Many times Christians say, “Just have faith.” The question that we are going to ask today is: “Does faith mean we don’t have to plan?” In other words, is faith a substitute for planning?
First, does God ever call us to plan? If we believe we are to plan, are there times when we are to just have faith? If both of these ideas are in play, when do we plan instead of only having faith? Lastly, if God does call us to plan, why do we default to the answer of “Just have faith?”
THERE ARE TIMES GOD CALLS US TO PLAN
First, let’s ask ourselves does God ever call us to plan? The answer is yes. Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” It is clear here that there are times that we are to plan.
Jesus even talks about planning. In Luke 14:25-33, He gives an illustration about building a new building. Now, the context of what Jesus is saying has nothing to do with buildings, and everything to do with the sacrifice of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. But Jesus uses the real world illustration of planning.
He says if someone builds a building, they should first count the cost. If someone just builds without planning, there is a chance they won’t have the funds to complete the job. He actually says that a person that builds but can’t complete the job will be mocked because they did not plan.
There are many times in life that we can plan. When we are looking at a new job, we make decisions depending on the hours involved, distance, and financial package. When we move to an area, we may study the crime rate or the quality of the schools, or how many parks are in the area. When we make a purchase we should look at our budget to see if it fits within that budget and whether or not it is a wise purchase.
THERE ARE TIMES GOD CALLS US TO “JUST HAVE FAITH”
Second, there are many times when God calls us to “just have faith.” Faith by definition is having complete trust or confidence in someone or something. But when we talk about “just having faith” we are not doing so without any merit or logic whatsoever.
When we are living by faith, and when God is calling us to have faith in a specific area, we don’t do so completely blindly. We do so with the foundation that we are going to have faith in what God has called us to do because we have trust in Him.
Just because we have faith, we don’t always know what will happen down the road. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” There are many times we know what God wants us to do, and we don’t know the result of what He wants us to do, but we do it because He has called us to it. That’s faith.
At the same time, it is grounded in a foundation. Faith is not completely blind. The reason we are able to have faith is because we know God is faithful, and has our best in mind. We do it because He has called us to it. That’s why the apostle Paul says in Romans 10:17, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” The faith specifically listed in this passage is for salvation. But faith must be grounded in something, the written Word of God.
The reality is, if you are just to have faith in a situation, most likely there is a verse calling you to that area of faith. The word “faith” or its derivatives are used 356 times throughout Scripture. That’s a lot of times and scenarios that we are to trust and obey God, despite not knowing the future.
WHEN DO WE KNOW TO PLAN OR HAVE FAITH?
Third, “When do we know whether we are to plan or to have faith?” Let me say first, this is a good question. I think if it is not clear, we should pray about it. Ask God to show us the answer to that question in relation to our problem or opportunity.
Also, for the majority of what we deal with there is most likely an answer to Scripture as to whether( in that situation) we are to have faith or plan. Take time to seek out Scripture to see if Scripture speaks clearly, or at least secondarily to that specific subject.
If you are not able to find a clear answer on whether or not God has spoken to you on trusting vs. planning, seek out wise godly counselors. Proverbs 19:20 says, “listen to advice (counsel) and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.” These people are further along in their faith, whether it is Bible study, or godly experience. Ask them to show you Scripture and pray with you about this. If there is no clear Scripture that talks about planning or having faith, seek their godly advice in the matter.
WHERE DOES YOUR PROBLEM OR OPPORTUNITY FALL?
Where does your problem or opportunity fall? What Scripture do you have that says whether you should plan or have faith in your situation? If you are not able to point to any Scripture that says what you should do, who in your life can you seek out to help you find the answers and pray with you over that?
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.