts of men and women to bring about supernatural, lasting, enduring, resilient, productive, fruitful breakthrough. And that’s the kind of breakthrough I want to talk about.

So, what is this starting point of breakthrough? The Starting Point of Breakthrough is Standing On Your Promise. God wants to tell His daughters today, if you will stand on your promise and not waiver, if you’ll stick through the storms and the distractions of life, you will have your breakthrough. You will see your promise.

God has given each of us a promise, or promises, in our lifetime. A burning desire to be something, do something, know something, have something in this life. For some of us, a thought began in childhood. Something we were excited about. Something that burned inside of us. We just knew we could do that thing. We were born for it! For others, this thought began emerging quietly later in life. It sort of drifted out of the mist, but nevertheless, there was a point when we could see it fairly clearly and we began to get excited about the idea of it. This sort of desire or knowing or passion is what drives most people to move forward in life. We call this purpose or destiny or calling.

Now, I don’t want you to get too worked up if you don’t feel like you’ve ever “received” a promise from God. Sometimes we over-complicate this thing. See, the God of Heaven and Earth, he speaks to us in very normal ways and sometimes we miss it because it’s seemingly too simple. (Side note: I think sometimes we put God in a box when it comes to promises. I mean, I think it’s important to line up the promises you’ve heard with scripture to ensure they embody the character and theology of the God we serve – this helps us to know it’s really him speaking – but, seriously. Abraham didn’t have a Bible to line up with when the Lord told him he would make him a large and prosperous nation. There was no scriptural precedent for telling someone their sons and daughters would be as numerous as the stars and the sand. So we’ve got to remember that God doesn’t reside in a box. He can do unprecedented things. He can be bigger than our expectations.)

My God, he speaks in dreams and visions, he speaks through movies and television, he speaks through music and plays, he speaks through snapshots of everyday life. But because we don’t understand this about him, we think these things are “just us.” We don’t realize that the very desires we have, the very things that make our souls sing, God designed us that way, and then the stimuli in the environment around us are just pinging a signal to that core promise in our lives and reminding us that we have a God who loves us and made us for something big. We are made for a purpose and a promise.

So what does your heart declare your passion and your purpose is? For me, I knew at a very early age I was meant to speak and make people realize they could do powerful things! And as I went through life and began to read my Bible, certain scriptures would pop out to me. I learned that I could “hold” those scriptures near and call them my own. I learned that every promise was “Yes & Amen” in Christ. Meaning, if it lived for me, I could have it.

But there are hurdles to grabbing a hold of your promise. The first would be that you don't think you have ever heard God or can hear God speak a promise to you. If you are afraid that you cannot hear God’s voice – maybe because you think you never have before – let me share John 10:27 with you. In it, Jesus said “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” If you are a believer in and a follower of Jesus, you hear his voice for your life. He knows you. And you follow him. Don’t doubt your ability to hear him. He says you can.

Another hurdle we have is thinking we didn't hear correctly or maybe that it's “just me.” And so we stand still, paralyzed, because we don't want to move in accordance with something we aren't sure of. But look at Isaiah 30, beginning in verse 20 —  “yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” Not only will you be able to hear God about your life, he will give you course corrections! Isn’t that amazing? That means that even if you heard him, but you heard it wrong and began to action it, he will come along and get you straightened out. And even if you are actioning something that you conjured up, if you're sensitive to the voice of God that you are hearing, he will course correct you, too. What a good, good Father!

And what if you’ve never heard anything? What do you do then? Well, first some practicalities. I’d tell you that you’ve got to set some time aside to hear from him. You’ve got to find some time to meditate and pray, read scripture, dream – daydream even. This is when God speaks. And then just ask Him. Jeremiah 33:2-3 says this amazing thing: “Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it – the Lord is his name: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” God wants to be in a conversation with you about your purpose in life and your promises. If you’re not clear on what he’s promised you in this life, take some time and ask him. He will tell you!

Once you’ve got a hold of a promise, breakthrough starts when you stand on your promise. So what is your promise? Or promises? And have you had a hard time sticking? Most of us have. And we need to know how to stick effectively so we will see our breakthrough.

In Part 2 of this post series we'll talk about the two things we must do to stick to the starting point of our promise effectively.