Psalm 81:10 – “I am the LORD your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.” NKJV
I sat a listened to a group of preachers, rail against anyone who went to the pulpit with notes. In their view, this was a lack of faith in God, and would result in nothing more than canned preaching with no life. I held my tongue, knowing that I believe in PREPARATION and although I do not always have notes with me, I have my notes written in my heart and head from the hours of prayer and preparation. One of them, a very devoted man, said, “I just open my mouth and God fills it.” I wanted to say, “Yeah, and sometimes He fills it with flies.” Another quoted, 2 Timothy 4:2 saying, “I am instant in season and out of season. I just open my mouth and let ‘er rip.” Hey, I’ve heard him preach some powerful messages that were definitely God-inspired and very anointed so I’m not attacking him, just questioning the mentality, some develop that PREPARATION and STUDY are not necessary for spiritual things and for that matter in life.
I have had well-meaning believers decry financial planning and making preparations for the golden years of life and retirement saying, “But My God shall supply all my needs…” or “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” Some even used the directive of our Lord to His disciples as He sent them out in Luke 10:4 and their view was that if you prepared ahead of time you were small in faith and if we were “good Christians” we would go with no plan or preparation and God would provide and guide. He can, He will, and He does, but dare we ignore the many other passages that tell us to “study, prepare, and count the costs?”
I am reminded of the situation when Ahimaaz begged Joab to let him run with news to David. Joab instructed him to turn aside and sent the Cushite instead. Ahimaaz would not be deterred and continued to pester Joab until he said, “Run!” He took off like the wind and outran the Cushite and when he got to David and the King inquired what the news was, he had nothing of significance to say. He had run without the message and without preparation and all his effort was of no value.
Ecclesiastes does tell us there is a time for everything and we are reminded that God will never leave us nor forsake us. We are taught in Scripture that the Holy Spirit will teach us all the things of Christ. We know from God’s word that we are more than conquerors through Jesus. However, to assume that we can go forth without preparation is to be presumptuous and that is a dangerous place to find ourselves. There is a time, when our previous preparation, study, and prayer will have to suffice and in that moment,God will give us what we need to say. There is a time when, what God wants is immediate and there is not the time to make financial preparation and we must trust Him for the provision, and in those times He will send the ravens if necessary to provide.
I have witnessed churches who are in a survival mode just winging it having no plan and making no preparations. I am not saying that we plan to the point of trusting our plan rather than God but as in the case of Israel in 2 Kings 3 where Elijah the prophet instructed them to dig ditches and when Israel viewed the prepared ditches there was water but when the enemy viewed the same ditches they saw blood and thought Israel and their coalition had turned on each other and rushed forward without caution to their destruction. Preparation precedes blessing and having a life or ministry that is spur of the moment, winging it, and flying by the seat of one’s pants will frequently if not usually result in disaster.
God bless you as you go through this day!