“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”” – James 4:13-15
Scripture reading: Isaiah 40:6-8
We often have a hard time living a lifestyle in harmony with the belief that God is in control. We tend to think and act as if we hold the reins. We plan as if we can forge our own future. When this illusion takes hold of our hearts, our prayers sink to pathetic levels. Prayer then amounts to little more than asking God to sprinkle His blessing on what we plan and want.
If we plough ahead without prayer, acting like the authors of our own destiny, we are coming down with a serious case of sinful pride. To those who plan as if the future hinges on themselves, God says, “But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.”
God warns us to temper our plans with an awareness of the brief, fragile nature of life. You can fill your barns with plenty. You can carefully follow the market and invest wisely. You can get excited about the house you hope to buy, or the one you plan to build. But never forget that you are totally dependent on the Lord for even the smallest measure of success or blessing! Submit everything to Him in prayer. Don’t forget that material accomplishments are temporary and you are only here for a short time. All flesh is grass. Don’t put all your eggs into the basket of your earthly plans and prospects. The chief end of man is not to complete a bucket list! The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him now and forever!
Suggestions for prayer
Pray that your plans and prayers would always be prefaced with an attitude that humbly says, “If the Lord wills, we will do this or that.” Ask Him to help you to remember what your real purpose in life is!
Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.