In the last session, we looked at how planning a strategy with God requires faith. If it were just that simple, then I guess many of us would be more intentional in involving God in our strategic thinking.
But working with God – for God – is not just about getting God’s approval of the strategy and then executing it, is it?
Even if God directs your path to find what you believe is the strategy blessed by Him, the simple fact remains; implementation of those plans is loaded with unknowns and obstacles that will test your leadership mettle.
To dig deeper, let’s look at the story of Israel’s first king, King Saul. In 1 Samuel 15, the prophet Samuel gives Saul an assignment to execute God’s strategy for the neighboring Amalekites.
Saul doesn’t have to define the strategy; as the leader, he needs only to implement it. If you had a working relationship with the prophet Samuel as strategic advisor, and he showed up at your business with a message from God on how to deal with a competitor, things would seem pretty clear, right?
In this case, however, a lack of leadership ends King Saul’s career as leader. The whole story is given in 1 Samuel 15, but here’s Samuel checking in with Saul at the end of the assignment:
"When Samuel reached him, Saul said, “The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.” But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?"" 1 Samuel 15:13-14
Oh-oh… Saul thought that he and his team had done a “good enough” job to complete the agreed strategy assignment, but Samuel didn’t agree.
The ensuing conversation between Saul and Samuel in 1 Samuel 15 has been the subject of many a church sermon and is worth reading in full – especially with a business leadership perspective.
What we usually don’t hear much about is the reason King Saul gives for his failure:
"I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them." 1 Samuel 15:24b
Did you get that? Here is KING Saul – the sole executive with absolute authority over his team – telling Samuel that he changed the God-given strategy to give in to his men.
Saul started well in faith, but weak leadership led to wrong decisions, disobedience, and the end of his God-appointed career.
Failing to follow through or shying away from doing what you know to be right – because of what others on your team might say – is still as popular today as it was back in the day of King Saul.
Strong and godly leadership is still required.
Reflection / Application