The ultimate breakthrough is death.
Not the death of the body, after which our fate is sealed, but death to self.
As we journey through life with many tears and smiles, the Lord time and again provides opportunities for us to claim this death. His whisper is always there for the one who is willing to hear. His grace is always within reach for the one who is willing to extend a hand.
I heard His gentle whisper for years without knowing whose voice called out to me. Often His invitation came alive in the words of a Christian who was willing to sacrifice for the Man who sacrificed Himself. Sometimes, He called out to me in the pages of books written decades ago. But my own death would not begin until I could face sin that separated man from God.
If we cannot understand what sin is and how sinful we are, there is no reason to die.
“Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Christ said these words to a confused Nicodemus who was supposed to be a learned Jew. Nicodemus, like many others before and after him, misunderstood the death Christ demanded of us. This man of books had expected a teacher in Jesus, but found a Redeemer who asked his followers to lay down their sinful selves to gain eternal life.
My own breakthrough came in steps, because I was not willing to follow the voice that led to Light. The Lord presented one of the two biggest steps in the form a chapter from Dostoyevski’s Brothers Karamazov. Among these pages that talked about Christ and His temptation in the desert, for the first time I saw how Adam’s Fall inclines us towards sin which through a ripple of effect creates a fallen and sinful world with much suffering. Until that moment, I had refused to believe in a God who allowed so much evil in the world.
The Creator of the Universe was so patient with me that He gave me a vision as the second and last step of my conversion. Much like Nicodemus, I was not willing to surrender my self for the life Christ offered. I was worried about my future and my position in a Muslim country. Nicodemus came to Christ under the cover of darkness. I read my Bible and Christian books hidden behind closed doors. Dying was much too hard.
Sin of pride and mistrust was strong, until the Lord showed me how insignificant and brief everything this world can offer is. The day I died is the day I surrendered. Now, daily, I must die. Daily, I must surrender. Grace is plentiful for those who turn to Christ.
The movie Breakthrough is not about the miracle of a boy coming back to life. It is about the breakthrough of death John Smith and those around him could claim through this physical impossibility. For the Word through whom the universe was created, miracles are not hard. But as He holds time and space in existence, He wants us to die so that we can be reborn.
With each miracle, the Lord leads us towards death. He wants our hearts to turn to Him so irretrievably that we desire nothing but eternal life spent in His presence. In this fallen world, there will always be sin, suffering, pain and loss. With the time given to us, we must fight the good fight. But to fight, first we must surrender.
Are you ready to hear His voice?
Are you ready for your breakthrough?
Are you ready to die?