Sorry all you planners out there

Don’t blame me, blame James.  I like a good plan almost as much as the next guy but I’m afraid James comes from a place I don’t spend as much time in as I should.  Here’s the verse I’m referring to:

James 4: 13-14 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.

Kind of pooh-poohs all our grand schemes doesn’t it?  If he’s right, we probably shouldn’t plan on anything because we’re here and gone like the mist.  The thing is, James isn’t saying all plans are wrong or deciding to do something tomorrow is bad, he’s just saying we shouldn’t make decisions on our own.  We should bring someone else into the mix.  He’s actually a fiery advocate for planning, just not ours.  You might have guessed it, he’s a big supporter of the largest plan around; God’s.  Here’s his conclusion:

James 4:15-16 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.

If we’re supposed to listen to God as James says, we ought to be ready to pray. How else will we hear what we’re supposed to do?  But more than talk to God, we ought to be really ready to listen and that’s not always an easy thing.  How often have you heeded that small voice that comes in a whisper rather than a shout?  How many times has your heart or your conscience told you to zig and instead you zagged?  I know I’ve been there.  However, I also know on those too-rare occasions, once I finally listen to the incessant whispering and do the thing; I’m never disappointed.  So why don’t we listen and just do?  I’m sure the reasons outnumber the stars and truth be told we’re all very flawed people and we sin.  James comes right back to that point directly.

James 4: 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them

We need forgiveness for our arrogance and our boasts and our plans.  Thank God he gives it.  Let’s hope we all listen more.

Giving up control, especially of our expected or hoped for destiny is not an easy thing to do.  It takes a lot of trust.  That’s why a close relationship with God is so important.  I hope you make a plan today to build one.

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