QTVOTD: Do Not Suppose You Can Determine Tomorrow…

Today I left the PNW and traveled to Raleigh/Durham (RDU) for a weeklong business trip just south of Fort Bragg. I left the house at 6:20AM PST this morning, left SeaTac at 9:40AM, arrived RDU at 6:00PM EST and then drove 1.5 hours to my hotel just south of Fayetteville, NC. I’ll travel back home next Sunday. So, here I am at 12:10AM EST pretty much awake.

Tonight, I am finishing out James 4 with this little passage on our human expectations that tomorrow will always come, that there will always be a sunrise to wake up to. James helps us to put this mindset into a perspective of Eternity and God’s Hand that guides our lives while we are here under the sun.

13 Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a city and spend a year there and carry on our business and make money.
14 Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air].
15 You ought instead to say, If the Lord is willing, we shall live and we shall do this or that [thing].
16 But as it is, you boast [falsely] in your presumption and your self-conceit. All such boasting is wrong.
17 So any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:13-17 [AMP]

James is calling out those who think through and plan out their future…wait, we ALL do this! I do this! I have a 5-8 year glidepath I am planning through my work as I read this! This is a natural thought process, right? It is responsible to think through and plan how we are going to set out what is next in our lives, right? Well, James tells us that this is the wrong mindset when we commit to setting out to achieve these plans by our own efforts…what he is trying to say is “you executing this plan may not be what God has for you!” That our hearts can plan but it should be with a countenance that it is God’s decision whether we truly end up fulfilling those plans or not. If we stay too stuck to our plans then 1) we miss what God is wanting to do with us during that time period or 2) we will be fraught with frustration because God is going to do His will in our lives anyway and we will just find our plans constantly at odds with His plan.

James calls this a ‘Boastfulness’, a heart of self-sufficiency that leaves God’s plans out of the planning period. James is just suggesting that our ‘hearts’ be directed toward what God wants to do and even though we may make plans (because we are not God), we need to have a heart that understands that our best laid plans may need to adapt to God’s plan for us as we see Him revealing those plans through His hand and actions in our lives. James leaves us with the person who lays out their plans and then when God shows them a different direction, they intentionally choose the direction that was established in their plan…this is sin!


Today I need to start living this way! Pray before I plan and in my heart of prayer, make it clear to the Lord that I WANT His plan for my life; however, in the vacuum of this unknowingness, I will responsibly plan but with a full deliberate request for God’s wisdom in my planning (with the belief that my plan will be His plan) or have a keen ear of listening to God when He is changing up my plan and free willingness (if not pursuit) to follow where He is leading.

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