The Backup Plan?

oil and water

2 Samuel 6:6 When they came to Nacon’s threshing floor, Uzzah reached out to the ark of God and took hold of it because the oxen had stumbled.

God’s blessing-plan and your backup-plan mix like oil and water

Imagine a church business meeting that goes something like this:

“Guys, we’ve got to move this church to a different level, a different place of influence. Let’s pray.”

They pray.

“What do you think God is saying?” One young man, John, recently elected as an elder says, “During prayer, I think I heard that God wants us to be faithful stewards. If we’re good stewards of our time in prayer, good stewards of the relationships we have with our congregation and good stewards with the small funds we have right now, I think He’ll bless us and we’ll move to whatever level of influence He wants us.”

Some of the men listened, while others checked their i-phones. Some just dropped their heads as if to excuse themselves from the conversation. After a bit of awkward silence, the chair of the committee spoke up.

“John, that sounds like a good idea. God certainly wants us to be faithful stewards. But if that doesn’t work, shouldn’t we consider something else? As a contingency to what John is suggesting, I would like to discuss the option of using our small reserve funds to either hire a younger more energetic worship leader, pave our gravel parking lot, purchase a new sound system or replace the carpet in our sanctuary.” Now everyone was suddenly tuned in and interested. Except God.

This type of “contingency planning” doesn’t just happen in the Church today. It happens in individual lives. Just like Uzzah failed to be a God-fearing, God-trusting faithful steward of the ark and transport it with men instead of oxen, Uzzah had a contingency plan. “I’ll skip the faithful stewardship part and have oxen carry the ark instead and I’ll just stand beside it to make sure it doesn’t fall.” That didn’t turn out to well for him.

When you know what God wants, contingency planning is faithless. A contingency plan means you’re not “all in.” And if you’re not in, He won’t be either.

God’s blessing-plan and your backup-plan mix like oil and water.

Imagine if at the miracle of the feeding of the 5000, the disciples had said, “Whoa Jesus! Hang on! Don’t bless and break that bread yet. Before we try this miracle, we really feel like we should call in some Greyhound busses to prepare to take these folks back to town where they can eat. That’s only if this loaf multiplication thing doesn’t work. So, let’s at least get the busses on standby before we move on with this attempt.” They dial Greyhound and set the contingency plan in motion then turn back to Jesus. “Okay, we’re good. You can go for it now.” What do you think Jesus would have done? I’m betting He would have announced to the crowd, “Folks, Greyhound busses will be arriving shortly to take you home. My disciples will be joining you.” The miracle? They missed it.

The fundamental question that must be asked by each of us is, “Are we taking care of God or is He taking care of us?” It might be worth considering that it’s one or the other.

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