There are two ways to live life: Strategically or Tactically. They aren’t mutually exclusive but I’ve erroneously tended to focus more on Tactics because the natural tendency when bullets fly is to dive for cover. That’s a Tactic, but it won’t win a war. It’s your Strategy that matters in life. And I have one that wins.
Strategy vs. Tactics
Wikipedia defines Strategy and Tactics like this:
Strategy is a high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty… [It’s] also about attaining and maintaining a position of advantage over adversaries through the successive exploitation of known or emergent possibilities rather than committing to any specific fixed plan designed at the outset.
A tactic is a conceptual action implemented as one or more specific tasks. In military usage, a military tactic is used by a military unit… to implement a specific mission and achieve a specific objective, or to advance toward a specific goal.
Wikipedia also defines the difference between Strategy and Tactics:
[T]actics are the actual means used to gain an objective, while strategy is the overall campaign plan, which may involve complex operational patterns, activity, and decision-making that lead to tactical execution.
Why my tactics fail
Simple. They are “specific tasks… to reach a specific objective.” They’re just techniques that need constant reinventing in order to defend myself from the onslaught of ever-changing offensive Tactics from my enemy. And when my enemy is arguably the second most intelligent being in the universe (albeit a distant second), and is hell-bent (in the most literal sense of the phrase) on destabilizing God’s sanctification of my life, I don’t stand a chance. I might as well never leave the house for fear of sin. He wins!
Why God’s strategy wins
Also simple. God’s strategy is “a high level plan to achieve one [goal] under conditions of uncertainty…”
God’s goal is to redeem me from sin and thereby restore my relationship with Him. And His Strategy is The Cross.
How it works
God knows my intent. I don’t intend to sin. But God also knows my intentions fall short of His standard: “For all have sinned an fall short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23) Now don’t take that as a license for sin because it’s not!
God’s Strategy is to fill the gap between my intentions and His standard with the blood of Jesus that was shed at the cross. Not accepting that atonement leads to a frustrating life of endless Tactical engagements to keep myself from being tempted by an adversary with whom I’m hopelessly outmatched.
How to make it work
At the end of every day I do a little Psalms 139 therapy. Recognizing that God knows my intentions, I ask Him to search my heart, revealing any unconfessed sin. Once confessed it’s covered by the blood of Christ. Then I let it go! The gap is filled; I forget about it, because God has. Don’t buy yet another of the enemy’s tactics: Arguing that it’s still there, because it’s not.