Found in 2 Samuel 5:17-25, the Bible contains a powerful story about David needing and receiving a breakthrough. Years after he had been anointed to be the King of Israel, David finally sat on the throne. Saul was dead, and with his demise, God put David in the position that He had called him to. The first thing that David experienced after becoming the king was an onslaught from a familiar enemy. This story, which only takes up nine verses in the book of 2nd Samuel, provides us with seven principles that we need in order to live in the breakthrough.
2 Samuel 5:17-18 (NIV)
When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed King over Israel, they went up in full force to search for him, but David heard about it and went down to the stronghold. Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim.
It sounds counterintuitive to us, but we cannot have a breakthrough without adversity. David had certainly seen his fair share of adversity before the events of 2 Samuel 5 took place. He had fought lions and bears in the name of protecting his sheep. He had defeated Goliath with nothing more than a stone and a slingshot. Saul, the previous king, had spent years trying to kill him to no avail. David knew adversity, and David’s knowledge about adversity set him up for the victory that he was to experience in these verses.
We cannot know God’s healing power if we never know sickness. We cannot truly know Him as a provider if we never experience times of lack. There is no testimony without a test, and there is no breakthrough without an obstacle that must be broken through.
2 Samuel 5:19(a)
So David enquired of the Lord, “Shall I go and attack the Philistine? Will you deliver them into my hands?”
While the concept of prayer being a foundational part of every Christian’s life seems elementary, it’s something that cannot be focused on enough. God knows our thoughts, our needs, and our wants without our telling Him about them. However, He wants us to talk to Him about everything that we face on a daily basis.
When we’re facing obstacles and adversity, we must stay connected to God through every available means that we have. There is no method of connecting to God more potent than prayer.
When you pray, the same God who spoke the entire universe into existence stops what He’s doing and listens. When God hears one of His children calling out to Him, He can’t help but respond. Prayer is a vital part of your spiritual existence, and it’s one of the most important parts of experiencing breakthrough.
2 Samuel 5:19(b)
The Lord answered him, “Go, for I will surely deliver the Philistines into your hands.”
God said, “Go.” David positioned himself to hear from God, and God responded to David. People often ask about whether or not God still speaks to His people today, and the answer is an unequivocal yes. However, the methods in which God speaks to His people today vary from one instance to the next.
Undoubtedly, David heard an audible voice, the voice of God, telling him to go up and fight the Philistines. Does God still audibly speak to people today? Yes, He does. However, there are other means by which God communicates to His people.
First of all, God speaks to us through His Word. When we read Scripture, we find stories of real people who faced real obstacles in their lives. We can look at their responses to those obstacles and find principles that we should apply to our lives today.
God also speaks to His people through other people. Multiple times in the New Testament, God confirms that He communicates to people through people. Whether it’s through the gift of prophecy, or a sermon that your pastor shares on a Sunday morning that God uses to speak to you, God speaks to us through others.
2 Samuel 5:21 (NIV)
So David went to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them. He said, “As waters break out, the Lord has broken out against my enemies before me.” So the place was called Baal Perazim.
God said, “Go,” so David went. There were no questions, and David didn’t hesitate. Instead, David responded to God’s command to go up and fight the enemy. When he did that, God broke through on David’s enemies in the same way that waters break through a dam.
However, that breakthrough wouldn’t have happened if David hadn’t gone. David’s obedience put him on the battlefield, and being on the battlefield gave David access to the breakthrough. In order to experience breakthrough, you must put yourself in a position to follow God’s guidance.
2 Samuel 5:22 (NIV)
Once more the Philistines came up and spread out in the valley of Rephraim;
We do not know how much time elapsed between verses 21 and 22, but most Biblical historians agree that it wasn’t much. In fact, it’s much more likely that the Philistines sent another wave of troops to the area after the first group was defeated. While God certainly allowed David and his men to win the first battle, it’s still safe to assume that they were tired and wounded after a battle against an army of giants. Keep in mind, these were the same Philistines that Goliath represented in 1 Samuel 17. They were giants!
When God equips us to win the spiritual battle that is in front of us, it’s not uncommon for our enemy, the devil, to immediately regroup and come back with something else that is meant to deter us. While we’re certainly joyful about the fact that we were victorious, we’re also tired, battered, and bruised. In those moments, Satan hopes to catch us feeling weak.
David didn’t shy away from a second round of fighting with his familiar foe. Instead, he reverted to the things he had done the first time and prayed once again. He knew there was still a battle to fight, and he went back for more. That is the type of persistence that we must exhibit in order to fully experience the power of God’s breakthrough.
2 Samuel 5:23-24 (NIV)
So David inquired of the Lord, and he answered, “Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the poplar trees. As soon as you hear the sound of the marching in the tops of the poplar trees, move quickly, because that will mean the Lord has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army.”
For the second round of the battle, God was going to go in front of David to strike the Philistines Himself. David still needed to be in the right place at the right time, but this time, he wasn’t going to fight. Instead, God was going to fight for him. David simply needed to submit to God’s plan.
The final key to experiencing divine breakthrough is to submit to God’s plan for the battle. You’re not going to breakthrough on your own. Instead, you must submit to God’s plan for your battle. He’s fighting for you, and He doesn’t lose.
A Closing Prayer:
Heavenly Father, You know that I need a breakthrough in my life. I feel like I am surrounded, but I know that in You, there is no defeat. Help me to apply these seven principles to my life so I can see You break through in my life just like You did for David. In Christ’s name, Amen.