Planning without God
Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil. Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it. James 4:13-17 NLT
If you want to be productive in life, you make plans. Before you begin the day, you think of what you will do in the first hour, the second hour, and the rest of the day. We make goals and objectives we want to accomplish and if it is sooner, the plan has to be specific. But when we leave God out of our plans and the plans we formulated succeed, just like what James is saying from the text, could lead to arrogance and boasting. Such attitude could lead to self-sufficiency and will result in keeping as farther away from God. We will start to think that it is us who controls the direction of our lives and not God. If we are going to ignore this kind of attitude, we could end up loving the pleasures of the world than God. James reminds his readers that plans are contingent for we do not know the future. Our lives here on earth is very short compared to eternity. “Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone” (James 4:14b). God calls us to be realistic in our perspective in life and understand that He is the one who is in control of our future. We should acknowledge that we are temporary and therefore have to rely on God’s leading. “What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that” (James 4:15). Whether we recognize it or not, whether we like it or not, our life here in this world is contingent upon what God does. It is an insult to God when we claim we are Christians and will not let Him be in control of our lives. When we plan for success relying on our own time table and will remove in the plan the sovereignty of God, we are setting ourselves as gods. If we are not going to stop this pretention, we are sinning before God. We should honor God by respecting and submitting to His plans for our lives.