There was a time I worked for a guy who, although he was good to me, was the kind of character where if you were interested in securing a favorable deal for yourself, you needed to be able to approach him from a position of strength.
At least, that’s what I called it: A “position of strength.”
By that, I mean that you had to be able to substantiate your terms with something that compelled him to agree to what you’re saying. For example, I want to see my hourly wage increase. If I was going to emerge from his office as a successful negotiator, I needed to be able say something like, “I’ve got another job offer,” or something comparable. Short of that, he had you in a place where you obligated to accept his deal, which wasn’t always inspiring.
The bottom line, though, is that you could get what you were hoping for as long as you had that trump card – as long as you were approaching him from a position of strength.
Wouldn’t That Be Sweet?
Negotiating life is similar. Of course, in life you’re not interacting with an individual per se, but if you could, for a moment, envision your need to overcome some kind of adversity as something you could manipulate via an exchange between yourself and this figure who can hypothetically alter your circumstances, you can see how approaching this meeting from a “position of strength” would constitute a huge tactical advantage. So, just as they’re getting ready to refuse your terms, you could lay that “something” on the table and suddenly your platform is dominant and you emerge with an ideal scenario.
Wouldn’t that be sweet?
Obviously, we don’t have access to that kind of life-altering dynamic, but we do have something that often gets overlooked and it does equate to a legitimate “position of strength.”
The things that most exasperates us are those things that we can’t control. It’s part of life. No matter how you prepare, no matter how you plan, life includes a number of elements that simply cannot be controlled or anticipated. It’s those unexpected setbacks that take the wind out of our sails and that “position of strength” you would theoretically occupy is processed as an impractical pipedream than it is anything else.
But look at your scenario in the light of God’s Truth.
Asserting Some Truth Into Your Situation
It says in the Psalms that all our days were ordained before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:16). There is a plan – there is a purpose that infuses every triumph and every setback with significance and meaning (Eph 2:10; Phil 2:13). Nothing is random.
At one point Paul is attempting to get over into Bithynia. He can’t. Who knows what that situation looked like, but according to Scripture, Paul documents it as Divine direction and not a physical obstacle (Acts 16:7).
Do you see that?
How many times have things fallen short of what you were hoping for and your reaction was aimed at the tangible entities that comprised your dilemma? Perhaps it was a person. Maybe your car broke down. Perhaps you were working towards a particular goal and something went south leaving you in a puddle of disappointment and confusion.
It’s then when you need to be intentional about asserting some Truth into your situation. Otherwise, you’re prone to linger in that zone characterized by discouragement and even bitterness.
Take some of the Scriptures that pertain to purpose and lay them down side by side….
• All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16)
• A man’s steps are ordered by the LORD; how then can man understand his way? (Prov 20:24)
• And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Rom 8:28)
• For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Eph 2:10)
• for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (Phil 2:13)
You see where this is going?
Remember Simeon? Check out Luke 2:25-32. He’s an older gentleman who has his heart set on seeing the Messiah before he takes his last breath. In verse 27, it says “Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts…”
I’m not sure what that looked like, as far as being “moved by the Spirit,” but I like to think that it was a series of very practical events that had him thinking he needed to be at the temple. And because it was God pulling the strings, he happened to be there when an obscure couple comes walking out holding the One Who he had been praying to see.
There’s nothing random about our lives. From a human standpoint, we cling to the idea that we are the master or our own fate. Hence, we get the credit when things go well and we bear the blame when things do not. Certainly we are responsible for our actions, as far as being obedient go God’s commands (Dt 11:1; Jn 14:21). But we are not victims of circumstance, nor are we the reason for our own success. All those things that we can’t control – both the good and the bad – it all culminates in a beautiful exclamation point: God’s in charge!
You’re in a Position of Strength
So, as you’re going about your day, be mindful of the fact that you are in a position of strength. That imaginary person you’re negotiating with in an effort to secure a positive outcome – you have that trump card in that while you don’t know what a day may bring forth, you know Who does. And the Lord makes firm the steps of those who delight in him. (Psalm 37:23).
That’s a position of strength!