Breakthrough Ministry – Sal Difusco

 
 
 

Breakthrough Ministry

  1. I) The Problem 

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are grateful for all that we have in our relationship with God, the power of the Holy Spirit living in us, and having such close and intimate relationships in the Kingdom! At times in our Christian walk we can feel a sense of “being stuck” and not being able to get to the next level of glory of the authentic transformation that we know God desires in our lives. 

2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

 

This is the Lord’s awesome plan for every disciple. But it is clear that there needs to be an “unveiling” in order to behold God’s glory. If we are not growing, it is important to get to the heart of the issue because if we do not, we can become disheartened and despairing and allow Satan  to lead us into confusion and to even wonder if God is real and willing to help us.

 

Psalm 13:1-2 “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?”

 

All of us, at some level as children, have had dysfunction in our families of origin that has caused us to take up defenses and even survival mechanisms in order to cope. Some of the types of dysfunction include, divorced and/or addicted parents and family members. Some of us had to endure verbal, mental, physical, sexual and even spiritual abuse from parents and family members. We can also grow up with a gnawing sense that we can never quite “measure up” because of the rigid and perfectionistic demands put on us as children. 

 

Unfortunately, a good number of us have even taken up ways to medicate from the pains and hurts we carried into our adulthood. Because of our uneasiness, anxiety, and not feeling quite comfortable within our own skin, we have chosen destructive methods that have cemented into addictions. These include, alcohol, drugs, sexual sins, food, gambling and the need to control others around us in order to give us the delusion that we are somehow in control of our own lives. Some of us do not act out with these “outer addictions” but suffer just as much from the “inner addictions” of fear, doubt, insecurity and discouragement. Denial has kept us masking and medicating ultimately creating a false self to conceal, disguise and minimize the immensity of the effects.

 

All of these ways of coping can negatively effect our adult lives in our ability to have fulfilling relationships. They can also stunt our growth and effectiveness as disciples, students and employees. We can find ourselves, having difficulty following through from beginning to end with important tasks and goals in our lives, lying when it would be just as easy to tell the truth, not being able to have fun, being overly sensitive, overreacting to changes over which we have no control, constantly seeking approval and affirmation and locking ourselves into a course of action without seriously considering alternative behaviors or possible consequences. This impulsiveness leads to confusion, self-loathing and loss of control. 

 

Other traits that we have developed can include: (Adapted from Laundry List Traits of ACA)

 

1) We become isolated and afraid of people and authority figures. 

2) Angry people and personal criticism frighten us. 

3) We either become addicts ourselves or marry them.

4) We view life as victims, and we are attracted to weakness in our love, friendships and career relationships. 

5) We have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, and it is easy for us to be concerned with others rather than ourselves. This helps us to avoid looking too closely at our own faults, and to avoid responsibility for ourselves. 

6) We feel guilty if we stand up for ourselves.

7) We become addicted to excitement in all our affairs. 

8) We have denied feelings from our traumatic childhood and have lost the ability to express our feelings, because they hurt so much. We cannot express even comfortable feelings such as joy or happiness. 

9) We judge ourselves harshly and fear the judgment of others, yet we also criticize and judge others. 

10) We are terrified of abandonment, and will do almost anything to hold onto a relationship rather than experience the painful feeling of abandonment. 

  1. II) The Solution 

True healing and transformation comes when we look to our Heavenly Father through his son Jesus Christ, as the initiator of our new life. We look to Him for direction to a new level of experience, a life of wholeness and healing of the past. We learn that we do not have to remain prisoners of our past. 

Isaiah 43:16

This is what the Lord says—he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.

So what do we do?

  1. a) We face the truth

John 8:31-32

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

We make a decision that the buck stops here. We stop blaming our families and other dysfunctional relationships and take personal responsibility for own lives and decisions. We learn to experience our feelings, and then to express them. By educating ourselves about the disease, we develop compassion that helps us to forgive and release our dysfunctional relationships to God! As we strive to hold to the teachings of the Bible, we learn to focus on ourselves in the here and now and to detach with love. We learn to truly love ourselves and others.

  1. b) Working the 12 Steps of Recovery

With God’s help, the Bible, our Breakthrough Ministry, journaling and the “12 Steps” based on Scripture, we can recover from the disease of dysfunctional behavior and turn our lives in a new and beautiful direction. This builds self-esteem, which is a missing ingredient in our personalities. We learn that, in Christ, we are OK – we are not “crazy.” As we learn to admit our powerlessness over addiction and people, places and things we cannot change, we let God begin to heal our thinking and our defects one day at a time. We learn to let God, other disciples and the group nurture us, and we learn to nurture and accept ourselves and others. As we begin to discover and love ourselves as God loves us, we will see beautiful changes in all our relationships — especially with our parents, ourselves and God. If we are married and if we have children, we will find healthier ways of interacting with these loved ones too. We face the truth, feel the hurt and free our hearts so that we can allow God to take us from one level of glory to the next!!

III) 12 Steps of Recovery adapted for disciples!

  1. We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and dysfunctional- behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that God, the Ultimate Power, could restore us to sanity and stability.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as revealed in the Bible.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as revealed in the Bible, praying for the knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. As we grow spiritually as the result of God’s power moving in our lives,  we carry the message of salvation and healing to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. 
  1. IV) Promises

 

Isaiah 40:28 

 

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

 

If we are painstaking and diligent in our recovery, we will see God move in amazing ways in our lives! We will discover our real identities in Christ by loving and accepting ourselves. Our confidence in God will increase and we will be able to see ourselves more like God does!! Fear of authority figures and the need to “people-please” will leave us and our ability to share intimacy will grow inside us. As we face our abandonment issues, we will be attracted by strengths and become more accepting of weaknesses. We will enjoy feeling stable, peaceful, and financially secure and learn how to play and have fun in our lives. Healthy boundaries and limits will become easier for us to set. Fear of failure and success will leave us, as we intuitively make healthier choices. We will slowly release our dysfunctional behaviors. Gradually, with our God’s help, we will become more and more effective and have a greater impact as we will learn to expect the best and get it.

 

I hope to see you at the first Breakthrough Ministry Meeting

7:30-9pm Monday, January 22nd, 2018

5 Chapel Way, Stoneham. Ma. 02180

 

And to God be all the Glory,

 

In Him,

 

Sal DiFusco

Director of “Breakthrough Ministry”