WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
DECEMBER 29, 2021
TOPIC: DIVINE STRATEGIES AND ACCOMPLISHMENT OF GOALS
BY T. O. BANSO
“The labor of fools wearies them, for they do not even know how to go to the city!” (Ecclesiastes 10:15 New King James Version).
One of the definitions of strategy is “a carefully devised plan of action to achieve a goal, or the art of developing or carrying out such.” This shows us that strategies are needed to achieve goals. As much as you set goals for the New Year, you must also develop strategies to achieve them. And I am considering strategies from the spiritual angle.
As a child of God, you should depend on God for your goals and the strategies to achieve them. Before the Israelites about crossed River Jordan, the officers or the men in authority over the people told them, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests, the Levites, bearing it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before” (Joshua 3:3-4 New King James Version). The last phrase in this scripture is very important – for you have not passed this way before.
The New Year is not like the previous years; it’s a brand new year. You have not travelled through the year before. Therefore, you must allow God to lead you. Set your goals in His presence and receive guidance on strategies to achieve them. Your goals could be in the areas of your expertise. This is no reason to think you don’t need God. There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25). All that glitters is not gold.
At best, you only know what is happening at the present moment. You don’t know what is going to happen in the next minute, not to talk of tomorrow or next week, month, or year. But nothing is hidden from God. He knows the end from the beginning. He is the beginning and the end yet He has no beginning and end.
There are many things you don’t know that God knows. So depend on Him, not on your senses alone. The Bible says, “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:1-2 New King James Version).
Don’t engage in vain labour; let God be your principal partner in achieving your goals. Don’t labour like a fool. “The labor of fools wearies them, for they do not even know how to go to the city!” (Ecclesiastes 10:15 New King James Version).
Seek divine guidance on strategies to achieve your goals. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6 New King James Version).
Proverbs 3:7a warns you not to be wise in your own eyes. Don’t profess to be wise and become a fool (Romans 1:22). As Paul warns in the latter part of Romans 12:16, do not be wise in your own opinion. Isaiah 5:21 says, “Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (New King James Version). Be a learner in the presence of God; let Him teach you what you don’t know. Jesus says the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in His name will teach you all things (John 14:26a).
If God had not led the children of Israel the way they should go after they left Egypt, they would have gone the wrong way. They would have followed the shorter route which would have exposed them to early enemy attacks. “Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, ‘Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.’ So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt” (Exodus 13:17-18 New King James Version)
God saw ahead what they didn’t see. The Bible says the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth (2 Chronicles 16:9a). Thus, the Israelites benefitted from the wisdom of God. Though on the surface, it would have appeared as foolishness. Let God lead you; don’t lead yourself. Let Him give you winning strategies – strategies for accomplishing your goals.
Sometimes divine strategies may not make sense. They may be counter-cultural. They may even be disruptive. But as Luke 7:35 says, God’s wisdom is justified by all her children. In other words, “wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it” (New Living Translation).
Follow God’s wisdom; follow His strategies. The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men (1 Corinthians 1:25). Follow the Leader. Let God lead you. The psalmist says the LORD, His shepherd, leads him beside the still waters. He restores his soul; He leads him in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake (Psalm 23:2b-3). If God is leading you, even if you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you will fear no evil because He is with you. His rod and staff will comfort you (verse 4). The assurance of God’s presence as you implement the strategies He has given you is comforting even when things are rough.
Don’t despise divine guidance or strategies. “When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is happy” (Proverbs 29:18 New Living Translation). The New King James Version says, “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.”
Save yourself the trouble of going on a wild-goose chase; let God guide you and give you the strategies that will produce the right results. God gave the children of Israel the strategy to conquer Jericho. They couldn’t have thought of that strategy themselves. He said, “You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets” (Joshua 6:3-4 New King James Version). It was strange but it worked.
When three nations, Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir came against Judah, Jahaziel the son of Zechariah said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (2 Chronicles 20:15 New King James Version).
Thereafter, Judah went to face their enemies. God must have inspired King Jehoshaphat to appoint those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army. They were saying: “Praise the LORD, for His mercy endures forever” (verse 21).
The Bible says when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated (verse 22). The battle strategy of singing and praising the LORD, which King Jehoshaphat employed after the LORD had assured Judah of victory, would have been like sending his people on a suicide mission if the LORD had not been on their side. But the enemies killed and destroyed one another. Judah defeated them without firing a shot.
God knows the choices and decisions that can spell danger for you. Don’t trust your brain above God’s judgment. If you received your goals from Him, it only makes sense to trust Him for the strategies to accomplish them. Talk to God. Pray to Him. Ask Him for the strategies.
Ecclesiastes 10:10 says, “If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but wisdom brings success” (New King James Version). The King James Version says wisdom is profitable to direct. Lack of strategies or the right strategies will cause failure. Only fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7b).
Ask God for the strategies to employ in the New Year to achieve your goals. Don’t assume you know what to do. Pray to Him. Wait upon Him. Seek His face. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the strategies to employ to accomplish your goals.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, You know everything; I don’t. Please help me to set the right goals for the New Year and reveal to me the strategies to achieve them. Save me from pursuing the wrong goals and employing the wrong strategies. Let Your will be done in my life in 2022; let me do Your will, not my will.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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