Claims From James
“13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about this excerpt from the book of James. In the passage James addresses business men who seek to follow their plans over God’s. These people that James describes have life mapped out, stuck to a strict plan, their plans take precedence over God’s. In his commentary on James Douglas Moo says “Instead of the self-confident, this-world-oriented attitude expressed in verse 13, the business people should qualify all of their plans and hopes with reference to the will of the Lord.” The plans of these men show not only independence from God, but dependence on their selves. James problem is not as much plans, as it is the root of making them. Instead of living a life where they were walking with God in the moment, these men were occupied with their selves and what may potentially come. The people here allowed the plans of their future to hurt their relationship with God in the present. Fellowship with God, had been forsaken for the fleeting time of this world. Zane Hodges says in his James commentary “They have plotted out a year’s program in without knowing what tomorrow itself may bring.” In this situation, it is not the planning that is bad, it is the loss of sight that matters, in that they do not realize how quick life could be over, their perspective was on what may happen, instead of what was happening. In this case the root of these guys plans was arrogance and pride, not God. These men had become consumed by their plans, forgetting what matters, in order to pursue what does not.
Bringing this passage to today,what does this reveal about the plans we make? When it comes to life, our goal should not be to have plans that are set in stone, but directions that can be flexible no matter which way they go. Moving through life, we have to involve God in the planning process, not just leave Him to the side. That means following the passions He has given us, allowing the abilities He has implanted to guide us, as we seek to live the Christian life. This means taking advice from other believers, praying, and acting on the basis of truth, whether spoken or in Scripture, not just going turbo and doing whatever the heck we want. If we are faithful to follow His directions, He will be faithful present His plan.
As my graduation approaches, questions regarding what I am going to do after graduating come with it. My answer, as it has always been when it comes to plans in life is, if I can get through today, that is good enough for me. The older I get the less value I see my plans, and the more value I see in His. Every long term plan I have ever made, has never come to fruition and I am okay with that. Where I am at is better than any plan I ever made. I have an idea of the direction I am going, but it is only as He guides me. While my plans may fail, His succeed.