“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’” (James 4:13-15)
The Bible uses the words “Now listen” in verse 13. It means come on, or now look here. James is leading them by telling them to get real about whose plan they follow.
Its like he’s saying, “Do you really think you can live your life, and plan what you want to do without any thought of God?”
William Carey is believed to be the father of the modern missionary movement. He and his family and two friends left all they had behind to follow God to India. He translated the New Testament in 9 different dialects. It took him eight years to do it. Then a fire destroyed all his work. The estimated damage was $50,000. In those days, that was too much to imagine.
James is addressing making plans without God in them. William Carey’s plans had God all through them. Notice the difference?
James speaks to the wealthy merchants of Jerusalem who traveled around and sold their wares in the major trade centers. Their business could have them gone about a year. Their failure is that they were counting on the future without counting on the one who controls the future.
That is why verse 14 asks the question: What is your life?
We don’t know what the rest of the day really holds for us let alone tomorrow. It’s okay to plan for tomorrow but if we fail to put God first in the plan, we are presuming God is just going to tag along. When we are presumptuous about the plans for our life, we deny who God is and that we are His children. We forget that we need God day by day.
James is asking us in verse 15 to change our attitude. Say, “This is what I think I’m doing tomorrow but if God changes the plan, God is in control, not me.”
There is no way to rightly believe that we can control our time, our day, our week, or run our own lives. So relax. Let God be God. He knows what He is doing and rest in His care.
If we fail to do this, life will be one discouragement after the other. We will lose our joy and fail to see God has a BIG plan. He will accomplish His will even when we don’t understand it.
After the fire William Carey was greatly discouraged. He attempted great things for God and now endured a devastating loss. The loss was felt from India all the way back to England. In six weeks churches in England had raised enough money to fully replace the entire loss. More people funded the missionary movement all over the world, and more families came to India to continue the work.
By the time of William Carey’s death he and his two friends had founded 26 churches and 126 schools with an enrollment of 10,000 students. He translated scripture in 44 languages and produced grammar books and dictionaries. He started the medical missionary work, savings bank, seminary, and Indian girls’ school.
Now whose plans are better?
Keep Looking Up!
Heaven is closer than you think.
May God bless your day.
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