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Where the Holy Spirit Takes Our Strategic Planning


Strategical Planning as seen in Ephesians 5:15-16 Requires the Holy Spirit
In “strategic” planning we’re taking great care to make sure our plans follow the best course to arrive at the best outcome. Surely this is God’s desire when He says, “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (Eph. 5:15-17). As we read on in Ephesians 5, we discover that’s where the Holy Spirit takes our strategic planning.

The Best Outcome toward Which Strategic Planning Should Take Us

Our objective should always be aligning with God in all we do which requires that we “understand what the Lord’s will is” (Eph 5:17). Surely that involves following His purposes, His design, and His mission for the Church.

Notice the word “then” in Ephesians 5:15 — “Be very careful, then, how you live”. That word, also translated “therefore”, suggests we look at what came before that verse. Back to verse ten we read that we’re to “find out what pleases the Lord” so in doing His will, we’re doing that which pleases Him. That which pleases Him is that which aligns with who He is which takes us back to verses 1-2.

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

To walk in the way of love, the greatest commandments (Matt. 22:36-40), we can no longer live for self (in darkness) but rather in light which “consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth” (Eph. 5:8-14). That requires that we live strategically … being not just careful, but very careful and wise.

Notice the urgency and importance of seeking the best outcome in what we do — “because the days are evil”. As children of light we have something to offer in a dark world but that won’t happen if we don’t make the most of every opportunity.

The Holy Spirit Takes Our Strategic Planning on the Best Course Toward the Best Outcome

To arrive at the best outcome, God’s will, that which pleases Him, we need the Holy Spirit. We won’t understand the ways of the Lord without the Spirit. — “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. 2:14-16)

To follow the best course to arrive at the best outcome, we need the Holy Spirit. On our own we will lean more toward darkness. We will look out for ourselves rather than walk in the way of love as He loves. We will tend to plan what’s most convenient for ourselves rather than sacrifice for the good of the whole. Instead of being careful, we’ll be reckless. Instead of making the most of every opportunity, we’ll squander our time, effort, and money on fruitless, perhaps even sinful endeavors similar to what happens when we’re intoxicated by wine.

Instead, we need to “be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). When we are, we’ll not only understand what pleases our Lord but we’ll go about getting there with the right heart attitudes towards one another (“speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit”), with joy in our hearts (“Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord”), and with a constant state of gratitude (“always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”) as described in Ephesians 5:18-20.

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