It’s often said that “God has a plan.” However, in today’s passages, it struck me that God’s plan is also a strategic one. What’s the difference? The Oxford dictionary defines a plan as “a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something,” while a strategy is “a plan of action…designed to achieve a major or overall aim.” In other words, a strategic plan is required for bolder and complex tasks, including one most truly epic: the redemption of humanity from The Fall.
So, why a strategic plan? Because he decided to involve us, despite knowing how we, in our brokenness and complexity, make the path to success a challenging one. In Judges 12, a time when God used judges to represent his authority in Israel, their leadership produced results often derailed by their broken humanity. These results created disastrous situations that required God’s intervention. Yet, despite our frustrating imperfection, God continues to call frail and imperfect people in the unfolding of his strategic plan. His infinite tenderness was revealed when he made Manoah and his wife, both tentative but faithful, the parents of Samson.
Even King David, who knew and shared intimate moments with God, required strategic manoeuvring when he had disastrous, consequential departures from God’s ways. In the Psalm passage, God gives David victory. But instead of simply being thankful, David desires and relishes in the humiliation of his enemies. Yet, he exalts the Lord in his very next breath! However, lest I gloat over David’s faultiness, I recall moments of victory when, even as I praised the Lord, selfish desires hid within my heart. I press God into being strategic with me as well!
In John 6-7, when Jesus is among humanity to bring The Plan to its highest inflection point, people all around him conspired against him. They, too, required strategic maneuvering, even as Jesus was there to sacrifice himself for their salvation! How blind! Yet how awkwardly familiar, should I consider casting a stone.
Father, as my life unfolds, I pray that I will be self-aware, in humility acknowledging my brokenness, but also your immense grace and love for me. Help me to step out of the way as you seek to do good in me and with me, toward the fulfilment of Your Plan of redemption. Amen.
Congregant, Volunteer, Foothills International Worker