Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (III John 1:1-3) We all want to prosper, don't we? So many times the only aspect of this scripture that is taught is as it relates to our finances, but there are many ways to be prosperous, even as the last part of the verse indicates in saying our "soul" prospers. But sometimes, getting from where we are to a prosperous place involves having some sort of breakthrough. The biblical story of Jonah going to Nineveh provides a good analogy for this process.
Jonah fled from Nineveh on a ship that then encountered a storm. All of the other passengers were calling on God in the manner they had been taught for help when they found Jonah asleep in the bottom of the ship. When awakened, Jonah let them know that his disobedience was the reason for the storm and informed them that if they threw him off the ship they would all escape unharmed.
- Many times before a breakthrough can occur there must be a Break Up. There are people in your life at times who have caused a storm. They, themselves, may or may not even be aware of it (as Jonah was, at first, asleep). Before your soul can truly prosper, you must find the people in your life who are the cause of the storm and throw them off your ship. This might seem harsh, but know that just as they are keeping you from your destiny, continuing on in relationship with them is keeping them from their destiny as well. In the story of Jonah, after Jonah was thrown off the ship, he landed in the belly of the great fish and was saved. The storm stopped and therefore all the others on the ship were saved too. God had already prepared a way for both parties to continue on their path, but they had to have to strength to Break Up with Jonah (throw him off the ship) first.
- Next, there must be a Break Away. Once you have broken up, break totally away and don't let that thing that was keeping your soul in bondage back in again. We'll go a bit further with this idea now and include doctrines and ways of thinking that have held your soul hostage and prevented it from prospering as well as individuals. As long as you keep yourself "married" to old ideas - things that you "heard," you cannot move on and "hear" what the Spirit is saying now. When you turn away from religion and turn toward Spirit, you can find "spirit" in ANY religion.
- Following the Break Away there must be a Break Out. You cannot put new wine into old wineskins. They cannot contain it and will therefore, burst. You can't take new ideas and put them in the framework of old structures. When Jesus asked the Pharisees if it was lawful (according to the law of Moses) for him to heal a man on the Sabbath, they all replied that it was not. What did Jesus do? He went right ahead and healed the man. This is only one example of how he Broke Out of the tradition of Moses and the Law.
- Sometimes, for some people, a total Break Down is necessary. Before Paul became the "Apostle," he was Saul, a great persecutor of Christians. God has to literally knock him off his horse and blind him for three days to get his attention, after which, He tells Paul that He is "setting" him for the Gentiles. He is not only sending Paul to preach to the very people he has been killing, but is "setting" him there, which means he is not coming back. God telling you that you will spend the rest of your ministry with people you hate will break you down.
- But when you are totally Broken Down, and have dealt with all the other distractions, there is nothing and no one left to deal with but yourself. You must Break In. Jesus told the Pharisees, "The Kingdom of God is within you."
Once you've had a Break Up that's become permanent by Breaking Away, you've moved away from old concepts by Breaking Out, which has led to a Break Down, you're finally ready to Break In. Adam spent his life covering himself with the fig leaf, which represents religion. Jesus (the second Adam) spent His entire life cursing the fig leaf - Breaking Up, Away, Out, Down and then In - cursing anything outward that people thought connected them to God more than their own hearts and what is within them. The only way to truly experience the Kingdom of God is to go within.