Normally I would post a study, but I’m going to make an exception and post this bit of fiction instead.
I found the story and adapted it:
A terrible storm came into a town and local officials sent out an emergency warning that the riverbanks would soon overflow and flood the nearby homes. They ordered everyone in the town to evacuate immediately.
A faithful Christian woman heard the warning and decided to stay, saying to herself, “I will trust God and if I am in danger, then God will send a divine miracle to save me.”
Her neighbor came by her house and said to her, “I’m leaving and there is room for you in my car, please come with me!” But the woman declined his offer. “I have faith that God will save me.”
As the woman stood on her porch watching the water rise up the steps, a man in a canoe paddled by and called to her, “Hurry and come into my canoe, the waters are rising quickly!” But the woman again said, “No thanks, God will save me.”
The floodwaters rose higher pouring water into her living room and the woman had to retreat to the second floor. A police motorboat came by and the policeman saw her at the window. “I will come up and rescue you!” he shouted. But the woman refused, waving him off saying, “Use your time to save someone else! I have faith that God will save me!”
The flood waters rose higher and higher and the woman had to climb up to her rooftop.
A helicopter spotted her and dropped a rope ladder. A rescue officer came down the ladder and he pleaded with the woman, “Grab my hand and I will pull you up!” But the woman STILL refused, folding her arms tightly to her body. “No thank you! God will save me!”
Shortly after, the house broke up and the floodwaters swept the woman away and she drowned.
When in Heaven, the woman stood before God and asked, “I put all of my faith in You. Why didn’t You come and save me?”
And He said, “Daughter, I sent you a warning. I sent you a car. I sent you a canoe. I sent you a motorboat. I sent you a helicopter. What more were you looking for?”
If you are looking for God to help you to do something, don’t neglect the fact that God sometimes sends people to do his work, so that they can partner with him and experience him while doing his work. I think the lesson from this made-up story is that it’s good to not make plans that are risky and reckless, and therefore unlikely to work.
Look at this passage from the Bible.
5 Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple,
6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written,
‘He will command His angels concerning You’;
‘On their hands they will bear You up,
So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
I think what I would say is that you should make plans that are likely to work without God, and then pray for it to work extra well, with his help. Don’t make a plan that will only work if you get a miracle, that would be putting God to the test. God is not honored by lousy plans that fail and make people of faith look like idiots. We have to appear as if we know what we are doing, and it is easier to love and lead others if we have our own life in order, first. For example, you can’t share with others if you own nothing.
Now I’ve actually done stupid things that were unlikely to work myself a few times. But I have found a good way to avoid doing this. If you surround yourself with good advisors, then they will tell you not to do stupid things, or they will tell you how to do something else that achieves the same result. It’s good to have advisors and good to let them know what you are planning to do so they can tell you not to do it. It works great.
There is another good post to read if you like this post, it’s on decision making and the will of God.