My life is my own

"Few Christians are audacious enough to say this out loud, but many live as if that were true", said our visiting pastor on Sunday. On Saturday night I thought where will I go, what will I do and was in the process of making many plans about electives - without much prayer or conscious consideration of God, what would you like me to do?

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. - James 4:13-17

We come again to this passage in James. We've heard this passage preached so many times that I was honestly surprised by the following insights:

1. The passage is addressed to Christian traders, who live as if their life is their own (instead of belong in to Christ to do his works).

2. We often make plans and resolutions depending on our strength and abilities (assuming that they will do this and that to make money), under the premise that time is in our own hands, that "I can sustain my own life". Such planning leaves no room for God.

3. Guarding against such presumptions - we do this by recognising we do not know what will happen tomorrow, accepting our fragile and transient existence (mist that appears for a little while), and acknowledging it is God who ultimately determines our steps.

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. - Proverbs 16:9

4. However, making plans are not a bad thing - Paul made plans about his ministry, his visitations to the different churches, but he said "I will come back if it is God's will." (Acts 18:21) God-willing. I know a pastor who literally includes that phrase when he makes plans of any sort.

Thank you for the timely reminder. May I remember this when making plans and decisions, big or small.



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