I was thinking about strategy recently and how it is important to have a strategy in all aspects of our lives. Even if not a detailed strategy, at a minimum, a documented plan which outlines how you are going to execute a chosen course of action. If you look at the many books written by business gurus, you could easily pull out a definition for what strategy is. However, my simple made-up version of strategy is this:

“Strategy is the Art of Crafting Success”

An expanded version of this would sound like, “Strategy is the application of creative skill, imagination and drive which is used to plan, make, or execute a particular aim or purpose”. Strategy is used in business and everyday life since like forever. Case in point, if I ask you what your strategy is for managing your personal business, or what is your strategy for loosing weight, or what is your strategy for accomplishing a certain thing in life, I am sure many of you could give me an answer. If not a defined and documented strategy, I am fairly certain that most of you can list at least 4 to 5 action steps from your mental roadmap, for attaining your goals.

Now here this, if I ask the same question of you pertaining to your heavenly goals, what would the answer be. Actually, let me ask the question. What is your strategy for spiritual success? Think about this for a few moments. Please note, I do not want you to reflect and simply list down the arbitrary godly activities you do daily or weekly, because that is not a plan, much less a strategy. That is simply an ad hoc way of piecing together activities. I would much rather that we use these few moments to make a concerted effort and think about how we systematically go about building our spiritual relationship with God. Think about it, I will wait a moment… (Dane turns on the Jeopardy theme song for effect).

Were you able to find out if you had a solid approach or plan for growing and maturing in the Lord?

If I were bold and brave, I might say that many of us believers do not have a strategy and do not approach our relationship building with God in a systematic and deliberate way.

Even as I write, my mind goes to Jesus and how He was deliberate and purposeful during His life on earth. He started teaching at 12 years old. Can you imagine how much learning and studying Jesus had to do in order to start teaching at 12? Thereafter, He got baptized in order to fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:13-17). He followed the voice of God and went into the wilderness to be tested (note: our strategy and plan must always be a subset of God’s plan and direction). Jesus then began preaching and teaching God’s word. Later, He called the 12 disciples to add to His team and personally develop them. He went about healing and delivering people so virtue was leaving Him daily (Luke 8:46). Therefore, in order to replenish Himself, Jesus’ plan was to pull away from His disciples and spend late nights and/or early mornings in prayer. If we further examine Jesus’ life, we can find that right up to His death, we can see a master strategy and plan at play.

Interestingly enough, Jesus executed His strategy beautifully. So much so that man and the spiritual realm were confounded. But this is what Jesus told us when He left:

John 14:12 – “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father”

My friends, we have to be doing greater works than the persons who have gone before us, and the first set of work is to build a strategy for our everyday lives which can guide us to grow in God. The initial step in doing this is documenting our strategy for spiritual success. The operative word here is documenting, as God’s word says:

Habakkuk 2:2–“Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.”

That is correct, write out your strategy in order to make it clear so you can run an execute it! Document the exact day and times you are going to pray for the week, note down the specific occasions you want to read and study God’s word and for how long, pick a day of the week that best suits you to pray & fast and build it into your routine. Make your spiritual vision clear by writing all this down.

Do not only write it down but go as far as putting it into your calendar so you get reminders for each activity. In the corporate world, we set meetings all the time in order not to forget crucial appointments. Others might also write important engagements in their diaries so that they are not missed. All this is done because these appointments are important and the same level of importance must be placed on Godly engagements if not more. Let me underscore this point another way–Is God listed in your physical calendar? If not, why not?

All that we have spoken above can be summed up in a quote from Jose Ortega Gasset which speaks volumes. Jose quotes:

“Tell me what you pay attention to, and I would tell you who you are.”

Who are we today? Are we people who are really running after God and seeking Him with all our mind, body, and soul? – (Jeremiah 29:13, Deuteronomy 4:29) If that is the case, then it would be represented in how we execute. It would be represented in our strategic approach, our actions, and our works.–Not So?

That is enough expounding for now and I would like to conclude part one of this series right here. In this part one (1), the intent was to open our eyes and build awareness to what I am seeing as a major gap in believers’ lives. It was meant for us to notice our lack of conscientious planning and the effects of this inaction. Without a strategy we become like someone who is shooting aimlessly, sailing without a nautical chart, travelling without a map, or flying with no navigational apparatus.

How would you react if you boarded a ship or a plane and the Captain or Pilot indicates they are operating with no navigational aids? I am sure you will instantly become frightened and worried. But for some reason we do this with our most important journey. We do this with our Christian Life with little care or concern. Without the right instruments to guide (Documented Spiritual Strategy), we can most certainly be misdirected and misapplied in our approach to spiritual living and growth.

One of the reasons a strategy is important is that we all go off tangent sometimes and need to “course correct”. In times like these, a spiritual strategy, along with the word of God, are vital instruments which can bring about realignment and improve trajectory.   

It would be a sad state for us all, to reach the end of our journeys and on looking back, the only thing we see is wasted years filled with aimless and purposeless living for Christ. Oh, what a sad day that would be! Let’s use the opportunity now to make some course correction in our lives and document and execute our strategy for growing in the Lord.

PS: Dane Miller was last seen praying that the Lord opens everyone’s eyes to the paramount importance of having a spiritual strategy.

If you are interested in Part II of this series it can be found here – What is Your Strategy for Spiritual Success – Part II.

Your Brother in the Lord,

Dane Miller | Author

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