Summary: Is Jesus the Lord of your plans?


• SLIDE #1

• As you live your life, are you the type that just lets life happen to you or are you the type who likes to plan out the day and life in general?

• If you are a planner do you just have a general plan for life or do you plan every detail to the nth degree?

• When you plan what goes into your plan? How do you go about putting together the plan? What are some things you consider as you prepare a plan?

• As we have been navigating through the sometimes rough waters in the book of James, we come to another often overlooked aspect of our walk with God.

• Last week we examined a way in which we can tell if we are working on letting Jesus have lordship in our life, this week we will examine a second litmus test as to where we are with the lordship of Jesus in our life.

• The issue at hand today is one in which we can gain insight as to where we see God in our life.

• When you put together a plan, is God in your plan? Is God at the center of your plan or do you formulate a plan and then tell/ask God to bless it?

• Let’s turn to James 4:13-17, we will start in verses 13-14.

• SLIDE #2

• James 4:13–14 (ESV) 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.

• SLIDE #3


Leaving God out of our plan is not wise because…

I. Life is too short to get it wrong all the time. (13-14)

• In verse 13, James uses the phrase “COME NOW”. This is a vigorous form of address that was used to make sure James had his readers’ attention.

• This as I said before is the second way in which we can measure the amount of Jesus Lordship we allow into our life.

• We start out with the calling, calling out to those who would make plans.

• There is nothing wrong with formulating plans and strategies.

• Some say James is speaking of someone of wealth or a business person. If so, to succeed in business you need to have a plan. That makes sense.

• Show me someone who fails to plan and I will show you someone who plans to fail.

• This issue is not planning but instead how we go about it.

• The way we go about making our plans reveals our attitude about Jesus and where He really fits into our life.

• James is speaking to those who were habitually planning for the future with no thought of Jesus or God’s will as they made the plans.

• We see a plan that was hatched. “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit

• The phrasing of the plan indicates that God had no place in the plan.

• There is a time set for the plan (today or tomorrow), there was a destination set, a time frame in which the plan would take place along with an objective (make a profit).

• Now is there anything wrong with picking a place to go, a time to go, and a time frame in which to operate along with an objective? NO!

• This plan was hatched without considering God’s will.

• In the illustration it is said WE WILL GO. What if that was not what God called them to do? What if the plan was the worst thing in the world for them to do?

• Outside of those possibilities, verse 14 reveals two big reasons as to why we should not leave God out of the plan.

• yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.

• SLIDE #4

• Proverbs 27:1 (ESV) Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

• We do not know what tomorrow will bring. If we do not know what tomorrow brings, what if we could include someone in our plans who does know?

• The implication is that there is one who DOES know what tomorrow brings so would it not be wise to consult the one who knows?

• The second reason we see that planning without God is not wise is found in verse 14 also.

• What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

• We do not know how long our life will be. Since we do not know how long our life will be we need to make the most of it and we need to try waste as little of it as possible on following the wrong path.

• Many of us have busy schedules. It is easy to plan without considering the will of God.

• Many have lofty goals for their families, careers, education, businesses, and church.

• God wants us to work hard on those areas, but we must consider his will as we plan our goals.

• Let’s turn to verse 15.

• SLIDE #5

• James 4:15 (ESV) Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

• SLIDE #6

Leaving God out of our plan is not wise because…

II. God’s will should be our driving force. (15)

• We are given an alternative to assuming the future and of making plans with no thought of God’s will for our life.

• It is suggested that we have the mindset that if it is God’s will we will do such and such.

• WE should understand that Jesus is bringing history to its ultimate goal and purpose. Jesus has authority over all things.

• SLIDE #7

• Matthew 28:18–20 (ESV) 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

• We also know that God wants us to know His will


• Romans 12:2 (ESV) 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

• Many times in the New Testament, Paul spoke of making plans and also realizing that God will was to be the driving force behind the plans.

• SLIDE #9

• 1 Corinthians 4:19 (ESV) 19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power.

• Acts 18:21 (ESV) 21 But on taking leave of them he said, “I will return to you if God wills,” and he set sail from Ephesus.

• There are several examples of Paul wanting to make sure his plans were God’s plans.


• First we can go to God’s Word. Within it we will see the parameters in which we are to live our lives. For instance if I formulate a plan with contradicts God’s revealed will in His word, I know that is MY will not GOD’S. EXAMPLE

• We can also look to our heart, if we have trained our hearts to follow God, God will instill a desire to follow Him. We will seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.

• God will stretch us, but He will work within the realm of who we are.

• This area only works if we are incorporating Romans 12:1-2 in our life.

• SLIDE #10

• Romans 12:1–2 (ESV) 12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

• 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

• WE need to spend ample time in prayer. Really seek what God’s will is for your life. JESUS PRAYED!

• We can also examine the trend of circumstances. We can see what is going on around us. I did this when I prayed A LOT about leaving the company I worked for to go into ministry.

• Let’s look at verse 16-17

• SLIDE #11

• James 4:16–17 (ESV) 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.

• SLIDE #12

Leaving God out of our plan is not wise because…

III. Forgetting God in our plan reveals what is really important to us. (16-17)

• James busts out the big guns on this one. AS IT IS, in other words he is pointing out the contrast between what the folks OUGHT to say verses WHAT they were saying.

• Verse 16 reveals the heart behind what was said in verse 13.

• Arrogance is confidence in one’s OWN knowledge or cleverness.

• Aristotle defined arrogance as the character of a man who lays claim to what will being him credit when the claim is either all together false or grossly exaggerated.

• When we leave God out we are again telling Him we know better we are smarter and we can trust ourselves over God.

• The word translated EVIL not only denotes the evil itself, but also it implies one who tries to get others to follow in the evil plan.

• James finishes with a lesson on sin.

• Many think that sin is only doing the WRONG thing, this would be a sin commission.

• James reminds us that when we DO NOT DO WHAT WE ARE SUPPOSED TO DO we are sinning also. This is a sin of omission.

• When we ignore God, we are showing Him who is really important.


• One of the things do or should be doing in life is making plans.

• When Jesus is your Lord make sure you do not leave Him out of your plans.

• Make sure you consult Him before you run off and do something you may regret.

• Why not use the wonderful resource of the creator of heaven and earth before you decide the course of your life.