Author: Thomas Wilson

God of the Breakthrough – A Worship Devotional

“I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him. Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with You; were I to speak and tell of Your deeds, they would be too many to declare.” Psalm 40: 1-5

We can all relate to the image of being trapped in a pit, helpless and hopeless. Life is full of difficult circumstances that are out of our hands.

THANKFULLY IT’S THERE, IN THE UNCONTROLLABLE CHAOS, THAT WE MEET THE GOD OF THE BREAKTHROUGH.

Our God is a miracle worker and a rescuer by nature. I wrote about this in the God of the Breakthrough song story, but here are just a few quick examples: He created everything from nothing (Genesis 1), delivered His people out of slavery in Egypt (Exodus 12), empowered David to defeat Goliath (1 Samuel 17), healed the sick (Matthew 8), calmed storms (Matthew 8) and raised Jesus from the dead (Matthew 28). He has always been a supernatural God who breaks through human impossibilities, and it’s still who He is today.

When we sing God of the Breakthrough we make a bold declaration about our need for a supernatural God. It’s not a song for the prideful, but for the humble—those who know their need.

HUMANS ARE FASCINATED BY MIRACLES, BUT WE DON’T WANT TO NEED A MIRACLE.

In fact, more times than not, I think we’d prefer to not need God at all. Needing God means trusting in someone else rather than ourselves. It means we aren’t in control. But as long as we live in this sin-tainted world, let’s face it—we’re going to find ourselves in circumstances that are totally out of our hands. And it’s in those moments where God breaks through and His glory shines brightest.

WHEN WE GIVE UP CONTROL, WE ALLOW GOD TO BE GOD.

Surrender is the most freeing place to be, because in surrender the world rests in God’s hands—not yours. Surrender brings peace, joy and life. Rather than obsessing over what could go wrong (which is what being a slave to fear looks like), you’re free to enjoy each day as it comes, leaving the ultimate outcome to God. This is what Jesus addressed in His sermon on the mount:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”  (Matthew 6:25-27)

Of course, unless we’re convinced of God’s goodness, we can’t fully surrender control to Him. But on the cross, God proved His character to us once and for all. It’s there that we see God’s ultimate breakthrough. It’s there that we learn how outrageously good God is.

“If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32)

IN RESPONSE:

  • If it’s true that nothing is impossible for God, that He’s extravagantly good and that He’s on our side, why not give Him control? What if instead of dreading the challenges of life, we viewed each one as an invitation to behold God’s miracle-working power from a front row seat? What if we saw each mountain as a breakthrough waiting to happen?
  • It can be difficult to have this outlook on a life you can’t control. But perspective is based on what you meditate on; and ironically, that’s the one thing you actually can control. What is your thought life like? Are you mostly dwelling on the mountains of life? Or are you feeding your soul on God’s character?
  • Testimonies of what God has done are so incredibly important in the fight to maintain right perspective. I’ve begun a discipline of writing mine down, and I’d encourage you to do the same. Dwelling on God’s faithfulness in the past gives us hope for the future, and it shatters the discouragement that can so easily creep into our lives day by day.
  • So what area of life do you or someone you know need a breakthrough in? Put your trust in Him, as Psalm 40 says. Wait for His deliverance. Is there anything you’re holding onto for safety? Let it go. True safety is resting in God’s hands.
  • And in the waiting, let’s take time to meditate on the ways God has been faithful—not all the ways things could go wrong. We’ll probably find ourselves with a lot more peace and faith the next time a mountain appears.

By Thomas Wilson – Associate Worship Pastor

Song Story –
God of the Breakthrough

When was the last time you needed a miracle?

Maybe it’s been a while, and you’ve forgotten what it feels like to be in desperate need for God to move. Or maybe you need a miracle today. For me, it was about six months ago. Within the span of a few weeks, multiple close friends and family members suddenly needed God to move in big ways.

It felt like I was constantly in survival mode because everywhere I turned someone needed breakthrough. One moment, I was fighting in prayer for someone who was in the hospital. The next moment I was interceding for someone’s financial breakthrough. And then I was praying for a desperate situation in another country where friends were serving as missionaries. In the middle of it all, writing God of the Breakthrough was just another way I fought to stand my ground in prayer.

In 2 Samuel 5, there’s this short but beautiful story about God delivering His people from a huge army. These breakthrough stories are all throughout the bible, but I love this particular one because it actually highlights a new name for God. “’The LORD has broken through my enemies before me like a breaking flood.’ Therefore the name of that place is called Baal-perazim (which means ‘Lord of breaking through’).”

IN OTHER WORDS, BREAKTHROUGH ISN’T JUST SOMETHING GOD CAN DO. IT’S WHO HE IS.

For me, that changes everything, because over time, I’ve come to realize it’s not God’s actions, but His character that I can rely on. He rarely does things how I expect Him to. Although His actions aren’t always predictable, His character absolutely is; His nature—His heart—never changes.

So if breakthrough isn’t just something God does, but it’s who He is, we’re talking about a whole new level of confidence and faith.

Of course, when and how God breaks through is another story. God’s ways are higher than ours. But the fight of faith isn’t about mustering up enough inner strength or willpower to twist God’s arm so He achieves a specific outcome for us. It’s so much deeper than an external circumstance. The battle we face every day is to trust His heart—even in the face of insurmountable odds—and believe for the impossible.

In our moment of need, can we trust that He is a God of breakthrough? We absolutely can. And praise God, because we’re always going to need breakthrough somewhere. Jesus told us plainly, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). Our fight will not be over until Jesus returns and makes everything right again. But until that day, we can hold onto His promise in the second half of that verse, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

I love that in 2 Samuel 5, “God of the breakthrough” was also the name of the Israelites’ physical location of victory. It’s as if the testimony of God’s past victory became a landmark that would forever remind the people of God what He’s capable of.

Testimonies of what God has done are so incredibly important. I’ve begun a discipline of writing these down, and I’d encourage you to do the same. When we remember what God has done in the past, it gives us hope for the future and fuels our faith.

TESTIMONIES SHATTER THE LIES AND DISCOURAGEMENT THAT CREEP IN DAY BY DAY.

In fact, the song God of the Breakthrough is a testimony in itself of the ways God met me six months ago. Every time we sing it, I remember the people I prayed for in that season. And although I can’t say that I’ve seen the full breakthrough in every situation, I have seen Him do so many miracles. And remembering who God is always gives me faith to believe again.

So when the mountains loom large in front of us, I pray that this song would stir our faith again to believe for more. I pray that we would never forget what God has done, and that we’d never forget who He is. Because breakthrough is not just something he does, it’s who He is.

God of the Breakthrough is available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music and more. Check it out! 

By Thomas Wilson – AntiochLIVE

Song Story – LIGHT

Some songs are written start-to-finish in a matter of hours. Others take weeks before they’re done. Still, others take months.

AND THEN, THERE ARE SONGS LIKE LIGHT.

I knew Light had been in the works for a long time, but it wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I opened my songwriting app to see exactly where and when this song was born. Thanks to #technology, with just a click of a button I can see the date and the exact geographic location for the creation of every song in my app. When I clicked the button for Light, I was shocked.

The date was June 19, 2013. And the scene vividly came back to my mind. Just days earlier, I had stood on the stage at my college graduation, holding a diploma, looking out at familiar faces in the audience. Now, I stood on the roof of an apartment building in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, holding a guitar, looking out at a city I had never been to before. I remember the contrast between the scene in front of my eyes and that graduation scene–still so fresh in my memory–being difficult to wrap my mind around.

That summer I was in Mongolia with a group of college friends, working to plant a church in the capital city. We were fueled by this crazy idea,

“WHAT IF GOD COULD USE US TO BRING LIGHT TO A NATION HALFWAY AROUND THE WORLD?”

And better yet, what if we could not just make a short-lived flash of an impact, but actually establish a long-term lighthouse that would outlive our short time there?

I wasn’t in Mongolia for very long before I realized the immense need for light. Human trafficking, idol worship, alcohol abuse, generational violence, extreme poverty and racism were just a few of the forms of darkness we encountered. There was so much need. So much brokenness. But the biggest darkness of all was the reality of thousands of Mongolians who had never heard the Gospel.

It was overwhelming.

Yet even in the darkness, I couldn’t shake the fact that God was present. I saw Him everywhere–and not only because of the incredible local believers we were with. I would talk to people who had never even heard the name of Jesus and witness an innate longing inside of them for the Gospel. As I heard people’s stories, I could see that God had been protecting them, wooing them and reaching out to them, whether they knew it or not.

This was where the song Light began from the truth of Psalm 139 that says, “If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”

GOD WAS PRESENT EVEN IN THE DARKNESS.

But that truth in and of itself wasn’t enough for me. I knew that as long as shadows still covered the nations, I wouldn’t be satisfied. So I resolved that no matter what darkness I might encounter, I would stand on the truth that all darkness must give way–will give way–to light.

AntiochLIVE’s latest single, Light, is now available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and anywhere else music is available. Check it out today! 

By Thomas Wilson – AntiochLIVE