My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul. Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let your glory be over all the earth. Save us, and help us with your right hand, that those you love may be delivered.
God has spoken from his sanctuary: “In triumph I will parcel out Shechem and measure off the Valley of Succoth. Gilead is mine, Manasseh is mine; Ephraim is my helmet, Judah my scepter. Moab is my washbasin, upon Edom I toss my sandal; over Philistia I shout in triumph.”
Who will bring me to the fortified city? Who will lead me to Edom? Is it not you, O God, you who have rejected us and no longer go out with our armies? Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless. With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.
A number of years ago, the board of a ministry I headed up was struggling with a difficult decision. One of the members, frustrated with the direction the discussion was going, looked at me and said, “Well, if you want my opinion …” I interrupted her because she had inadvertently hit upon the very reason we were all so frustrated.
“With utmost respect,” I told her, “I don’t want your opinion.” Looking around the room I continued, “Nor do I want any one else’s. I didn’t invite any of you on to this board because I needed your opinions. Human opinions are free for the asking, and usually worth what they cost, and I happen to think my own are as good as anyone’s. I invited all of you on to this board because I believed you could help me discover God’s opinion.”
“As much as I love you all, your opinions aren’t valuable to me in this matter. The value you provide is your demonstrated ability to go to prayer and find out what God wants, because His is the only opinion that counts with me. The reason we’re all so frustrated is that we’re trying to resolve this issue in our own strength. Let’s give it to Him.” We did and soon had the answer.
We never made any snap decisions at those meetings. We discussed the opportunities presented to us and took them to prayer. If, after praying about them independently, we all came to the next meeting with the same answer we assumed we had God’s opinion and took action. If not we didn’t. There was no such thing as majority rule on that board. We never did anything until the vote was unanimous.
When they first came on to the board, some were uncomfortable with this approach because it denied them the influence they sought. Others because it didn’t let them use their persuasive skills to build a consensus between meetings, predetermining the outcome of the vote. But after seeing the results, they came to appreciate the way we did things.
We bought equipment, implemented programs, supported ministries, planted a church and consistently met the spiritual needs of our people. In ten years, we never borrowed any money and never had to ask for a dime to fund a budget that grew to be $250,000 annually.
God was the head of that ministry. We were His stewards. Sometimes we waited a while for Him to make His preferences known, but we never missed an opportunity while waiting. And while we never had any extra money lying around, we always had enough to do the things He led us toward.
Whether you’re entrusted with stewardship over an organization, a family, or just your own life, David’s prayer’s a good one. Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless. With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.