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Strategic Thinking In Discipleship
Stats: 7,786 words / Reading Time: 38.93 mins

Published: Friday 27th March 2020

Strategic Thinking In Discipleship is read 579 times on CentreNDL.org 579

Strategic Thinking In Discipleship

How To Disciple Nations Through Effective Strategic Thinking

This week the Lord has brought us to a moment in time, a moment in history. We began at the beginning of this day, a trip to the land of Australia by the commandment of God and so, our Disciplers' Convocation this evening and perhaps every other meeting we will be having this week, is going to be dedicated to the Australians towards getting a people unto Christ, towards salvaging a people unto Christ, towards infiltrating a culture of the people of Australia with the culture of Christ. That is the goal. And so, I don't want us to be an onlooker, I want us to be part of the trip. It is a mission to the Australia people and it is a mission that is in the Spirit. It is not about your physical location, it is about where your spirit is set on. There was a time the Bible says "set your mind on things that are above." So, if you can set your mind on things that are above, you can even set your mind on different things that is on the ground.

 

Listen To Podcast: HOW TO DISCIPLE NATIONS THROUGH EFFECTIVE STRATEGIC THINKING

 

So, we want to look at something very quickly that will guide us throughout the week so that we will understand why we do what we do. The goal of everything we will be doing this week is what the Lord wants to prepare us with this message. How To Disciple Nations Through Effective Strategic Thinking. Now, there is a place I want to read in the book of Daniel 6:10 building a background for our discussion; How To Disciple Nations, How to Disciple Australia Through Effective Strategic Thinking. In that Daniel 6:10, there is an instance I want us to observe and then we will go to another place in the book of 1 Kings to observe the same instance, and then we will move on into the message proper from there. Daniel 6:10, the Bible says:

 

"Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days."

 

There was a decree "No man should worship or bow to any other person apart from the king Belshazzar." That was the current king. Now, when it was known to Daniel that this was the current decree, the Bible says he went home and he opened his window toward Jerusalem. He was not in Jerusalem, he was somewhere at the time in Babylon or around the area. He was far from Jerusalem but he opened his window towards Jerusalem and he knelt down to pray. And in 1 Kings again, I want us to see something so that we will understand what we want to do. 1 Kings 8:44-45, the Bible says:

 

"When Your people go out to battle against their enemy, wherever You send them.." And I want you to be noting it. Solomon was dedicating the temple and he was leading this prayer. So, he was talking to God about the people and abut the temple. He says: "When Your people go out to battle against their enemy, wherever You send them, and when they pray to the Lord toward the city which You have chosen and the temple which I have built for Your name, 45 then hear in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause."

 

When your people go out to battle, when they go out and engaging in a form of warfare, when they go out engaging in what we could call now spiritual warfare and then wherever you send them to, perhaps the nation of Australia (We are using it in our context now)  when they pray to the Lord toward the city which You have chosen and the temple which I have built for Your name, 45 then hear in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause. "When they pray toward the city." That city there was actually Jerusalem. Psalms 122 verse 6 or so says "pray for the peace of Jerusalem and if you do that, there is a promise." I am just showing how you could be in Babylon and yet pray for the peace of Jerusalem. When Nehemiah received the vision for the land of Judah, and the people thereof, when he received the burden from the Lord, he was not with them. He was at the palace in Shushan, when he heard the news, he became burdened and Bible says he prayed to God of heaven. Now, when God of heaven heard his prayers about the land of Judah, God eventually used him to create a kind of restoration in his own homeland.

 

It is possible for you to life your voice up to God in a place concerning another place. It is possible for you to be somewhere praying to the God of heaven concerning a people even though you are in the midst of another people. And I want us to see another instance in the book of Luke 9 and from there we will begin our message. Luke 9:51-53. The Bible says:

 

"Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem."

 

A people did not receive Him simply because his face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. So, He was physically with a people yet; His face was set to another place. Do we understand? It is possible for you to be in a physical location and have a spiritual impact on another location. The question is where do you set your face? Where do you set your mind? Where does your heart pant after? To what cause do you rise up to pray? To what cause do you kneel down to pray? You can intercede for a people that you have never met and yet their lives would be imparted with it. If you want to disciple the world, disciple nations, it begins from here and this is what the Holy Spirit wants to show us tonight: How To Disciple Nations Through Effective Strategic Thinking.

 

Now, let us go to our text in the book of Genesis 12, we want to see how God can take a people from one level to another. Genesis 12:1-4, the Bible says:

 

Now the Lord had said to Abram:

“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.

 

For us today, the Lord has shown us the land. The land we are interceding for, the land we are preaching to and praying for is the land of Australia. Now, for Abraham, he had not known it, yet, God said to him get out of your current place. I am sure you know that it is natural for an average man to begin his or her thinking with his nation, especially his family, his city, his nation and perhaps, his continent. That is how we think as humans. We think first about where we are, our present location becomes the focus for our prayers, our petitions and our focus. If you will ever pray to God over any place, we will pray to God over where we are living. If we are ever going to pray to God over any people, it would be about our family members and the people of our household. But God said to Abraham, "get out of."

 

Now, what God said to him that he literally obeyed, that is what God is saying to us that we must spiritually obey. You are in Nigeria, you are in Bwari, but God is telling you right now, get out of your father's house, out of your country to a land that I will show you. He said further:

 


2 I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

 

What do you call that? Is there no link between that statement that God said in chapter 12 verse 3 and Matthew 28 where Jesus said "Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations." God said to Abraham, in you, all the families of the earth will be blessed. Why? Because you are getting out of your current place, your current attachment to focus or to think about a different place that I will show to you. In verse 4, the Bible says:

 

4 So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.

 

God spoke to him and the Bible says he departed. God said get out of your current attachment with your current location; begin to have a vision or a perspective for a different place, for a different people. Now, if you can do that, in the course of time, all the families of the earth will be blessed through your own family because your family will become an example, a model that others must follow. Don't forget God told Abraham through him, all the families of the earth will be blessed. The question is how will the families of the earth ever know about your family if all you do is to remain in your own family?

 

Romans 10:14 downward.

"How then shall they call on Him.." because the goal is that the families of the earth should call on Him. Why? Because they have known Him. They have come to know Him, they know who He is, they know what He can do so, they call on Him. The goal of God sending a people on a mission to Australia from this day is that the people of Australia may call on Him. The question is: have they been living? Yes! Have they been calling on some things, yes! Have they been calling on Him? That is the focus. It says: "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?" Now, doing a little research about Australia, I realized that 30 percent of Australians do not belong to any religion. They don't have any faith. 52 percent are Christians and they are largely orthodox Christians; Roman Catholic, Anglican, and others. So, if you examine a society like that, you ask: Who have they been calling on? Do we understand?

 

It says:

 

"How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?" And that is the responsibility that God has put on our shoulders, that we go and preach. And it says: 15 "And how shall they preach unless they are sent?" As it is written:

 

“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

 

You see, there are two things that we must do on this mission to the people of Australia. We pray and we preach! We preach to pray and we pray to preach! Now, the end result is that the people of Australia will believe, they will believe in the person that you have been believing, and when this happen, they will call on Him. He says "Call unto me and I will answer you, and I will show you great and Mighty things that you have not known." Now, we know now that if the families of the earth will be blessed through the family of Abraham, it means Abraham must become that preacher that the Lord has sent who is being sent by God to the people so that everywhere Abraham gets to, a people will have this understanding that there is a God of Abraham.

 

Now, if Abraham had no link to that God, even though Abraham gets to a place, nobody will draw a link between Abraham and his God. If Abraham is ignorant of his God, then nobody will be able to say Abraham even has a God. Now, if all the families of the earth will be blessed through Abraham, it must be because Abraham has a functional relationship with God and he is able to tell the people of the lands that God takes him to about that God. If you have a functional relationship with God and you are able to tell people around you that there is a God in heaven who rules in the affairs of men, they could see it in your business, they could see it in your family and in your finance, they could see it in the works of your hands; then what is it that you are doing? You are simply discipling and representing God. Another word for that representation is "witness."

 

The people will not be blessed through your own family if your family has refused to witness, and witnessing is simply saying that there is God in heaven who is able to make your life better than it is. There is God in heaven who rules in the affairs of men. He has been ruling in my affairs, He can rule in your affairs. He has been changing me, He can change you. He has been blessing me, He can bless you. He has been healing me, He can heal you. He has been the reason for everything that is working around me, He can make things work for you. That is witnessing and that was the same assignment that God gave to Abraham. No wonder God said that He knew Abraham that he will command his children after him to obey the Lord, because that was the secret of passing on what he received from God to the people of the earth. Because, a man who is not able to command his children to obey the Lord cannot show anyone else, that there is a God in heaven that should be obeyed.

 

A man who cannot rule over his household should not become a leader in the church of God. Do we remember that? So, now, we want to see the aspect that is important for us. God has given him an assignment and says get out of where you are, go to a place that I will show you. So, he has not known it, but he will be shown. And let us see what happened in Genesis chapter 13 so that we can see where Strategic Thinking comes into play. Genesis 13 and I will start my reading from verse 5.

 

"Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks and herds and tents. 6 Now the land was not able to support them, that they might dwell together, for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together. 7 And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. The Canaanites and the Perizzites then dwelt in the land. 8 So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. 9 Is not the whole land before you?"

 

Is not the whole earth before you? From America to Asia to Australia to South America, to Africa. Is not the whole land before you?

 

"Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.” 10 And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. 11 Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other."

 

The man of God told him, the land is before you, the whole land is before you, and he made a decision. Bible says he lifted his eyes and saw. The question is this, you see with your eyes, right. But Bible says He lifted his eyes, so what he wanted to do was to see, but for him to see, he needed to lift his eyes. So, lifting his eyes is a process towards capturing the right vision. What he was looking for was vision. But towards having the vision, he needed to lift his eyes from where he was because vision begins from where you are. Where you are is so important in what you can see. Now we will soon get there. But from where he was, Bible says he lifted up his eyes and then he saw and what he saw was a  plain that was well watered.

 

I really want us to note very carefully. He did not see anything spiritual. He did not see anything outside the ordinary. What he saw was what the eyes could see. His vision was tied to his sight, what he could see was what he could capture. And I want us to note that because the Bible even describe what he saw, the plain of Jordan, well watered garden and so on. But the question is what he saw, how did he see it? This is what we want to look at today. The things he saw, what produced it? What engineered it? Now, let us continue. Verse 12.

 

"Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. 13 But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the Lord. 14 And the Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward; 15 for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever."

 

But the question is: How was he able to see the land which was northward, southward, eastward, and westward? Bible says God told him, from where you are. God said to him lift up your eyes now and look. And there is something I want us to consider. There is a phrase in our title that I want us to consider before we come back to this Scripture. And you know, our focus is How To Disciple Nations Through Effective Strategic Thinking. What is that strategic thinking and how is it connected to that verse that we just read? Now according to an explanation of Strategic thinking, it says "Strategic thinking is a process that defines the manner in which people think about, assess, view and create the future for themselves and others." The goal of Strategic Thinking is that a future should be created. Currently we are wherever we are now but there is a place that we want to get to. There is a point we want to get to, there are certain things we want to achieve. And it says Strategic thinking is a process that defines the manner in which you as a person, you see. The manner! Another word for "the manner" is perhaps "the approach" through which you see, the style. Strategic thinking is a process that defines the manner in which you see something, the manner and process you think about something.

 

Now, we said when you are talking about Strategic thinking, the goal is the future. You want to create a future. But before you can create that future, you need to see it. So, the manner that you think about what you see, what you assess what you view and create, the manner of that thing is the strategic thinking and it is about your future. Now, these people: Lot and Abraham were going to a land or they were seeking a place to settle. Don't forget, they were in a land before and the land got too small to handle them so, they separated. Now, towards finding the next place to go to, the place to settle, don't forget God eventually told Abraham that this land I will give to you and your descendants. So, perhaps, what Lot was supposed to choose too was something that was supposed to become a perpetual inheritance for his generation. But don't forget where he chose was eventually destroyed.

 

So what we are doing is actually thinking and talking about the future. The place ahead of you, that place that you are going to. That place that you have seen yourself getting to, the question is, how do you get there? They were going to choose a place that they will become established, then one chose it with a particular style. One used a particular approach to see it. The other one used a different approach. As soon as Abraham was finished talking, Bible says Lot lifted up his eyes and saw the plain of Jordan that it was a well-watered garden and he chose it for himself. Eventually, God destroyed the entire plain. After Lot had gone, Abraham settled down. Don't forget it takes time for someone who

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has a lot of animals, servants to park out. It took time. So, when Lot was doing his parking, Abraham was settled.

 

Abraham waited for a prompting and a leading until God showed him where he would go to and become established. And when God came to him, God said to him "now life your eyes up and look from where you are", from the present place that you are settled, which is not your permanent place. Look to every angle, everywhere you can see, it will become yours. And the question is this: How was he able to see? Lot saw, how was he able to see that was different from how Lot saw? And that is why we are looking at that strategic thinking which is a process that defines the manner in which people think about, assess, view and create the future for themselves and for others. It is about the manner in which you think about your future and you create it. Both of them had a future in view, but they used different manner to create it.

 

One decided to use his natural eyes to create it, the other one decided to see the place he was going from an angle different from the normal angle. And so, that angle was a strategic angle, it involves strategic thinking. Don't forget we already said that Strategic Thinking is about the future, the future sustainability, our survival, how we will remain, how we will grow how we will expand in the future. The question is that our "how we will", how do we come about a solution or plan that will sustain us? Do we just make impromptu decisions based on how lovely the place looks, or do we really think deep and allow God to guide our thinking? So that wherever we will choose and whatever we will do will not be an exercise in futility.

 

If I use an example of a young lady that is not yet married but she is planning to get married. The truth is that the desire of such a young lady is to get married, and not only that, but to remain married. Now, just like everybody get married, the question is how do we get married? In this our context, the strategic thinking actually involves a particular manner in which you get married that is different from the way everybody is getting married. Others are getting married and divorcing at a very quick pace, but you decide to allow God to guide your decisions, you don't just make a choice of a man simply because he is looking handsome or beautiful; you wait until God tells you to move. And if you look at it, getting married is like a goal, a vision or a future in view. But because you were not able to wait on God, you allow God to guide your decision making, you did not make it on emotion, because something was looking attractive, you made it because you were guided, you waited, you thought things through, you allowed God to guide your decision.

 

Now what you are able to choose is not something that is temporal but something that will last forever. That is the different between the two of them. And that is the advantage or the implication of strategic thinking. There is a place I want us to read in Matthew. I have quoted it but I want us to go there. Matthew 28:16-20. Bible says:

 

"Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations (The instruction is clear. You are to go and make disciple of all nations.), baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen."

 

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations." That is the future that God has commanded us, just like Abraham. Of course you know, before you can make disciples of all nations, you must first get out of something, you must first get out of your current place or location, knowing fully well that beyond where you are, there are people elsewhere. Beyond this your current place, there are people somewhere else. There are certain things you know that they don't know because Jesus said "baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you." The question is: Have you ever been commanded anything by the Lord? If your answer is yes, then there are a people somewhere who must be thought the things that God has commanded you. Knowing fully well that beyond where you are, there are a people somewhere else who are in need of the light that you have, the peace that you have. And the truth is you cannot take that peace out or that truth out until you are fully persuaded that what you have is what they lack. If you assume that you don't have anything, then you don't think you have anything to give to anybody. Now, towards going out, the opposite of being strategic in your thinking is to be immediate in your thinking.

 

If Jesus wanted the disciples to remain where they were, He won't have told them to go into all the nations. He would have said "go to all the villages." He knew that there were people somewhere else beyond the nation of Israel who needed to know. And in Acts 1:8 He says "But you will receive power when the Holy Ghost has come upon you, and you will be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem" telling people about me and who I am, you will be teaching them the things I have commanded you. You will be showing them what I have showed you and teaching them what I have taught you. There is always the place you are and there is always the place you must be and a people you must teach somewhere else. So, you require power which will make you to become my witness. And then when you want to become that witness, would you allow Strategic thinking to guide you or would you just want to think about where you are?

 

I am sure many of us have thought about where Abraham was that time. We knew where Lot was too. We know the limitation of the human eyes. He could not have seen too many kilometers with his physical eyes. So, it was beyond the physical eyes. There was a spiritual eyes that was involved, that was engaged. The place and the people that you must be of help to, that you must help, you cannot begin to conceive them with your physical eyes, you will be limited in your scope. If you must successfully take the message of the kingdom, the message of Christ to the nations, then you must see through the eyes of your spirit. This strategic thinking that we are talking about is not natural, it is spiritual. You are not cracking your head to see a place that you must go to, you are allowing the Lord to guide your vision. You allowing the Lord to create a future, a beautiful future, a land that you must go to, a people that you must help, that you must teach.

 

So, there are a few questions that I noted that I want to share with us before we conclude. The first questions is: Where are you right now? Don't forget, God said to Abraham, from where you are, look; to your north, to your east, to your west and to your south, from where you are look. It is important going forward, discipling nations to settle where you are. You must know where you are. The second question is: How far can you see from where you are right now? The third question is: What do you see with or what do you see through? We are not talking about what you are seeing, we are asking: what is it that you are seeing with? What are you using to see? Your vision is not the focus of today, the focus is what you get your vision through or how you arrive at your vision. Is your vision hastily delivered to you or hastily received? And is it so microscopic or so myopic that it can only affect your family or your city alone or you allow your vision to be such that is coordinated by the Spirit of God and it is able to go to places. Jesus said you will be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, that is where you are right now. In Judea, farther than where you are, in Samaria, much bigger and ends of the earth. Do we see that?

 

It begins from Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria and to the ends of the earth. But many of us will make visions that is perhaps not as big as our Jerusalem. Why? We are not strategic in our thinking. For whatever reason, we think less of whom God has made us. We think like "can somebody like myself ever become a benefit to people there?" Can I ever become someone who can affect lives of people who are different from me? We think less of who we are, we don't even think deeply and think correctly about ourselves, we don't perceive ourselves correctly. And since we don't perceive ourselves correctly, we believe that whatever is in us, is not enough to meet the needs of others. Thank God for the perception of Peter and his other friends when they said "Silver and gold we don't have, we have perceived ourselves correctly and we know what we don't have." But what you lack is what we have and such as we have we give to you. "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."

 

The question is: How many people in Australia, how many people across the world are in need of what the name of Jesus can do? How many people are suffering currently only wishing that what the name of Jesus could do to them is being done to them. But the question is: how can they ever call on Him whom they never believed? How can they believe on Him whom they have never heard? How can they hear of Him when there is nobody who is preaching to them? And Jesus said go and make disciples of all nations. The scope of your disciple making is going to be determined by how you receive your vision. Did you receive your vision in a myopic form, in an hasty form, or did you receive your vision in a strategic form? Was it something you captured, allowing your fear to guide you and your greed or was it something you captured allowing the Holy Spirit to give expression to your eyes and your mind?

 

Did you allow God to show you where He wants to take you too or did you tell God "God just use me here in Abuja?" I can only be of benefits to people here in Abuja alone, I cannot affect any life outside of Abuja. Is that what you are telling God? Or you are telling God you will be one of those people who will actually go and make disciples of all nations, knowing fully well that the future that you desire is not such that must be hastily created with your eyes or the limitations of your body but such that the Holy Spirit must create through you. He says "you will receive power and you will be witnesses unto me." So, there is a power for witness and that power for witness comes from the Holy Spirit.

 

You must allow the Holy Spirit to widen the scope of your mind so that when you are thinking, you don't think in the immediate or interim - about now and here. You are strategic, thinking about a farther place, you are thinking about a farther people. You are thinking about people who are not of your color, about people who don't know the things you know. Some of us will just shut down once we start relating with people who speak languages different from us. Yet, people outside of us must hear what God has taught us. If there is anything that the Lord Jesus has commanded you in the past, you must preach them. Such as you have received from the Lord, you must give to them. And even if you think you are just in Bwari, you are just in Abuja, that you cannot be of benefit to anybody or any people in the end of the earth, the word of the Lord to you is you can set your face toward the place and pray for their peace, you can pray for their restoration, you can pray for their revival.

 

God is able to use you. God is looking for vessels. Are you going to be temporal in your thinking or you are going to be strategic? Will you rely on your natural senses or will you allow the Holy Spirit to use you?

 

Amen!


Thanks for the gift of your time, I am Gboyega Adedeji!

Feel free to share your thoughts or testimony with me in the comment box below. I promise to respond to them as soon as possible!


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Word of Confession: (Optional)

Lord Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned against the LORD God - in the rebellion of my heart, I have disappointed your expectations on my life. I have fallen from Your grace and followed wrong influences around me. Today, I retrace my steps back to you - and I ask that in your mercy you accept me as your son and give to me (again) the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please, come and make my heart your home, and from there rule in the affairs of all men. In Jesus Name I have prayed.



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Strategic Thinking Discipleship How To Disciple NationsHoly Spirit Vision CaptureMarch2020


Mentoring deals largely with SKILLS, but Discipleship deals firstly with CHARACTER. To transform your society, you will require more than MENTORING!


Published: Gboyega Adedeji | Friday 27th September 2019


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Mentoring deals largely with SKILLS, but Discipleship deals firstly with
  Mentoring deals largely with SKILLS, but Discipleship deals firstly with
  Mentoring deals largely with SKILLS, but Discipleship deals firstly with
  Mentoring deals largely with SKILLS, but Discipleship deals firstly with
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