Winning Strategies: Supply v. demand
Embracing our God-given purpose of achieving Kingdom victory should compel us to look more strategically at how best to tackle the problems facing our world. When we do this, we see that for each of the enemy’s cultural strongholds, there is both a supply side and a demand side. There are people who produce pornography and people who purchase it, people who sell illegal drugs and people who use them, people who govern poorly and people who vote them into office, and so on.
Our human nature is to look for shortcuts – the perceived path of least resistance – and also to seek recognition for our endeavors. This nature generally leads us to attack the supply side of a stronghold – it just seems to be the logical way to bring it down, and we can certainly make a big splash by doing so. As a result we picket abortion clinics, organize electoral campaigns, wage war against drug cartels, seek to outlaw pornography, and the like.
Now, we each need to do as the Lord leads, and there’s nothing wrong with any of these activities. If the Lord calls you personally to focus on the supply side of a stronghold, then you should do it with all your strength. However, if we as a body embrace these tactics as our sole strategy for pulling down strongholds, victory is impossible. How can I say this? It’s a simple lesson in Economics 101: For any given demand, limiting the supply simply drives up the price. For example, attack the supply chain for illegal drugs without addressing the demand, and you’ve only hiked the street value – and as a result, you’re driving addicts to do even more extreme things to get them!
Want to tear down the stronghold of illegal drugs? Just like every other cultural stronghold, attacking the demand is the winning strategy. When former drug addicts would rather “get drunk on the Holy Spirit”(Ephesians 5:18) than high on dope, the illicit drug trade will disappear! Instead, we’ve spent oceans of money and manpower fighting the supply … and how’s it working for us?
When men hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for the desires of the flesh, the pornography industry will collapse. Attack the supply – whether it be through shutting down pornographers or simply putting “porn blockers” on computers – and allow the demand to linger – and men will still commit adultery in their hearts. No victory there!
When our elected leaders are storing up treasures in Heaven instead of pursuing earthly riches, corruption will vanish. When the hearts of the electorate are turned towards righteousness, and they vote accordingly, the righteous will once again rule. Connect gang members to real, loving, edifying relationships and street violence will stop. When the truth of God’s love is known by all, then all religions and sects based on legalism, division or hate will fail.
Attack the supply side of any of these, and you may get some temporary relief, but it’s no better than putting a Band-Aid on an infection. It may look fine on the surface for a time, but the real problem is still there, only getting worse.
When you get to the heart of these issues, you realize the ultimate supply of all our cultural ills is the deception of the enemy. Even those people who are agents of the “supply side” are, in their hearts, simply demanding gratification from something other than God, and they have believed the lie that they can find what they’re looking for through sin.
We must remember that our battle is for people and not against them! Any perceived shortcut is really a dead-end street. God’s Kingdom will come when we personally connect with the hearts and minds of individual people, one at a time, and turn them towards Christ. Victory will not be accomplished through blunt force, but instead through loving kindness. Put two and two together –“The meek shall inherit the earth” (Psalm 37:11, repeated by Jesus in Matthew 5:5) and “He who (conquers, carries off the victory) will inherit all things” (Revelation 21:7) —and it becomes clear that we will conquer through meekness. There is no other way.