The dangerous theology of Spiritual Breakthrough

Many conferences and meetings, under the banner of Christianity, promise spiritual breakthroughs to take your faith to the next level.

There are books written about spiritual breakthroughs:

“Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough”

“Praying the Lord’s Prayer for Spiritual Breakthrough”

“Prayer Walking for Spiritual Breakthroughs”

“How to be patient while waiting for a Spiritual Breakthrough”

You can even buy anointed water for a spiritual breakthrough.

“Spiritual breakthrough” is a term that seems to have more in common with animism and African Traditional Religion, than Christianity.  ATR and animism teach that there are evil forces that constantly bind and oppose us and we need to break through these oppressive forces to access God’s favour.

Often in Africa, the pastor or so-called “Anointed Man of God” is seen as fulfilling the same role as the witchdoctor in ATR.  He can do some magic or say some prayer to get you to achieve spiritual or financial or whatever breakthrough.

A Christian website boldly asserts that there are three common stages for every Christian: burden, birthing and breakthrough.  The website promises,

“Explosive breakthroughs will come in your life as you continue to lift up the name of Jesus. Breakthroughs bring the favour of God on your life, which releases His plans for you. Soon, your doors will swing open, chains will fall off, and those standing by will marvel at your life.  Whether you are in a period of burden or birthing, remember that explosive breakthroughs are coming!”

What does the Bible say about spiritual breakthroughs?

Not surprisingly, the term or concept of Christians having “Spiritual breakthroughs” is not found in the Bible.

JESUS + SOMETHING = NOTHING

In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossians we learn a lot about how we grow in our faith as Christians.  The challenge facing the church in Colossae was the same challenge facing many churches today: syncretism

Syncretism is the combining or blending of different beliefs or practices.

It seems that some in the church were being tempted to combine their new faith in Christ with some aspects of their previous, pagan religion.

There seems to have been false teachers who wanted these new Christians to mix some other beliefs and practises with their newfound faith in Christ.

The false teachers were promising superior knowledge, spiritual breakthrough and deeper walk with God. They could, apparently, take you to the next spiritual level.

The false teachers taught,

“Repenting from sin and trusting in Jesus is enough to get you started as a Christian.  But if you want to progress spiritually and flourish you need to…”

The Apostle Paul knew that this was a very dangerous theology.

Therefore, Colossians 1:15-23 is all about how great, superior and incomparable Jesus is.

Paul warns the Christians about these false teachers:

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him (JESUS) the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.  (Colossians 2:8-9)

You don’t need more than Jesus.

If you have Jesus, you have everything.

The false teachers detracted from the sufficiency of Christ.

Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. (Colossians 2:18-19)

These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. (Colossians 2:23)

All the beliefs and practises that these false teachers prescribed seemed very spiritual, but in reality they were of no value and could not grow Christians in godliness.

JESUS ONLY

The same way we become Christians, we grow as Christians.

We become Christians by repentance and faith and we grow as Christians by continued repentance and faith.

It’s by turning from sin and trusting in Jesus that we become Christians, and grow as Christians.

Colossians 2:6-7 is key:

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.  

Real Breakthrough

The real spiritual breakthrough is when we become Christians.

God breaks through to us, not we to him.

God breaks through our unbelief and shines the light of Christ in our hearts (2 Corinthians 4:4-6).

Do you need a “spiritual breakthrough”?

Do you have a besetting sin, a terrible temptation or a  constant issue?

What you need is Jesus.

In Jesus, you have the full and complete forgiveness of sin and adoption into God’s family.

In Jesus, you are assured that nothing will separate you from God’s love.

In Jesus, you have everything you need for life and godliness.

In Jesus, you have God’s promise to care for you in this world and in the world to come.

In Jesus, you have every spiritual blessing.

In Jesus, God promises never to leave you or forsake you.

In Jesus, God is orchestrating the entire universe for your good so that you can be more conformed to Christ.

In Jesus, you have all that God intends for you.

Keep turning from sin and keep trusting Jesus.

The pastor or so-called “Man of God” can’t do that for you, you must do it.

Colossians 3 tells us how.

If anyone dares to tell you that you need something else, besides what you have in Jesus, for spiritual breakthrough or maturity, you certainly shouldn’t listen to them.