Undergroundchurch Blog

Preparing the Church for the future

The Problem with Helping God Out

Posted by undergroundchurch on March 30, 2009


God never managed a McDonalds.

We live in a fast food, instant messaging, wifi, gotta-have-it-now generation. I have an iPhone just so I can keep up with my blogs, facefook, email and Fox News. I just heard a study that talked about all the things the cell phone have replaced – PDAs, home phones, long distance, MP3 players and strangely enough, the next thing they will replace is the cell phone. People don’t talk to people anymore, they text, email and tweet them.

We crave the fast and the quick. We buy everything before we can afford it. In fact, if you take personal debt (not including mortgages) and spread it across every man, woman and child in America, each person would owe $7,575 according to the Federal Reserve Board. Throw in the mortgages, and each person owes almost 10 times that much.

That is not a sustainable model. Eventually, you will break a system based on wanting things you aren’t ready for. The McDonalds mentality – gotta have it now, just doesn’t work in God’s kingdom.

Just ask Moses. God trained him for 80 years before he was ready to use him. David ran from Saul for years before he became king and then another 20 years from his own people for 20 years after he became king. What about Abraham 20 years, Noah 120 years and Jesus 33 years.

I don’t think we get it. We don’t need to use man’s methods to push God. We don’t need to help Him out. He just wants us to be ready when He calls upon us. He will do it in His timing.

Our intentions are good. We mean well; we just should not use the worlds flawed methods to drive God’s plan.

Let me be somewhat bold and say, “I sincerely doubt that God has ever ever asked anybody to go into debt to finance His work.” There is no biblical precedent for it. On the contrary, I could show scripture upon scripture against that practice.

When we help God out in this way, we set ourselves up for trouble. Even though our intentions are good and our proclaimed “faith” sees results, I don’t believe we get the best value from the work. In fact, it might even have unintended consequences that could undermine the very work you are doing for God.

Case in point. There was once a king of Judah named Hezekiah. He was a good and righteous king who loved God with all His heart.

One day, God honored him by telling him in advance that he was going to die and that he should get his house in order. Most of us would not like to hear that kind of news, and neither did Hezekiah. Rather than trust God, he pleaded with God to change the plan.

God did.

This was one of only a couple times in the bible where God listened to a man. This time, however, it would be very bad.

God extended Hezekiah’s life 15 years. During that time, some leaders from an eastern country came to visit and Hezekiah foolishly showed them all the treasures of the kingdom. Pride had entered in. The local prophet came to him and told him that that very nation would one day after he was gone come back and take it all away.

That news strangely gave him peace that he would live a safe life. But it wasn’t the worse thing that came from his “helping God out”. You see, during that 15 years, Hezekiah had a son – a son that would take the kingdom over at the age of 12 years of age. His name – Manasseh. He was in many ways the most wicked king Judah ever saw. More wicked, the bible says than the Amorite nation before him. He filled Jerusalem with blood and undid every good thing that his father established.

The sadest part of that story is that non of it had to happen. For if Hezekiah had just followed God’s will instead of trying to alter it or help God out, the wickedness that followed his reign may have been avoided. Eventually, Manasseh came around, but not before dragging Judah through the mud.

I don’t know why we feel we need to help God out, it really never ends up well. Faith is trusting God’s plan. When we add to his plans, we created houses of straw and sticks that are weak and fragile. When the times of trouble come, they quickly perish while the plan of God continues on.

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