On 2nd August, 11 Community Baptist Church congregations gathered together at Glad Tidings PJ to celebrate 41 years of God’s goodness and faithfulness to them. Over the last four decades, CBC has grown and spread throughout the Klang Valley and can now be found in 8 different locations. Their local churches are made up of 5 English congregations, 5 Chinese congregations, and 1 Tamil congregation.
The celebration kicked off with a passionate and heartfelt worship session, followed by the ordination of Gordon Shum as an official Community Baptist Church pastor.
In light of their theme for the anniversary celebration, “Embracing The Breakthrough Anointing,” the message for the evening was split into two parts:
1. The Prerequisites For Spiritual Breakthrough, by Elder Ong See Lian, and
2. The Qualities Of A Breakthrough People, by Senior Pastor, Reynold Lim.
“I believe all of us want to have breakthrough,” Elder Ong said. “Whether it is in our careers, our families, or our health, we all want some kind of breakthrough to happen.”
Elder Ong went on to lead the people an overview of Joshua chapters 5 and 6. It was a time after Moses had died, and God was raising a new generation of Israelites to claim the land of milk and honey that He had promised them after 40 years of wandering in the wilderness.
During these 40 years, God was present in the lives of the people of Israel. God demonstrated many miracles throughout that time, and people from surrounding nations were very afraid that the Israelites had such a big God with them. They were very afraid of the Israelites because they had heard about all that God had done for them.
Before God allowed them into the Promised Land, however, God commanded Joshua to circumcise this new generation of Israelites that had been born out of the desert and had not yet been circumcised, and after Joshua had done as the Lord commanded, God said, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.”
And so God led the Israelites into Canaan, but first, they had to face Jericho: a fortress city with great walls surrounding it. An angel of the Lord appeared before Joshua, and when Joshua heard the angel say that he is the commander of the Lord’s army, he fell down and worshipped God.
God then told Joshua to march around the city walls for 6 days, and on the 7th day, to sounds the trumpets and shout the victory call. Joshua obeyed, the walls of Jericho came tumbling down, and Israel took possession of the land and God’s enemies.
“The Jericho wall is like many obstructions we face every day in our lives,” Elder Ong said. “They are like mountains to us and we try all sorts of ways to overcome them based on our efforts, but we do not have breakthrough. Today, we can learn some principles from Joshua, on how we can overcome our own Jericho walls.”
Elder Ong named 8 prerequisites for spiritual breakthrough:
1. Be sanctified.
The first thing God had the Israelites do after they crossed the Jordan River was to be circumcised. Circumcision is about sanctification. In order to have breakthrough, we need to cut ourselves from the things of the flesh. Anything that is carnal needs to be cut away.
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
Holiness is to be set apart. It’s about making choices that are different from the ways of the world. It’s about having a fear of God in our hearts always and to choose not to sin against God. It’s about having a heart that is committed to believing in God. And so Joshua circumcised the Israelites, and sanctified them and himself for God.
2. Lift up your eyes to God.
When Joshua was confronted with the wall of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him in grandeur and majesty. When you are faced with obstacles, so you look at the circumstances before you, or do you look to God?
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
And when they [the disciples] lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
Therefore when we are faced with challenges and difficult circumstances, we do not look at the challenges or the circumstances—we look beyond them. We lift up our eyes, and look at God.
3. Align to God’s will and purposes.
When Joshua asked the angel, “Are you for me or my enemies,” the angel said, “Neither. I am the commander of God’s army.”
God wanted Joshua to know who He is. God does not come just to help us overcome our circumstances; He wants us to know His will and His purposes. Overcoming our immediate problems is nothing to God. He wants us to know His ultimate, everlasting purposes.
He wants us to focus our lives on Him, His will, and His purposes. The Scriptures tell us that we cannot trust our own ways or our own wisdom.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
“I the Lord search the heart
and test the mind,
to give every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his deeds.
There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.
4. Worship God and God alone.
When Joshua saw the angel, he fell on his face and worshipped God. Worship is key to our victory and to our destiny. Our worship draws in the presence and glory of God. As we worship God, He opens up heaven’s doors and pours out His blessings upon us.
In 2 Kings, King Jehoshaphat was about to face his enemies. Knowing that he could not defeat them, he called upon his people and they worshipped God. The presence of God came upon them and God protected them.
When the time came for him to confront his enemies, he did not send soldiers, but the worship team to the frontlines. When they came upon their enemy’s camp the next morning, they found that it had been completely wiped out [from internal conflict].
This is how God works in our lives. When the people of God worship, the enemy’s camp will crumble. When we enthrone Him in our worship as our King of kings and Lord of lords, He will do great wonders for us.
In Matthew 4, Satan told Jesus to worship him, and he will give Jesus all the kingdoms of the world. But Jesus replied, “You shall worship the Lord your God and He only will you worship.” Then, the devil left him, and the angels came and ministered to Him.
When you worship God, the devil will not come near you because the presence and glory of God is with you. And so whenever you are faced with affliction and challenges in your life or when you’re oppressed, come and worship God and invite His presence into your life.
Let the high praises of God be in their throats
and two-edged swords in their hands
The Bible tells us that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against the power of darkness, and we bring them down through the praises and worship of God’s people. We will see breakthrough when the people of God embrace and worship Him—enthrone Him, and erect an altar of worship before Him.
5. Take off your old baggage and put on God’s full armor.
God told Joshua to remove his sandals. To have spiritual victory, you must become barefooted. You do not come before God with your baggage. You are willing to let go of the old baggage and embrace what God wants for you.
In other words, you cannot come to God and tell him, “God, I want you to help me and bless me, but this is the way I want it to happen.” You cannot dictate your ways to God! You cannot make your own personal plan and say, “God, this is how you should do it.”
If you want real breakthrough, you must empty yourself of yourself, and allow God to do His work. It is the exchange of your life: God’s plan for your plan; God’s will for your will; God’s purposes for your purposes.
Even Jesus said in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Not my will, but your will be done.” In His human form, He wanted to give up, but He surrendered His will to the Father.
“…to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
We dress ourselves up everyday, but do we put on the character of God daily in our lives? Ephesians 6 tells us to put on the whole armor of God. We don’t put on our own ingenuity or our own cleverness or our own ability; we put on what God has provided for us.
Hebrews 12: 1 says, “let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” We must be prepared to lay aside everything that binds us down.
When God tells us to do something, we always have our own terms—our comfort zone. But if you really want to have spiritual victory, let God be God! That is how you can experience the abundance that God has in store for you.
6. Total obedience to God.
Joshua did exactly what God told him to do. When God told him to surround the city of Jericho, it may have sounded foolish to man, but God says, “My ways are not your ways. Follow me.” The key to obedience is submission to God. It’s not just an external adherence to a set of rules, but a heart that is totally submitted to God.
We need to break away from our religious spirit. We must break away from our rituals that we have followed all these years and begin to tune our hearts and ears to the wavelength of God.
In this critical time of our lives, we need to be in tune with what God wants to do and we cannot do that with our own mind, our own abilities or our own wisdom. We need to hear from God and obey Him.
1 John 5:6 says that His commandments are not burdensome. Many of us think that following God’s ways restrains us and interrupts our way of life, but God’s Word tells us that His ways make things easier.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
(2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
The Jericho walls that we confront in our daily lives are not out of the physical world or the people out there who are obstructing us, but in our minds. It is about our mindset that needs to be subjected to the Lordship of Jesus.
7. Be cautious in your speech.
God told Joshua not to speak when they surround the city walls. “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voice, do not say a word until the day I tell you.”
We often like to talk too much and when we’re faced with circumstances, we say, “Sei la,” “Aiyah, no hope la.” We say all sorts of negative things. But God said, “Don’t say a word.” When you’re faced with difficulties, look to God, hear from Him, and try to obey His word. Wait for the right moment.
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
If you want to see breakthrough in your life, your church, your community, your nation, stop murmuring and stop speculating. When you start speculating, the devil will use that fertile ground to manipulate and deceive you by putting false concepts into your mind, and you will lose focus on what God wants to tell you.
8. Shout and claim the victory!
When the time is right, give the victory cry! God will say that the victory is now yours and this is the time that you have overcome the world by your faith. By faith, wait for that moment until your victory comes. Faith has a voice. When faith calls, things which are not to become things that are, and things that are become things that are not.
We have seen how God works in the lives of the faithful and how He comes through for them at just the right time. When you trust in God, when you sanctify yourself, and when you’re committed to God, God will bring a breakthrough, and at the right time, you will shout the victory cry.
Whatever God has promised you, He will bring it to pass, you will be able to enjoy it, and testify of His goodness. And that is the time to speak! It is the time to tell of His goodness and His glory.
Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!
Shout to God with the voice of triumph!
Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion,
For great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!
No matter what situation you are in, there is breakthrough to be won, because that is the design and purpose of God for you and me. He wants you to enjoy a life that is abundant.
With that, Elder Ong recapped the 8 prerequisites for spiritual breakthrough, and the service continued with Part II, which was delivered by Ps. Reynold Lim.
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