Today you should read: James 4:13-17
Are you a planner? I recently was talking with a friend about the idea of planning and he said, “I usually make a to-do list for rest on my day off.” This makes me laugh and cringe all at the same time because I am the opposite. The thought of planning on a day off seems like an oxymoron because the whole point to a day off in my mind is to be able to go with the flow and do whatever you want. Most of us would fall into one of those two camps and this passage can make the planner feel really bad and the laid back go with the flow person feel really spiritual. I hope to dispel both of those thoughts. It is good discipline to make plans and it is good to go with the flow at times. James is digging at the deeper heart issue of our pride.
To give some context to today’s passage. James was speaking specifically to rich Christian businessmen who were putting their trust in their ability to make things happen for themselves rather than acknowledging their dependence on God. So what should we take away from today’s passage?
- Plans are good when the motive is right.
The heart of the men that James is speaking to was arrogant. Why were they arrogant you ask? Their trust was in their ability and their goal was selfish gain. James was not rebuking them because they had plans he was rebuking them because of the heart of their plans. As believers our plans should be rooted in an acknowledgement of trust in God’s sovereign control and our goal should be to glorify God with our lives (1 Corinthians 10:31).
This means that we should think about our future plans and ask why we want to do what we want to do?
This also means that we should be open-handed about our plans. If God decides to change things then that is ok.
- This is not an excuse not to plan.
It is easy to read this and look down on others for planning and we can easily use this as an excuse to be lazy. God has called us to work and to accomplish a mission (Matthew 28:19-20). The truth is if you don’t set goals and make plans to accomplish that mission then you will never accomplish anything. We are called to live and intentional life and not a reactionary life.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)
What are some areas of your life that you are not living for God because of a lack of planning? What needs to change?
Posted by: Chad Wiles