Read James 4:1-17
Do you have any plans or new goals this summer? Maybe you have some dreams and aspirations. Perhaps there are some things you are aiming at, hoping for, praying about. But now comes a difficult question. Do you incorporate the Lord into that process of making plans?
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, our summer vacations, and even what retirement will look like while often forgetting that we do not really know what tomorrow may bring. We make plans 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. We must remember that 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? For the summer? Years from now? Do you need to surrender those things to the Lord and to His will? Now is a great time to begin to do that. And the rest of life will provide a great opportunity to continue to practice that surrender.