Life: God's Renewable resource
what are we waiting for?
by John Brummitt
While most of us do not wait for floodwaters to reach our knees before taking action, we sometimes expect God to send a miracle instead of taking advantage of the provisions He already has in place.
Find out more about the Free Will Baptist Board of Retirement at www.nafwb.org.
PERHAPS YOU'VE HEARD THE HUMOROUS STORY. A town was being evacuated because of a flood. One man refused to leave his home. Floodwaters had reached the first step of his front porch when rescue workers arrived in a four-wheel drive. He told them, “Don’t worry about me; the Lord is going to take care of me.”
Before long, water covered the porch. A second group of rescue workers arrived in a boat. Again the man said, “Don’t worry about me; the Lord is going to take care of me.”
The rain continued and the floodwaters rose, eventually reaching the gutters on the man’s house. He was sitting on the roof when a rescue helicopter swooped down to whisk him away. Again he refused, telling the rescue party the Lord would take care of him.
The rain continued, and as water crept around the man’s ankles, he started to pray, “I don’t understand, Lord. I am still waiting for you to rescue me.”
The Lord answered him tersely, “I sent a four-wheel drive, a boat, and a helicopter. What else do you want?”
WHILE WE CHUCKLE AT THE MAN'S misguided thinking, we also learn a valuable lesson. While most of us do not wait for floodwaters to reach our knees before taking action, we sometimes expect God to send a miracle instead of taking advantage of the provisions He already has in place.
One area we do this most is in finances. The way to escape the “flood of financial troubles” is ready and waiting for us, but we decide to “wait on the Lord” to salvage our poor financial planning. Throughout the Old Testament, God laid out ways to deal with finances and debt. The basic principles are still the same. Owe no man anything. Give a portion back to the Lord. Store up for the lean times.
“Owe no man anything” (Romans 13:8a). Avoiding debt is a principle the Lord gave mankind in the time of Moses, yet we still struggle with debt today. We must be careful not to become indebted by overstretching finances for things we really do not need. God has promised our needs will be met, but sometimes we confuse what we want with what we need.
To avoid debt, set up a budget. See where money is going. If your spending is frivolous, you may need to make some changes. If your finances have stretched to the breaking point (or beyond), stop overspending. Don’t allow debt to turn you into a slave.
Give back a portion to the Lord. This is one of the first commands from the Lord. Too often, when we stretch ourselves thin through overspending, we withhold our tithes and offerings. Beware that cheating the Lord robs you of the blessing of giving.
While it is true that God doesn’t “need” your money to carry out His work, He has established tithing to provide for His workers—the people who minister to you week after week. You may think your small weekly tithe does little to help the church, that your money won’t be missed if you stop giving. But if many church members thought this, the church would soon be unable to function. Give cheerfully to express your gratitude for God’s blessings. Your actions will result in personal, spiritual growth.
Store up in lean times. In Genesis 41, Joseph guided the nation of Egypt to save for seven years to provide grain for the coming famine. We do things a little different now, but the basic principle remains. Save while you are working to provide for the time when you no longer receive a paycheck.
Notice an interesting fact in the story of Joseph; he started saving from the first harvest. He didn’t wait until the sixth year to prepare for the famine. He saved a small amount from each harvest. The principle is still true. Saving a little each pay period is easier and more effective than trying to “do it all at once” in the years just preceding your retirement.
The Lord wants us to be good stewards of our finances. He wants to bless our efforts. This does not mean we can simply “wait on the roof” for God to pour out miraculous blessings. If we do, we will miss the small blessings He sends every day. Don’t wait on a miracle when God already has a plan!
John Brummitt is the business manager for the Board of Retirement and Insurance. Find out more about the programs offered by the Board at (877) 767-7738 or visit their website at www.nafwb.org.