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Summary: Plan Ahead (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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Reading: James chapter 4 verses 13-17

Ill:

A golfer nervously approached the first tee,

• It was a hazardous hole with a green surrounded by water,

• And he debated if he should use his new golf ball or an old one.

• Deciding that the hole was too treacherous,

• He pulled out an old ball and placed it on the tee.

• Just then he heard a voice from above say loudly:

• “USE THE NEW BALL!”

• Frightened, he replaced the old ball with the new one and approached the tee.

• Now the voice from above shouted: “TAKE A PRACTICE SWING!”

• With this, the golfer stepped backward and took a swing.

• Feeling more confident,

• He approached the tee when the voice again rang out:

• “USE THE OLD BALL!”

Most of us will never hear an audible voice:

• Telling us God’s will for our lives;

• But in his word are many principles that are there to help us find that will and obey it!

• Last week you will have noted that James began chapter 4 talking about war with God,

• And he ends chapter 4 talking about the will of God.

• These two themes are very much related;

• When a Christian is out of the will of God, they often end up warring against God.

Ill:

• Sadly the Bible is littered with examples;

• Of those who were out of the will of God and by their actions warred against him!

• e.g. Lot moved into Sodom and brought trouble to his family.

• e.g. David committed adultery and brought trouble to his family and his kingdom.

• e.g. Jonah disobeyed God & almost sent a shipload of heathen sailors into a watery grave.

• In each case, there was a wrong attitude toward the will of God.

As Christians we believe that God has a plan for our lives:

• More than that;

• As Christians we should believe that it is a plan worth trusting and adhering too.

• After all He is a God of wisdom; A God who knows the future;

• He also knows you and me – surely then he knows what is best for us!

• And don’t forget that he is a God of love,

• He desires the very best for His children. He is trustworthy!

Yet despite those two assurances:

• That God is all wise and all loving:

• Sadly too many Christians don’t really trust God,

• The evidence that they do not trust him;

• Is seen demonstrated by the fact they resist his will.

• Scared that they will miss out on things or experiences or………..

• Ill: “I want to live a little first”.

• Some Christians view the will of God as bitter medicine they must take,

• They know it will do them good, but it won’t be a pleasant experience.

I believe for the Christian:

• That the safest place in the world, the most beneficial place to be;

• Is in the will of God.

Quote:

• Peter Marshall:

• “You are leaving port under sealed orders and in a troubled period.

• You cannot know whither you are going or what you are to do.

• You cannot know whither you are going or what you are to do.

• But why not take the Pilot on boar;

• Who knows the nature of your sealed orders from the outset,

• And who will shape your entire voyage accordingly?

• He knows the shoals and the sandbanks, the rocks and the reefs,

• He will steer you safely into that celestial harbour

• Where your anchor will be cast for eternity.

• Let His almighty nail-pierced hands hold the wheel,

• And you will be safe.

In this section of his letter, James pointed out three attitudes toward the will of God.

• Two of them are wrong and are to be shunned;

• One is correct and should be embraced.

(1). Ignoring God's Will (verses 13-14, 16)

13”Look here, you people who say, "Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit." 14How do you know what will happen tomorrow? For your life is like the morning fog--it's here a little while, then it's gone.

16Otherwise you will be boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil”.

ill:

• Walter Knight told of an old Scottish woman who went from home to home ;

• Across the countryside selling thread, buttons, and shoestrings.

• When she came to an unmarked crossroad,

• She would toss a stick into the air &go in the direction the stick pointed when it landed.

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