Read James 4
Do you consider where you’ll be a year from now? What are your goals? Are you forging a path and a plan to get there? Chances are you have some dreams and aspirations. More than likely, there are things you are aiming for, hoping for, praying about. We all do it. Every one of makes plans for the future.
But now comes a difficult question. Do you incorporate the Lord into that process of making plans? Ouch! Guilty as charged.
The imaginary person in the last verses of James 4 somehow looks similar to the person I see when I look in the mirror. This person had developed a clear plan. Perhaps his colleagues and his boss even applauded him for it. His departure and return were pretty clear. His strategy for the next year was in place. The profitable outcome seemed guaranteed.
But there was one thing he had not included in the planning . . . God’s will. That is one thing that we can easily overlook. We make plans for tomorrow’s tasks, next year’s vacations, and even retirement, but we often forget that we do not know what tomorrow may bring. We plot for the future without calculating in the fact that there is but One who knows and holds the future!
So what needs to change? Do we give up all planning and strategizing? Certainly not. That is not the point that James is making. Instead, we should seek to incorporate God into the planning process. And, even once we have arrived at a tentative plan, we must hold onto it loosely. Remember, it is only “if it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that” (v. 15).
So what plans do you have for today? How about tomorrow? What about next week? Next year? Years from now? Do you need to surrender all of these things to the Lord and to His will? Now is a great time to begin to do that. The rest of life will provide ample opportunity to practice that surrender.