Summary: How do we make plans while following God?
Making Plans, Following God
Who here wants to have a successful future?
We all want a successful future.
We probably all know as well that a successful future does not just usually happen.
We don’t sit in our living room and then walk out the door and Bam, success, though I think some young people think that is how it should happen.
As I started to prepare for this message, I wanted to see how society thinks we have a successful future, so I typed into google “planning for a successful future.” And right there at the top comes “How to Plan for a Successful Future” on Wikihow, a website that tells you how to do stuff.
Well here is “How to Plan for a Successful Future” from wikihow.
How to Plan For a Successful Future
1 - Get into your bedroom and close the door.
2 - Go through your life thoroughly.
What is your gift? What do you want to be in the future? What is your passion? (i.e., something you would love to do even if you were not paid to do it.)
3 - Write it down. Most of the people who have achieved their dreams took the first step towards achieving them: they wrote them down.
4 - Plan a route to get there. Write down whatever it will take you to reach your dream.
5 - Put your piece of paper where you can see it and remind yourself of your goals.
6 - Work your plan. Put it into action by following the route to your dream. It may mean adjusting a lot of things in your life, but it will be worth it one day. Just ask Tiger Woods!
8 - Dismiss negativity and begin to speak your future in the present. This will assimilate into your mind and help you to persevere towards your dream.
From a societal perspective, that sounds like a solid plan.
From a Christian perspective, there is a problem, however. God is nowhere in the picture.
This morning we will be continuing on in our study of James – Real Faith for Real Life.
I want to ask you to turn in your Bibles to James 4:13-17.
This morning we are going to look at what the Lord has to tell us through James about how a person of faith should be making plans in life.
Let’s start by reading James 4:13-17
13 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." 14 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. 15 Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that." 16 As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.
James starts out by discussing
The foolishness of Making Plans without God
James gives as an example someone who has followed the wikihow plan for being successful.
Look at verse 13
13 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."
They have stopped and considered their life (I am good at this particular business)
They have thought about what success to them looks like (making money means success)
They have planned out the route to get there (we will go to this or that city today or tomorrow)
They are speaking their future into the present.
They have spent some time considering these plans and thinking about them and mapping it out. However, they have not considered what the Lord would have them do.
That is foolish.
James goes on and tells them why it is foolish.
14 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.
Those who plan without considering the Lord’s plans for us are foolish because our life is completely in his hands and from our standpoint, life is very uncertain.
We so often think that we are in control of our destinies.
Recently there was a movie out called Invictus, titled after a poem of the same name.
It is a poem that Nelson Mandela would recite to other prisoners while he himself was incarcerated in South Africa.
In the poem by (William Earnest) Henley, it ends with the lines
I am the master of my fate