Living in chaos from earliest memory, it has been important to have a Plan B in place for all contingencies. Some people have called this Defensive Pessimism, or more recently a Pre-mortem. It involves examining all possibilities, usually negative ones and then working out what you will do if those possibilities become realities. Like a postmortem you need to carefully look at what could happen – rather than what did happen – and work backwards.
The trouble with Plan B’s is that you are not living in reality you are living in possibility and worse, you are living in negative possibilities. So if all you are seeing is the negative, you are not seeing the good stuff. Moreover, you are not interpreting what happens from a godly perspective.
If God made you and put you here, and He did, then what happens to you is His concern, not yours. Your concern is to respond to God, your creator. If your response is gratitude, love and worship, coming from a heart which has been changed and cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, then you are going to know God’s love to you in a much deeper way. You are going to experience the peace and joy that comes from knowing and SEEING God work in your life.
This is actually the trouble that a lot of unsaved, or unbelievers, experience. They say ‘If God loves me then why did he let this terrible thing happen to me’. They don’t, and I hesitate to use this phrase, ‘feel the love’. They don’t feel it, because they don’t know it. Scripture tells us that God’s love abides in us and we know that because we have ‘love for the brethren’. In other words, if you love God’s people, then the love of God is present in you. If you don’t love God’s people, and that covers most unbelievers, then God’s love is not in you. If God’s love is not in you, then you are not going to either see God the way He is, nor are you going to understand why God allows things to happen to you. Nor are you going to recognise that a lot of what happens to unbelievers is because they are walking in disobedience to and rebellion against God. God does love unbelievers in the same way He always has. But if you are not interested in God’s love and work actively against God and His people, then you had better watch out. No. God is not going to ‘get’ you. But the principle or law of sowing and reaping is always active in the world. God won’t get you, but the results of your own actions will. Also, God’s word tells us that vengeance belongs to Him. If you attack him, and attacking His people is the same thing, then He will take vengeance. (Psalm 34:21)
It is interesting that many Christians will also ask this question or express the concern that they are not ‘feeling’ the love of God. God helped me see the reason for this some time ago. I had been getting more and more agitated that I didn’t feel loved by God. I wanted God to somehow show me that He loved me and was really looking for some kind of overwhelming tsunami of emotion to hit me to prove that I was being supernaturally loved. What God showed me was that this is not love. Human beings think love acts a certain way and they tend most of the time to think that it has something to do with feeling emotionally excited the same way they would if they had just ‘fallen in love’ with somebody. In fact, this ‘falling in love’ thing is not love at all, it is a mixture of a lot of emotions, and a lot of the emotion is lust not love. Genuine love is not an overwhelming feeling, or at least not most of the time, it is a steady, strong sense of an open heart full of affection, adoration (in the right sense), the desire to bless and edify, belonging and loyalty as well as a host of others. It is almost impossible to describe genuine love in anything other than a very long complex description because it is an incredibly rich sense, and I would not call it an emotion, but a way of seeing somebody.
In God’s kingdom, His love is encapsulated in the fact that He gives His people the Spirit of Adoption which cries ‘Abba’, Father. This is the term Jesus himself used when addressing the Father just before His crucifixion.
36 And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”
Mark 14 NKJV
Paul also encouraged both the Galatians and the Romans by exhorting us to cry out to God the same way, to our Father in heaven, not just a name, but an actual, in fact the very first ever, creator and progenitor of children.
15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
Romans 8 NKJV
6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”
Galatians 4 NKJV
He has made us His own. That is a very special feeling. It is the epitome of His love, the sense not just of belonging to God’s family but of being cared for. If your father was a good man who loved you affectionately and openly, you can thank God for that. You have a good inheritance to pass on to your children. If not, you can still thank God. Psalm 27:10 tells us that when our mother and father forsake us, the Lord will take us up. David, the writer of the psalm, knew what that meant. His family forsook him, yet God anointed him as king of Israel when he was just a boy, and the youngest boy in the family at that. The others saw him as just a shepherd boy, the least important and least vital member of the family. But God made him king because he had a ‘heart after God’.
God showed me that I did indeed know the love of God. He asked me whether I loved Him. When I examined my heart, I realised I did indeed love Him. That, He said, was His love. We can’t love God unless He has put a love for Him in our hearts first. And that genuinely is love, it has all the attributes of the love we have for the human beings we care deeply for and it also has a supernatural quality, but it’s not something I can describe, you have to experience it for yourself.
Some unbelievers at this point might say well if God is the one who puts the love in your heart then what’s the point? It’s up to God isn’t it? God tells us that He knows His own, and also that His people know His voice. But in order to come to God, you still have a choice. If you truly want to know God and want to know His love in your heart, all you have to do is come to Jesus. Talk to Him! Tell Him what is in the depths of your heart. There is no sinner on the face of the earth that will be turned away by God if they truly come with an open heart and wish to do business with Him. Only God can show you what is in your heart, and only God can cleanse you from what is in there. If you know that your heart is filled with dirt and filth, and if you are honest you will know what kinds of dirt and filth you have been playing with all your life, then the blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse us from that filth so that we can come before God with clean hands and a pure heart. Every true believer wants to have a pure heart. Even David when he committed adultery with Bathsheba came before God with a repentant heart and cried out “Cast me not away from your presence O God, take not your Holy Spirit from me!”. He had known the presence of God and His blessings. But he also knew that, in the time before Christ, he had to come to God and make confession so that he could be made clean and the proper sacrifices made to cleanse him. In the Old Testament, men laid their hands on the animal to be sacrificed to transfer their sin to the animal and the animal was then killed and its blood sprinkled on the altar. God cleanses us today through the final sacrifice of His Son upon the altar of Gethsemane, and if we come to Him and recognise that He bore our sins that day on the cross, we will be cleansed, made whole, made clean and made acceptable to God.
God sent Jesus because He so loved the world that He was willing to die for us.
We don’t need any more proof of God’s love than this, and it is this single most important event in the history of Humankind that will determine whether we will know God’s love within our own heart. We Christians can tell you that God loves you til we are blue in the face, but you won’t know that love in your heart until you are first made clean by God himself and then filled with His love and His Spirit.
If you want to make that choice, all you need to do is understand and accept the final sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God and ask Him to cleanse you from your unworthiness.
We are all unworthy before God. There is none good, not one. We have all sinned and fallen from the perfection God meant every human being to have. There is no need for me to be making Plan B’s. God doesn’t need a Plan B. His Plan A, Jesus Christ, is the only provision I need. It is only my flesh, my old nature, the nature I was born with that pushes me to anxiously analyse and plan. It is not peace and joy, it is torment and agitation. This is not God’s plan for me or for anyone.