The God of Breakthrough
The Weapon of our words.
We could see more breakthrough if we would simply quit speaking death over our situations. Our attitudes are controlled by the words we speak. The words we speak play a major role in determining what type of attitude we have. Our words of death may cancel our breakthrough.
As a believer, we have the ability to speak words of life over our lives and our situations.
(Luke 4:18-21; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Luke 10:17-19; Romans 8:28)
We need to find out what the Word of God says about us and begin to declare it over our lives and situations. When we take the Word and declare it over our lives it will usher in breakthrough.
The weapon of Praise.
There is power in praise. When we praise not only do we get breakthroughs but the people around us get breakthroughs as well.
The weapon of our Faith.
Sermon Video Transcription
Steven Roberts: (00:01)
And on behalf of Pastor James, man, we are so thankful that everyone has chose to worship with us this morning. My name is Pastor Steven. I am the children’s pastor here at Journey and Pastor James, I know that you are watching online, man. I am so incredibly thankful that you trust me every single Sunday with the children here at Journey. And I am thankful, man, that you trust me so much that you are giving me your stage this morning. I hope you are enjoying a little time away with the Mrs., man. My parents are watching online all the way from Pennsylvania. Come on, give it up for my parents. Mom, Dad, I love you so much. And of course, my beautiful wife who has just really had my back the entire way. So Miranda, I love you. I love you, man.
Steven Roberts: (00:58)
So this whole series is all about faith and God has really been just using Pastor James to stretch my own faith through this whole series because I mean we’ve learned what faith is. We’ve learned the greatest example of faith. If you haven’t been joining us, man, we got those archives online. They’re just incredible messages. And Hebrews 11:1 just really, really defines what faith is perfectly. And it says now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Man, it is confidence and that what we’re hoping for, what God is giving us as the vision is going to happen. But it’s the assurance that if we don’t see it happening, we still have faith that God is going to prevail through it. Can we get an amen on that? All right. Thank you. Thank. Man, as I said, I am the children’s pastor so I’m used to it being loud. So I need, I need you loud this morning. Can you do that for me? There we go. There we go.
Steven Roberts: (02:13)
It’s crazy. As I was writing this, I thought back and, you know, I’ve been in ministry now for over a decade which just makes me realize I’m old. I’m getting old at this point. But as I was thinking back that whole time, you know, I went into the ministry back in 2006 right out of high school. And I am just incredibly blessed that I got to work with pastors from all over across America, all around the world, pastors, chaplains evangelists. And I remember when I first started, I was, I was under these two, these two pastors and they said, they said Steven, you can, you can do a lot of things when you preach. But one thing that you can never do, never allowed to do when you’re up in front of everyone preaching is use the message translation. So I want to reread Hebrews 11:1 this morning in the message translation. And it says the fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God or this faith in God is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors. Faith, the act of faith is what made our ancestors rise above the crowd that makes us remember that.
Steven Roberts: (03:50)
So of course, I was joking. They really did tell me that. And I think, I think the message like anything else is a great tool to have in your tool bag. But it can’t be the only tool in your tool bag. Right? Can I get an amen? Okay. But what I love about the message with this particular passage is it absolutely nails two things about faith. And the first is that faith is the foundation that makes everything worth living. In James 1:17. It says every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows. So that means every single good thing, every single thing that we hope for, every single thing that we ever put our faith and hopes and dreams and visions, all of that good stuff is coming from God. And God wants to bring us that gift. And He wants to start with that this morning. The second thing that I really think the message nails about that Hebrews scripture is that faith is an act. So what do I mean by that? What I mean is that we have to do something. Right? So God is always faithful but we have the choice of whether we want to participate in that faith from God. We have the choice if we want to say okay, God, you’re giving me this vision and I believe you. I am going to step out to you to receive it. And so life comes to a crossroads. Right?
Steven Roberts: (05:34)
So God, God gave me a vision over a decade ago that I was going to be a pastor, that I was going to be a preacher. I was going to stand up in front of people. I was going to teach God’s word. I was going to preach to them. And I had the option that I could’ve said awesome. Thanks, God. I believe you. Or because I’m not going to lie to you, I didn’t know what that meant being an 18-year-old kid, I had the option to go okay, God, I’m going to take active steps to get towards that vision that you have given me. I have faith that one day I might, and I didn’t know this, that I might one day be preaching in front of a whole bunch of people, hundreds of people online over a decade later. But I could’ve sat in that promise and it might not have never happened or I could have taken active steps that one day, I’m fulfilling that vision, I’m fulfilling that dream and I’m getting to live out a passion that God gave me this morning. And amen. Amen. So as I was writing that, I was, I was reminded of my favorite movie of all time. Who’s seen Rudy? Movie Rudy? Rudy Ruettiger. Yeah. All the, all the young people are like I don’t know. Rudy is a, is a really old movie. It was kind of an old movie even when I was a kid. But what I love about it is it’s the story of this little tiny kid. He was five foot nothing. He was as big as my pinky. And his dream was to play high level collegiate football for Notre Dame. Right? But to him, Notre Dame just wasn’t, just wasn’t a football team. To him, every single Saturday, his whole family gathered around and got to watch football. So to him, Notre Dame football represented family. He was the small little pipsqueak of his family. He had a bunch of older brothers. They were a very working class family. He had some real corn fed brothers who worked in a refinery that he was never going to live up to. So to him, if he got to play on TV for Notre Dame, it would be acceptance. Right? And that was his dream. That was his vision to play that game. And it was, it was so much bigger than the actual football and that’s what it was to him.
Steven Roberts: (08:11)
But then he came smack dab and hit a brick wall when he applied to Notre Dame and they said no, your grades are terrible. Rudy, you’re five foot nothing. We got 6’6″ 300-pound linemen. You can’t even see over them let alone get around them. What are you doing? And it was in that moment, Rudy hit that crossroad that I was talking about earlier. Am I going to have faith in my dreams? Am I going to take active steps in my dreams when the whole world is telling me no? Am I going to change and say okay, I guess I’ll be an economics major at the local school here? That’s a thing that he could’ve did. But instead what, because that would’ve been a terrible movie if he did that. Instead, what Rudy did, he chose to go to the community college that was across the street from Notre Dame. And he worked really hard and got his grades up and he was working out the whole time. He finally then applies a couple of years later. It took him years to get his grades good enough. And he got accepted into Notre Dame and they were still Rudy, you’re tiny. You’re not going to play on this field. So he said you know what? I’m gonna, I’m gonna work for the land crew and he started cutting the grass. He started preparing the field and cutting the grass because he said one day my feet are going to be on this grass.
Steven Roberts: (09:43)
And this grass is going to be ready for when my cleats get to go on it. And as the movie progresses, he finally gets his shot. He finally, they finally go okay, Rudy, you get to wear the game uniform. You get to come out. You’re probably not going to play. It’s the last game his senior year. His entire family comes out. They’re watching him play ball. He makes the winning tackle. The entire team lifts him up on the shoulders and carries him off. Right? Come on. And it was because he put in the work, he cut the grass and the grass was ready for his cleats. He had faith in his dream that one day he was going to be there and he chose to put in all of the work. Are you following me with this story this morning?
Steven Roberts: (10:28)
So that is where I want to pick up this morning out of Acts 27:20. I want to pick up. And it says when neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved. And you’re going Pastor Steven, how’d you just go from them carrying him off the field in victory to where we are? And I want to Tarantino that, keeping in with the Hollywood tradition this morning. I’m going to Tarantino this story and we’re going to, we’re going to go back a little bit. So that’s where we are. Right? We’ve just given up all hope. And this is Paul. Excuse me. So this is Paul. Right? So I want to give you a little bit of a precursor. Paul post-conversion to Christianity was just an amazing dynamic, powerful guy.
Steven Roberts: (11:28)
He started many of the churches that we’re talking about. He wrote a bunch of the books in the Bible, a little book that I’m preaching out of this morning. And Paul kind of wrote all of that. And his thing was he wanted to see Jesus and God lifted so high in everything. He started a church in Rome and at that time, Rome was like the center of all culture. It was the center of everything that goes out. So Paul thought genius thought, if I can get to Rome and start a church, then we’re going to affect the culture before it goes out into the world. So that would be like in today’s world. Right? We go and we start a church, we start journey Hollywood right in the middle of Hollywood Studios. We are bringing Jesus to the producers. We’re bringing Jesus to directors, to the actors. So Jesus is now in all the movies before they actually go into theaters in small towns like Louisiana. Genius. That’s what Paul does. Paul starts the church in Rome but he’s never been there. He’s never actually gotten a chance to go to Rome that he started this church. So he just writes him some books. The book of Romans. See where I’m going with that? Writes these books to them but he goes, he goes God, I want to go to Rome. I want to change the culture of the entire world. And I want to go and affect it where the culture of the entire world actually starts. And God goes bet, you’re doing it. We’re gonna, we’re gonna bring you out there. So God in his infinite wisdom goes okay, it’s time to get you to Rome. So he gets Paul beaten and arrested. And then Paul gets out of jail and he gets beaten and arrested. Then Paul gets out of jail. He gets beaten, arrested and thrown on a slave ship.
Steven Roberts: (13:23)
Thanks, God. A plane, a plane ticket would’ve worked. But we can go with that way too. So, Paul is on this slave ship and God goes to Paul hey, don’t let the ship leave. So Paul goes okay, yeah, slave on the ship. They’re going to listen to me. He goes to the captain and he goes hey, don’t leave. And they said all right, slave, get back down underneath. And they leave. And they basically sail into a hurricane for all intents and purposes. And this storm, this hurricane is so bad, you have all of these seasoned sailors who are used to sailing all around the world, they’re more comfortable in the water than they are on the land. This storm is so bad. That is where that was picked up. The storm was so bad, these seasoned sailors gave up all hope of survival. And I want to pick back up in verse 39. So this is the next day. The storm is still raging. They’ve given up all hope. The sun is rising. And it says when daylight came, they did not recognize the land.
Steven Roberts: (14:39)
So sun comes up, they see this land, sandy beach. They had no idea where they are. They’re completely knocked off course. But they did see a bay with a sandy beach and they decided to run the ship aground if they could. And that is a fancy term for they were going to bee line at this beach. And the storm is so bad, these guys think my best possible chance of survival is to crash the ship on land. Have you ever been there? Have you ever, you ever been so low, so scared in your life, the best idea that you have is still a terrible one? That’s where these guys are at. Their best idea, their best hope for survival is to run the ship aground. The problem was they’re not looking where they’re at. They have no idea where the land is. They just see a beach.
Steven Roberts: (15:43)
We’re going to hit the sand. They’re not looking right in front of them. It’s the giant sandbar that takes out the entire bottom of their ship. So now they lose the entire bottom of the ship. This is worst case scenario when you’re running a ship aground because now they’ve actually just shipwrecked. And they have hundreds of slaves onboard, hundreds of crew onboard and now they have to jump out of the boat and swim to shore. And keep in mind as I said, Paul is a slave. So the odds of him actually being shackled are very high. So now he’s got to jump off this ship with a hundred other slaves with him and swim to shore in shackles. And when they get to shore, they find out that this is an island called Malta. And has anyone ever heard of the island of Malta? Exactly. Exactly. So Paul is promised Rome and he shipwrecks on this island no one’s heard of. And they swim to shore. Now he’s shackled. He’s drenched. In my head, he’s covered in seaweed and he’s just coming out with all of these people. Not a single person died which is just amazing and an act of God in itself. And they get to shore and they’re greeted by all of these natives. And that is a very nice translation because if you look at the actual traditional, they call them savages, barbarians, [inaudible]. Savages.
Steven Roberts: (17:27)
So my Bible nicely translated it as natives. So we’ll go with that this morning. So they see all these natives and Paul says they were just unusually kind to us. They saw how wet we were, how cold we were. We had just gone through a hurricane and they said hey guys, come on over. We’re going to build you a fire. We’re going to feed you. They’re warming up. And Paul is a guy that just can’t sit still. And he goes I’m gonna help. I’m gonna, I’m gonna get some wood on the fire. And he, and he picks up all the wood. And as he picks up the wood, man, I’m not, I’m not even joking, a viper jumps out from the woodpile and latches onto Paul’s hand. That’s a true story. Like Paul would be imprisoned on a slave ship, shipwrecked, had to swim to shore in shackles. And then when he still wants to help, a viper, it doesn’t say bit him. It says latches onto his hand and he had to shake it off into the fire. That’s where Paul’s at. So if anyone ever tells you, the Bible is boring, you call them a liar and say you’re not reading the Bible because this is better than any story other than maybe Frozen that I’ve seen in Hollywood.
Steven Roberts: (18:51)
So, so Paul throws that viper into the fire and then the natives, the islanders, they instantly flip and they go this guy’s a murderer. And the, and the goddess of the sea is trying to reclaim his soul because he cheated death when the ship wrecked. And if I could just take a, just take a moment, something that pinged in my heart as I, as I was reading that is do you see how quick people are gonna turn on you? Just that quick. Paul was swimming to shore and everybody was nice to him. They were feeding him and he was trying to help them keep the fire going and instantly within like an hour, all of these islanders are now going no, no, no. He’s evil. And the goddess is trying to kill him. In less than an hour’s time, people went from being nice and unusually kind to now they basically want to crucify Paul. So what I’m trying to say on this little side tangent is don’t you ever put your faith in people because in less than an hour, all of these people flip the switch. Right?
Steven Roberts: (20:13)
But I digress. Now we’ll go back to Paul. We’ll go back. You know, Paul didn’t have faith in those people. Otherwise, I think he would’ve been crushed right then. Right? But who did, who did Paul have faith in? Who did Paul have faith in? One more time. Who did Paul have faith in? Oh, right. See, Paul had faith in Christ, in God, in Jesus. He put all of that faith in there. And in turn, Jesus did his end of the bargain and he actually bound the Vipers venom. And the Bible says Paul’s hand didn’t even swell. He just had a viper latched to his hand filling him with venom and Jesus didn’t even let his hand swell up. And now the ficky nature of people, they see this. So they’re hanging out by the fire. They all now hate Paul because he’s a murderer. And one guy goes hey, his hand’s not even swollen. And they flip again and they go this guy’s a god. Even venom can’t hurt him. And so to recap, in one day, less than 24 hours, he shipwrecked, he had a viper latched to his hand, everybody called him a murderer and now they’re calling him a false god. Beat that, Tarantino. And that’s a crazy story. Right? Yeah.
Steven Roberts: (21:55)
And if that’s all it was, then that would just be a crazy story. But then you probably wouldn’t be here this morning. Right? You would’ve just watched that at the movie theater. This is where Paul’s fork in the road comes in. Right? So all of that just happened to Paul. In Paul’s mind, he’s already tried to help once. And you saw where that got him. Right? So Paul has this option. He has this fork in the road and he can look to God and say God, you promised me Rome. You send people here to rescue me. Bring me to Rome. Fulfill your promise, God. And he could do that. Right? God is not going to go back on his promises. So I think God could have figured it out. Right? Or Paul could go the opposite way. Right? Paul can say okay, I’m at the lowest of my low right now. I don’t even know where I am. But I could, I can make the best of it. Right? I can do work while I’m here. And that’s exactly what Paul chose to do. He quieted the crowd when everybody’s calling him a god and he goes hey, hey, hey, I’m not a god but I know the one true God. The one true God that kept that venom out of my hand. And everybody’s like okay, okay, well, what does that mean? He goes the one true God will protect us. The one true God will bring us salvation, will bring us to Heaven. We’ll get to spend all of eternity, all of glory with the one true God. Amen. And that’s exactly what they said. They said okay, hey, the chief of our island, he’s pretty sick.
Steven Roberts: (23:47)
Can you come maybe do some of that God stuff that you did with your hand to him? And Paul said hey, man, bring me to him. And they bring Paul to the chief of all of Malta, the king, the leader, the head guy over the entire island who was next to death. And Paul gets to share the gospel with a guy who has influence over the entire island. And that guy accepted Christ and since he accepted Christ, Christ brought a supernatural healing to this guy. And this guy then stands up and he then goes and proclaims to every single person under him what God just did for his life. And because of Paul in the darkest hour in the middle of Malta decided to have faith that God would eventually fulfill his promise, he acted on Malta and the entire island was saved.
Steven Roberts: (24:56)
And now this chief goes hey, I’m going to give you any supplies. I’m going to give you all the guys you need. You go fix your ship and get outta here. And to finish that story, man, this chief of Malta fixes their slave ship. They hop back on board. They get to Rome and Paul walks off and he goes yeah, I’m sentenced to death. And Rome’s like yeah, we don’t care about those guys. Go ahead. Do your own thing. And for the first time in all of Paul’s ministry, he got to preach without getting beaten. He got to preach without going to jail. And it was all because of what he did in Malta, man. See, Paul had had faith in God, faith that God would fulfill His end of the promise if Paul just kept taking those steps to it, man.
Steven Roberts: (25:52)
And I think that is, that is what faith is. Right? It’s easy to trust in God when everything is going right. It’s easy to trust in God when you get that promotion at work. It’s easy to trust in God and it’s easy to say yeah, God, I trust you, I love you when your car works, when you’re driving to work fine, when your mortgage is paid, when the electric, when the electricity is on. It’s easy to say hey, God, I trust you in all of that. But what happens when God promises you Rome and you’re stuck in Malta? Are you going to have that faith in God then? You know, what would happen if Paul just sat there and said God, this was your promise. This is what you promised me. Fulfill it. It was, it was the chief who fixed his boat, who got him to Rome. Right? Would he have still gotten to Rome? I mean I don’t know because Paul had faith in that dark situation. Man, when God gives you a promise, faith is more than just saying okay. Faith is taking that action step to set you apart, to set your ancestors apart. Faith is stepping out and allowing God to work. Faith is sharing the gospel of Jesus no matter what’s happening in your life right now this morning. That’s what faith is.
Steven Roberts: (27:17)
You know, all good things come from God and God wants to bring you through whatever island of Malta you’re standing on right now. And all you need to do is take that step out in faith and say hey, God, I’m trusting you within my situation. And whatever that step is, man, maybe you’re, you’re sitting, you’re sitting here or maybe you’re sitting in front of your computer screen at home and this is the first time you’ve ever heard this. And maybe this is the first time you’ve ever heard hey, I actually need to take a step towards God. We want to help you with that, man. And so we’re going to open up our altars in just a little bit. Pastor Darryl is going to be down here. We want to help you with that, man. Maybe you’re just, you just feel stuck in Malta right now. And you know what your promise is but you know you’re not there. And maybe you’re a little mad at God. That’s okay, man. We want to help you get to that next step. We want to pray with you in whatever that step looks like. Or maybe like Paul, you just want to serve.
Steven Roberts: (28:28)
You know, I think Paul got his blessing so well because he stepped out in that faith and decided to serve regardless of his situation. And God used his serving to bring him to that next level, to bring him to that promise. So maybe that’s where you’re at this morning. Maybe you need to serve God to get closer to God. We want to help you with that too, man. So if I can have everybody stand, we’re gonna bow our heads. Lord God, we just praise your name, Lord God, in whatever this storm looks like this morning. Father, we want to stand here boldly and say Lord God, we have faith in you regardless of my situation, Lord Jesus. We just thank you so much for your word, Father. We thank you so much for Paul just giving us this example, Lord God. And I pray a special blessing over the hearts, Lord Jesus, that I pray, Father, that you just loosen up hearts, Lord God, and just give boldness to take that step in faith, Lord God. Give us boldness to step out and step towards you, Lord Jesus. In your holy and precious name. Amen.
Pastor Darryl: (29:47)
On behalf of Pastor James, if you still wait someone to pray with you, click the link below. I have people on standby right now. Hey, guess what? Pastor James is starting a new series next week. But you’re going to have to come to find out what that series is. We start at 8:30, 10:00 and 11:30. We will see you there.
Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.