Every ministry discusses strategies and techniques: how to be the most successful in our sphere of influence, how to reach new demographics of people, and how to manage and disciple those under our care. We read books, attend conference, and implement creative ideas in the hopes to achieve our target goal. Sometimes the heart and motivation behind these things is right, to reach the world with the Gospel. And these are great resources, but these strategies often become our means to do it ourselves in our own strength and power. Since we have the newest programs and techniques, we so easily forget that without Jesus at the center, every plan will ultimately fail. We also forget that His Word is alive and active, which means He wants to give us fresh revelation daily.
I’ve been reading the Bible chronologically for the first time, and as I read the accounts of David’s life I’ve again been amazed at his success and favor with God. 1 Chronicles 18:1 shares that “while David was king of Israel, he won many battles over the Philistines.” On a separate occasion after defeating another enemy the women shouted, “Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his tens of thousands” (1 Samuel 18:7). But what made him so successful?
As I continued to study his life, the Lord revealed the key to David’s success. “When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. Now the Philistines had come up and made a raid in the Valley of Rephaim. And David inquired of God, ‘Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?’ The Lord said to him, ‘Go up, and I will give them into your hand'” (1 Chronicles 14:8-10). This is just one of the many times David inquires of the Lord whether he should go and fight. David won because He asked God how and when to fight.
David didn’t rely on his own wisdom or strategies that had worked in the past. He simply asked for the strategy of heaven. He delighted in wholly following the heart and plan of God. I believe this is why David was successful, and why God called him a man after His own heart.
Acts 13:22 records, “He (God) raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’” David was willing to ask for the strategy of heaven, listen to the voice of God, and actively obey whatever was requested of him.
David’s aim was never on his achievements, successes, or gains, but rather his focus was being solely devoted and obedient to the Lord. He could walk in confidence as king and commander of the army because he trusted that God had appointed him and God would give him the strategy of heaven to do his job well.
The strategy of heaven by nature is perfect. It is God’s heart. It sees every piece of the puzzle. It is higher, deeper, and bigger than anything we could muster up on our own.
So as I approach ministry, I’m asking God for His strategy and His dreams. And I trust that not only has He entrusted, equipped, and empowered me to accomplish His plan, but He will also give me fresh revelation, insight, and wisdom.
He delights in sharing His desires with us. But the Lord has checked my heart with these questions: are we too distracted by our own desires to hear His? Or do we only want to succeed to boost our own reputation?
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand” (Proverbs 19:21).
We get to dream the dreams of God, and we win when we ask God how and when to fight. The strategy of heaven is for us.