November 1, 2022

How Does The Holy Spirit Fit Into My Plans?

David continued to succeed in everything he undertook, for the Lord was with him.  1 Samuel 18:14, Living Bible

Business journals and MBAs are convinced that strategic planning is important, a vital key to success; and no thinking person would deny the importance of knowing where you want to go and having a plan to get there.  But for the business person who takes the promises of God’s Word at face value and is serious about making God his senior partner, is business success simply a matter of finding out what the need is and how you can fill it?  Where does the leadership of the Holy Spirit fit into the equation of success?

First, there are many promises in Scripture which tell us God is involved in the success or failure of our lives.  For example, ponder the impact of Psalm 1, where David talks about the blessings of the man who walks according to God’s direction and adds, “Whatever he does prospers” (1:3).

Jesus saw no conflict between seeking the will of God in business and strategic planning.  He talked about a man who wanted to build a tower, something which was important in His day, something which was used for protection, for storage, and for refuge.  He said that a man first sits down and counts the cost.

Take a concordance and notice how the word success is used in the Bible, especially the Old Testament.  You will discover repeatedly there is a relationship between God’s blessing and man’s success.

OK, where does this lead us?  Let’s go another direction for a moment, looking at the failure side of the ledger.  If God has something to do with success, then does ignoring Him, leaving Him on the sidelines or at the door of the church, have something to do with failure?  Again, there is a correlation.

A casual reading of the Old Testament—whether it is King Saul groveling before a witch, hoping she can foretell the future, or the presumptuous kings of Israel who went to battle before consulting the Lord—shows there is clearly a relationship between what happens and how men and women either ignored God or took God into their confidence and trusted Him for direction.

Repeatedly you find the phrase, “he consulted not the Lord!”  OK, you are developing a business plan: so you talk to your banker, you do a survey of the market, you strive to evaluate your resources.  Have you just as earnestly said, “God, what should I do?  What is your will in this whole matter?”

Work as though everything depends on you; pray as though everything depends on God, and you will never go wrong.  Far too often we think of God as a court of last resorts, a last-ditch effort to prevent failure.  We wait until the ship is sinking before we pray for a miracle, when, had we only taken God into our confidence at the beginning, we would never be in distress.  Yes, God is there in the day of disaster, but He is also there to guide your steps at the beginning of the journey.

A final thought.  Trusting God is never an excuse for less than your very best, never a substitute for hard work or for your supreme effort.  It is the acknowledgment that no matter how wonderful your plan is or how hard you work, there are unknown factors which are known only to God.

The winning formula for the stock market: “Buy low, sell high, and if it doesn’t go up, don’t buy” works only when God controls the market.  But He does, and since He does, He can give His children direction when it comes to buying and selling, or sitting tight and riding out the storm.

Don’t think of God as the passport to health, happiness, and riches, but consider Him a loving Father who walks with you through the ups and downs of life, including changing markets, and our successes and failures.  I am still convinced our Heavenly Father still knows best.

 

Resource reading: Psalm 1:1-6