The Balance Between Faith and Planning Ahead

The Balance Between Faith and Planning Ahead January 19, 2011

plan aheadA question came in the other day from a reader who asked the following: “Should we embark on a project without first counting the total costs and later believing that God will provide?”

Two very powerful verses came to mind almost immediately, which I think will help in answering this question fully.

The first is found in Luke 14:28-30 (NLT)

“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’”

The second is found in Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. “

Where’s the line between having faith and planning ahead?

Jesus made some very clear points in these three short verses recorded in Luke. He was explaining that being a follower of Christ takes commitment and there are costs that must be considered. He uses an example of constructing a building because the people could relate with the significance that role planning has in the building process.

But the question that begs to be asked is that where does faith come in if we simply make every decision a calculated decision? If we have to plan every step, are we not exercising the faith we read about in Hebrews 11:1?

The important thing to understand is that verse one of Hebrews leads into the Hall of Faith, highlighting the spiritual giants who lived a life of faith.

• Their hope was placed on greater things – not of the things in this world.

• Their certainty was founded in the faithfulness of God, not the provisions of this world.

Yes, we depend on God to provide for all our needs, but that doesn’t mean that we are exempt from planning ahead. In fact, it is foolish not to plan.

Proverbs 21:5 says:

“The plans of the diligent lead to profit, as surely as haste leads to poverty”

Learning to mix faith and planning ahead

I think one of the greatest ways to exercise our faith is to prepare the best that we can before embarking on a new goal or idea. Moving forward with blind faith is a dangerous habit and can even be an excuse for laziness in planning. Understanding the costs to a project will allow you to make the very best of what you’ve been given. This will build your faith even stronger as you approach God knowing that you’ve been a diligent steward of the resources He’s provided.

What are your thoughts? How should we balance having faith and planning ahead?

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