What is breakthrough?

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Breakthrough is part of the subtitle of my first book, Rivers – A Journey of Restoration From Broken to Breakthrough. But it is not a word we use much What does breakthrough mean? Breakthrough involves sudden change of a very significant nature. Like levees breaking along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Suddenly the area around is flooding quickly. People have to be rescued from water they didn’t expect to see. Businesses suffer damage because they weren’t expecting to prepare for flood. Recovery is long and challenging and expensive.

I have a very vivid memory from a vacation trip to Estes Park in 1979. We saw evidence in Big Thompson Canyon of an overwhelming flood. A blog in the Denver Post provides details.[1] The Big Thompson flood of 1976 was the deadliest flash flood in Colorado’s recorded history. On July 31, between 12 and 14 inches of rain fell over a four-hour period in the mountains around the resort town of Estes Park. Unusual weather patterns allowed the huge storm system to stall over the area as it dumped its load. A year’s worth of rain fell in 70 minutes. Water gathered speed as it washed over the steep rocky hillsides and flushed through the flatter meadows, all of it heading for the bottom of the V-shaped canyon. By 9 p.m., water sweeping into the Big Thompson River had taken it from an average depth of 18 inches to a 20-foot wall of water that crashed through the length of the canyon.

But what does the Bible mean when we read “breakthrough?” It is not a word with negative results like I mentioned above.

Three pictures from the same valley

Last week I shared about a valley located somewhere near Jerusalem (modern day Tel Aviv) that goes by three different names. It gives us a beautiful picture of restoration from broken to breakthrough. Last week I covered the Valley of Weeping and the Valley of Achor or Trouble that is a gateway of hope.

Breakthrough in the Bible is a hope-filled word. God breaks through suddenly and perhaps unexpectedly in fulfillment of promise.

David in the Valley of Giants

David experienced an overwhelming flood of a different sort than levee breaks or the canyon flood. An overwhelming flood of a positive nature rather than the catastrophic damage I described above. David had been anointed as king over the two tribes of Judah but it was seven years before he was also anointed king over Israel. During those years, the Philistines inhabited Israel and didn’t bother David. When they heard David was also king of Israel, they got worried about what he might do now and came to fight.

8 When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up in search of David; and David heard of it and went out against them. 9 Now the Philistines had come and made a raid in the valley of Rephaim. 1 Chronicles 14:8-9 (NASB)

Philistines means “rolled in dust, wallowing.”[2] Sounds a lot like being stuck in weeping, doesn’t it? Rephaim mean’s “giants.”[3] David would fight a battle in the Valley of Giants. Isn’t this how we feel? Stuck in something much bigger than we can figure out how to escape? The devil only fights when we are trying to live out God-life. Giants come to attack you because you are anointed king as a child of God. Are you and I really kings? Absolutely. We are priests and kings as a holy nation now. We have been given authority to act on God’s behalf, speaking Kingdom things on this earth. (see Luke 10:19 and Matthew 6:10)

David experiences an overwhelming flood

Can we have victory in the Valley of Giants? Yes, because the LORD is God of the breakthrough like the breakthrough of waters. Like the sudden gush of a broken levee or the stream that goes from 18 inches deep to an overwhelming flood as a 20-foot wall of water.

But the snare is broken and our soul has escaped!

10 David inquired of God, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? And will You give them into my hand?” Then the LORD said to him, “Go up, for I will give them into your hand.” 11 So they came up to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there; and David said, “God has broken through my enemies by my hand, like the breakthrough of waters.” Therefore they named that place Baal-perazim. 1 Chronicles 14:10-11 (NASB)

The LORD cares about our future! And He has a plan. David asked God if the Philistines can be defeated. If you feel stuck in something so big you are certain there is no escape, something you have battled for a long time without victory or hope, let me assure you the giants in your valley can be defeated because of the power of what Christ accomplished! He came to defeat all those giants and to render their activities in your life inoperative! (see 1 John 3:8)

The victory is complete. All of what salvation offers is yours, including forgiveness, deliverance, safety, provision, being one with God again, guidance, never being forsaken or abandoned, physical and emotional healing, being right and acceptable to God again. Because Christ was willing to suffer the humiliation of leaving heaven’s perfection and participating in this world followed by a cruel crucifixion. Simply because He loves you. Delights in you. Treasures you.

David was elated at what God did in defeating the Philistines in the valley full of giants. He declared God burst through. God didn’t just sort of conquer. God burst through! What does it mean to burst through? It means “powerful multiplication and spreading in all directions.”[4] Stop and ponder that for a moment. Just like a flood of water but for good. Think of God doing just that as He overwhelms the enemy. Think of God doing just that as He overwhelms your enemy. We do not have to battle in our valleys all on our own. God bursts through with victory.

Burning idols

One more detail is added to the story. The Philistines abandoned their idols so Israel burned them with fire per instructions in the Law. (Deuteronomy 7:5)

12 They abandoned their gods there; so David gave the order and they were burned with fire. 1 Chronicles 14:12 (NASB)

The Philistines brought the idols because they trusted them to fight for them and to give them victory. This big mistake on their part brought massive failure in battle. The only way we will find the kind of breakthrough David experienced is to trust in the only God who is truly God, not in our own idols or ways of thinking and fighting our battles.

Our breakthrough

David asked God, Elohim, if He would give David victory. Elohim is the plural of god, the Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He is Creator, Ruler, King and Judge. We never need to wonder if He is able to give us a breakthrough, to break the snare and free us.

When we find ourselves in a valley of weeping or a valley of trouble, even trouble of our own making, we can expect God to show us the doorway of hope because that is His heart for us. We can expect He will give us victory in our valley of giants. Victory may come in such a rapid and unexpected manner, like an overwhelming flood. We rejoice in what God does to give us victory.


Carol Boggess, author and speaker, A Healing Journey

Rivers – A Journey of Restoration From Broken to Breakthrough and God Sees Broken Hearts


Email – info@carolboggess.com

Instagram – a.healing.journey



[1] blogs.denverpost.com/library/2012/07/31/big-thompson-flood-disaster…1976/2795/

[2] Cornwall, Judson and Smith, Stelman. The Exhaustive Dictionary of Bible Names. Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos, 1998. Philistine.

[3] The New Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words. Hebrew #7497.

[4] Baker, Warren and Carpenter, Eugene. AMG Word Study Old Testament. Cedar Rapids, IA: WORDsearch Corp, 2003. Hebrew #6555.