God’s Promises for Spirit-led Planning
A few more things to help set the stage for Spirit-led strategic planning. God often announces His plans through covenants. Simply put, He determines and announces a long-term plan to benefit His people and promises to carry it through forever. Here are some examples:
- “To your descendants I give this land” Genesis 15:18
- “I will give… an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.” Genesis 17:8
- “He and his descendants will have a covenant of a lasting priesthood.” Numbers 25:13
- “And I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” 2 Samuel 7:13
- “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts…I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:33;34
God did not, however make these strategic plans binding on us. He gives us free will and the right to opt-out if we don’t want the benefits. (At least the last of these covenants is unconditional, i.e. He will hold up His side regardless or our actions.) If we choose to opt-out, we lose the guarantee except by His mercy and grace. Many times throughout history, the Israelites “opted out” of their side – committing themselves to God and to His ways. The result was that they spent as much or more time outside the promised land than inside. Individual priests “opted out” and were cut down in the prime of their lives without ever seeing the promises come true.
A fair summary of this whole discussion on Spirit-led strategic planning is this: Obedience results in God’s plans for us; disobedience results in our plans for us. And we’ve already determined which are better.
So far, our focus has been on God doing the planning. How does that relate to a Kingdom company or organization making plans for a strategic transformation of an industry, a market, or a city? God’s plan, all along has been to give us the authority to make plans and the power to carry them out. In Genesis 1, “God blessed [Adam and Eve] and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’” Soon, man and woman abdicated their position as strategic co-planners with God. By willfully stepping out of His will for them, they chose to try to make their own way. The result? Well, you can see for yourself the shape the world is in.
God, however, had contingencies built into His eternal strategic plan. He sent His Son, Jesus who came, “to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10, NASB) He handed back to us the keys to the Kingdom we had relinquished. “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”(Matthew 16:19)He set us up as His agents to co-labor with Him to reclaim the entire earth. “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” (Matthew 28:18-19)
Ephesians 1:10 tells us that God has put His strategic plan back on track through us: “In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.” (NASB) Once again, we are in charge of all creation.
How are we to accomplish such a mammoth task? Most organizational strategic plans have a section listing resources and responsible parties. God’s plan has no less of an equipping strategy. That strategy was quoted in the two passages from John 14 and 16 at the beginning of this teaching. Jesus sets the task and the Holy Spirit equips us for it. He is the enabler. He is the person designated to prepare and monitor us in the planning and execution process.
“Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-13) “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:7)
This last passage goes on to talk in depth about this “manifestation” of the Holy Spirit in terms of supernatural gifts, which working together with the gifts other believers have, creates the comprehensive approach to strategic planning that we describe below. To prepare for that, let’s look briefly at the person of the Holy Spirit and the area of spiritual gifts. Such a study is beyond the scope of this teaching – and even this website, but we would be irresponsible if we didn’t mention a few things here.
The Holy Spirit is a person – one of the three persons of the Trinity and as such is as alive and real as God the Father and God the Son. His work in creation, throughout the Old and New Testaments, and in our hearts today is readily discernible. The subject makes some people uncomfortable, though. We want to make sure you understand how important it is for you to acknowledge and accept the Holy Spirit into your life. The scriptures we introduced this chapter with make it clear how invaluable a relationship with Him is. If you are lacking teaching in this area, or if you have been taught that the Holy Spirit and His gifts were only meant for the times of the early church, please ask God to personally give you wisdom and knowledge in this area. Take out your Bible and do a word study on spirit and Holy Spirit and see what you find. Get a couple study guides from a Christian bookstore and work through it. Seek out other believers who are comfortable in this area and talk with them. We also have a free teaching available from Greater Works Ministries On-line Healing School. If you don’t want to register for the whole school, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org and request it.
Once you are convinced of the importance of the person and gifts of the Holy Spirit, begin the process of learning about the area(s) in which you have been gifted. We believe that you will find both personal and corporate areas of giftedness, i.e., you yourself operate in certain gifts and there is also a collection of gifts among your staff and intercessors, that when taken together provide a well-rounded ability to perform supernaturally in the natural world.
2 Timothy 1:6 has Paul reminding Timothy “to fan into flame the gift of God,” which suggests that we can learn and grow within our areas of giftedness. Let this be a regular, ongoing part of your preparation for Spirit-led strategic planning.