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Friday, March 23, 2012

40 Days with James ~ Day 31 ~ What About My Plans?

Day 31 ~ What About My Plans?

James 4:13-16 Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that."As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.

For some of us, this may be the most terrifying scripture in all the Bible. We are scheduling freaks! Some of us have our next six months scheduled to the minute. We have a calendar on the wall, a day-planner in the car and on the Blackberry which has been synced up to the calendar on the computer in the office. We schedule meetings, business trips, vacations, family time, etc. Sports for the kids keep us on a demanding schedule. And, I think we love it!

Why? It sounds so demanding to be so scheduled. Yes, that is true. However, it gives us a sense of control over our lives. The future, which is so uncertain and so unpredictable is suddenly in the palm of my hand (on my iPhone) and under my management. I am the master of my destiny!

But what happens if, God forbid (!), our plans get changed? What if I lose my Blackberry in the toilet? What if the airline we bought tickets on goes out of business? What if tragedy strikes? What if I lose my job? What if the economy crashes and I can't retire like I had planned? What if someone dies or gets cancer? Our plans would be ruined. Our calendars would be exposed for the shams that they are. We cannot plan our future, we do not control our destiny.

"Instead," James says, "you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.'" This is not an easy thought for us. It is not comfortable to leave our lives in the hands of Someone so unpredictable, so unmanageable, so holy. What if God doesn't do things they way I want Him to. What if our calendars don't sync? What if tragedy strikes? Can I still trust Him in the midst of that?

This is an uneasy thought to be sure. But remember the God who holds your future is the God who has promised you eternity. This is the God who has loved you enough to send His Son to take your sins and prepare a place in the heavenly kingdom for you. His will is certainly unpredictable, unmanageable, and holy. In other words, it is gracious, whether we like it or not! God's grace just doesn't fit into our schedules! It is too good. Hear and believe that He who controls the future controls it graciously, for you!

Confession: Heavenly Father, I confess that I work very hard to control my future. I have a hard time letting go of my plans and trusting you to care for me. Yet, with the events of my life I am daily reminded that you are in control, even when it seems like everything has lost control. Teach me to trust in you grace. Carry me through whatever comes my way in your grace, all the way to eternity! AMEN!

Challenge: Plan a day where you make no plans (how ironic!). Don't be upset if things come up to ruin your planned unplanned day!

Pastor Bob

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