Summary: 1) The Foolishness of Ignoring God`s Will, 2) The Arrogance of Denying God`s Will 3) The Sin of Disobeying God`s Will & 4) The Blessing of Acknowledging God`s Will
The expansive cloud of high-altitude grit from an Icelandic volcano has left airline passengers stranded around the globe since Thursday. Airline officials have been forced to ground nearly three in four European flights.
The cloud of ash is drifting across an area including the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Poland, northern France and Austria, and is heading for Russia at about 40 km/h.
The highly abrasive ash can cause aircraft engines to fail if enough glass particles melt inside the engines and jam the machinery.
Aviation experts say the volcanic plume has caused the worst travel disruption that Europe, and the world, has ever seen. (http://news.ca.msn.com/top-stories/cbc-article.aspx?cp-documentid=23917798)
People have called this an act of God. But why is it only in situations like this we call events such. If you were to ask people on Wednesday, they would have told you that they made arrangements to travel Thursday, stay abroad for a specific length of time and conduct business, go on vacation or visit friends or family. There would have been proof in their minds by holding the airline ticket and making specific plans.
The problem in all of this is the failure in their plans to consider God. God has His own plans and when we ignore, deny, or disobey His will, there are significant consequences .
Life is far from simple. It is a complex matrix of forces, events, people, contingencies, and circumstances over which we have little or no control, making it impossible for anyone to ascertain, design, or assure any specific future. Despite that, some people foolishly imagine that they are in charge of their lives. Sadly, such people ignore not only the existence of God’s will, but also its benefit. Christians have the comfort of knowing that the sovereign, omniscient, omnipotent God of the universe controls every event and circumstance of their lives and weaves them all into His perfect plan for them (Rom. 8:28).
How are we to plan in light of God`s will? Why would it be silly to plan without considering God`s will? What if we execute our plans in a direction contrary to what God has revealed? James tells us in considering the planning process of the blessing of acknowledging God`s will
In James 4:13-17 he points to 1) The Foolishness of Ignoring God`s Will (James 4:13-14), 2) The Arrogance of Denying God`s Will (James 4:16) and 3) The Sin of Disobeying God`s Will (James 4:17). James however shoes us 4) The Blessing of Acknowledging God`s Will (James 4:15)
1) The Foolishness of Ignoring God’s Will (James 4:13–14)
James 4:13-14 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"-- 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. (ESV)
In James 4:13, the first negative response to God’s will is foolishly ignoring it, living as if God did not exist or was indifferent to and benign toward human behavior. James addressed such people in familiar Old Testament prophetic style (cf. Isa. 1:18); The persons James addresses, however, appear to be the Jewish Christians who are living in dispersion. He writes this letter to them and not to unbelievers. Although his tone changes, James seems to indicate that the readers know how to do that which is good (v. 17), which implies that they belong to the Christian community (Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953-2001). Vol. 14: New Testament commentary : Exposition of James and the Epistles of John. New Testament Commentary (146). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.)
James begins his address with his words come now which are an insistent, even brash call for attention. They also indicate disapproval for the conduct they address. James is in effect saying “Listen up!” or “Get this!” The phrase come now appears in the New Testament only here and in James 5:1.
The targets of James’s rebuke are those who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town/city, and spend a year there and trade/engage in business and make a profit.” The Greek text literally reads “the ones who are saying,” indicating people who habitually live without regard for God’s will. The underlying Greek verb, legô, means to say something based on reason or logic. James rebuked those who habitually think through and articulate their plans as if God did not exist or care (cf. 4:11–12).
There is somewhat of a parallel in Jesus’ discourse on the end of the age in which he refers to the days of Noah: “For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away” (Matt. 24:38–39; also compare Luke 17:26–29). Although no one faults a person for eating, drinking, and marrying, the point is that in the life of Noah’s contemporaries God had no place. These people lived as if God did not exist. And this is also true of the merchants James addresses