spiritual tipping points

3 Tipping Points for Change

People who willingly make major positive changes in their lives share one thing in common. They have tapped into the power of motivation.

From personal experience, observation of other people’s lives and my study of scriptures I have come to this conclusion. Most defining changes in people lives can be attributed to one or more of three powerful motivations. Those motivations are love, truth and pain. They provide the primary tipping points for life change.

Three of the most radical changes in my life can each be attributed to one of these three motivations. Giving up a carefree single life to pursue the heart of my now wife of forty years was motivated by love – a love that began with a first sight meeting at the top of a stairs. Surrendering my life and future to the Lordship of Jesus Christ was motivated by truth that I discovered in studying the Bible – revealing that He was indeed the Son of God. And moving on to a new career would never have happened if I had not been so engulfed in the pain and frustration of a dead end job. Nothing motivates like being sick and tired of being sick and tired.

One of the great benefits of being a pastor is that over the years I have had the privilege of seeing God radically change the lives of many people. The before and after snapshots are stunning, particularly of those whose former selves were marked by addictions and destructive behavior. Interestingly enough, each person’s testimony almost always can be traced to an initial motivation to change and embrace Christ because of an encounter with God’s unfailing love, an undeniable truth or an unrelenting pain.

To test this theory, think about your own life and the significant changes you have made for the better. What brought you to a tipping point of change? What motivated you to take radical steps to give up the old in order to embrace the new?

The Gospels provide us many examples of how God uses love, truth and pain to motivate people to make major changes in their lives.

God’s tipping point

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.

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