James 4:13-14 : We make plans. All kinds of plans for what we are going to do with our lives..for the next day, the next year...for the rest of our life.
James is NOT saying get rid of all those plans. He's not saying, "Forget planning and just live by the seat of your pants." He is also not saying, "Live it up because tomorrow you may die."
James is pointing out how when we make plans for ourselves, we often get so focused on them, we get tunnel vision and lose sight of other things going on around us.
We really don't know what is going to happen to us tomorrow...or even later today. Hundreds of things that could happen....need to not forget that.
When we get focused on our plans for our lives, we lose sight of a couple of things:
- This is God's world not ours. God's perspective and understanding of the world are well beyond ours. Things will happen that we cannot predict and plan for. Things will happen that we can't make sense of because they didn't fit in with our plan. But God knows-and we can place hope and confidence in that.
Listen to what Psalm 33 says about God's plans: Psa 33:1-11
- When our plans are frustrated, it is not that the world is just chaotic and against us, but that our plans did not match up with God's plans for us.
- You Direct My Steps
This is why James writes in what he does in the next few statements: James 4:15-17.
Song: You Direct my steps-comes from Proverbs 16:9 "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."
Although we will makes plans, we need to be willing to adjust those plans as god directs. We need to keep our eyes, and minds and hearts open to what is happening around us, and be willing to drop our plans to respond to what God puts before us.
Ever been in a situation when you saw something happening to people nearby...car broken down, crying, etc...knew you could do something, but didn't because didn't fit in your plans? These are some of the situations James is talking about.
Sometimes when our will is competing against God's it just frustrates us...trying to do something or focused on a certain plan-distractions, kids, computers not working, etc. We get frustrated and more determined to do what we wanted to do! Learn to say "How do you want me to respond differently to this Lord" rather than getting frustrated"
We know the good we ought to do, but don't. It is disobedience to God's will...which is sin.... God's will is going to overcome ours in one way or another. Best thing for us to is remain open to God and to do our best to align our plans with God's will.
What is God's Will?
First know God has a purpose for you. Mayt be a new idea to some. Many times we go through life hearing the message that we are no good; worthless. This is a lie!
Eph 2:10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
- God created you...and He does not make mistakes!
- Need to get this message into our hearts & minds-you are important to God and He has a plan for you.
Second, understand God's gerneral will: His will for everyone:
- Mat 22:37-40 Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' (38) This is the first and greatest commandment. (39) And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' (40) All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
- Mat 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (19) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
God's specific purpose for you is how He has gifted you to fulfill that general will. What kind of person has he made you to be? Outgoing...easy to talk to...good at planning/organizing...troubleshooter...like to see the big picture in things...good at speaking...good at listening...can go on and on. These are the things that shape you...that determin how you will best fit into the church body...how you will respond to people around you. these gifts can be used in all kinds of ways...use them to fulfill God's general will...in the way you live...the way you lead your family...way you interact with your kids...the way you do your job.
I have resources available to help you get a feel for things you are gifted at...talk to me
God's will for you will be revealed in big and small ways as you respond to Him as James says, "If it is God's will..." Will help you see opprtunities in daily life to make a difference for Him...and He will lead you into opportunities to work and live your life to best fulfill His purposes.
Not my will, LORD but yours.
Leah Addington Testimony.