God’s tipping point

November 1st, 2010 · by Tom Stuart · Relationship with God

“Every new victory which a soul gains is the effect of a new prayer.”   John Wesley

In 2006 “thought leader” Malcolm Gladwell published a book entitled “The Tipping Point.”  His premise was that the viral spread of an idea, product or disease is the result of repeated behaviors that builds an accumulative effect to a critical mass.  When that threshold or “tipping point” is reached, a breakthrough occurs not unlike the collapse of a dam, turning a persistent trickle turns into a flood.

This same principle is applicable in spiritual matters also.  There are tipping points in the realm of the Spirit when God releases breakthroughs.  Tipping points with God are always linked to prayer or the lack thereof.  That is why God so earnestly looks for intercessors, those who will stand in the gap before Him for His purposes to be accomplished in the earth. (Ezekiel 22:30)  Prayer and intercession move His hand to pour out blessings and stay His hand in holding back judgment. (Revelation 5:8 & 16:1)

One of the names ascribed to God by King David was Baal-perazim – the “Lord who breaks through.”  The occasion was one of the times when the Philistines attacked Israel.  As was David’s practice, he first sought the Lord in prayer. “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?” The LORD replied, “Yes, go ahead. I will hand them over to you.” (1 Chronicles 14:10)  So when David’s troops defeated them he exclaimed “God did it! …He used me to burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” (1 Chronicles 14:11)

Jesus gave us very specific instructions about the Father’s tipping points and how to trigger breakthroughs in our lives.  In His Sermon on the Mount Jesus encouraged three things that every believer must do to move the Father’s hand to tipping points of blessing. (Matthew 6:1-8)  Those three things, all forms of intercession, are alms giving, prayer and fasting.  Jesus promised that when we do these things in secret, exclusively for Him and not for show, He will reward us openly.

In both the Old and New Testaments prayer and fasting were often triggers for releasing amazing breakthroughs.  We see this again and again when victories were won, prison doors were opened, healings were released and reversal of fortunes took place. 

The great revivalist John Wesley wrote “God does nothing but in answer to prayer . . .Every new victory which a soul gains is the effect of a new prayer.” 

But what about alms giving, where do we see examples in Scripture of that as a tipping point?  We need only to look in the Book of Acts to find how giving to the poor actually played a critical role in what arguably might be the greatest tipping point in church history.  It was the opening of the door of the Gospel to the Gentiles.  In Acts 10 we see Peter being sent to the home of Cornelius, a Roman Centurion, who with his entire household received Jesus and were all baptized in the Holy Spirit.  Peter was summoned to Cornelius’s house in direct response to Cornelius’s prayer AND alms giving.  When the angel of the Lord appeared to Cornelius he said “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.” (Acts 10:4)

We don’t often associate giving to the poor in the same category as prayer and fasting in terms of moving the hand of God.  But from Jesus’ teaching and this illustration from the New Testament we can see clearly that giving is a tipping point with God. 

Have you seen giving in your own life release breakthroughs?  How might this “tipping point” perspective affect the way you seek to touch God’s heart and move His hand?

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8 Responses to “God’s tipping point”

  1. Great post “Tipping Point” …I was caught off guard with the word “Baal” used in reference to our God. I have always understood it to be used in connection to old testament false god. ( another visit to court scheduled for the 1st of Dec.–more preliminaries– I pray the end of this my name cleared and reputation unscathed in Jesus Name, God be glorified in me and this.

  2. Good question about the word “Baal” which normally refers to the idol and chief mail deity of the Phoenicians and Canaanites. When Baal. which literally means lord, master or possessor is linked with another word as a descriptor to designate a place it means “lord of …” Why David used “Baal” in this context to convey the name lord rather than Yahweh or Adonai I do not know.

  3. I WAS ON UNEMPLOYMENT, HAD JUST PURCHASED A HOUSE PRIOR-REPLACED A HOT WATER HEATER ON MY SMALL GOVERNMENT CHECKS-THEN I GOT A NOTICE FROM PUBLIC WORKS THAT THEY WERE REPLACING SOME OF MY CURB SIDEWALKS AT THE COST OF $400-I WAS WONDERING WHERE WOULD I GET THAT $400-I HAD TO CASH IN MY SAVING BONDS TO PAY FOR THE HEATER. I WENT TO A CHURCH SERVICE AND PUT MY LAST $5.00 IN THE PLATE ON A SATURDAY EVE. THE NEXT DAY-A SUNDAY AM, A COUPLE WHO DIDN’T USUALLY ATTEND THIS CHURCH, HANDED ME A CHECK FOR $500. THEY HAD GOT AN INHERITANCE FROM A FAMILY MEMBER AND PRAYED ABOUT HOW TO DISPERSE IT AND I WAS AN ANSWER TO THEIR PRAYER AND THEY WERE AN ANSWER TO MINE.

  4. Pastor Tom, I cannot tell you how timely it was for me to read this post today! Thank you for sharing these words! (And I love Gladwell’s books, including “Tipping Point”.)

  5. Pastor Sir, Intercession is The first kind of Prayer when God led me from Trash to the Rock. I thank God for your inspired message on Giving. The same Holy Spirit guided me on On 31 Oct. I was sharing on the subject of Giving. Tithe is the basic teaching for man to develop the desire & habit of Giving. I could see Jesus pointed out the widows offering ( Mk 12:41-44). I realized ” though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor”. So in New testament time Church needs to inculcate the desire to pour out ,rather then counting & giving. How much more can I give & live for Him — should be the question in our mind.

  6. Thanks to each of you for your comments.- developing a consistent, effective prayer life is such a challenge. Mutual encouragement fuels faith to continue pressing for answers to prayer.. I heard a great testimony just today from somone who was praying for a financial break through. Days before his anwer came I had an opportunity to join him in praying for a tipping point. When it came it was huge. Someone gave him a car and also $3000.

  7. whoah this weblog is great i love reading your articles. Keep up the good paintings! You understand, a lot of people are searching round for this information, you can aid them greatly.

  8. Thanks for finding your way here and taking the time to share such encouraging words!

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