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Summary: How to plan prayerfully and have an attitude that still leaves room for God to do the unexpected

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So you¡¦ve got plans?! Jas 4:13-17, WBC 9/11/03pm

In Ills to keep folder- Professions_1.pps [PowerPoint of ’what should I be when I grow up?’ (babies all dressed up in adult clothes relating to certain professions)]

Great, eh? But as David Simpkin says ¡¥If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans!¡¦

FUTURE- plan, but with prayer

This isn¡¦t saying you shouldn¡¦t have hopes, dreams

- isn¡¦t saying you shouldn¡¦t plan

The problem, here, is these people are planning

- but it¡¦s as though trade and profit are all that matter

o only issues to take into account¡K life¡¦s sole objective¡K and all that satisfies

They¡¦re planning without

- PRAYER

- Imagining that God should be consulted¡K or has a plan for them!

o So, actually, they may be missing out on the BEST

Jer 29: 11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12

o Certainly they¡¦re missing out on intimacy with God

„X He doesn¡¦t enter their minds /// (enough)

o Maybe they¡¦ll miss out on more¡K Him altogether

„X Parable of rich fool Lk 12:18

Might actually be that they are believers

- but have fallen into that old trap of separating their life up

o God on Sundays. But Mon-Fri belong to ME and MAMMON!

As Alec Motyer puts it in his commentary- the problem here is not their planning- it¡¦s their self-sufficient, self important planning that keeps God for Sunday but ¡¥the rest of the week is mine¡¦

o Or they pray to God¡K - but the minute they get out of the prayer room they take the reins back. So they don¡¦t really ABIDE in Him

- ¡§Okay. So what I need to do is plan, but add DV at the end of it, yeah?! ¡¨

- not a bad idea¡K it contains humility and God¡¦s sovereignty

o but it can be a talisman, as well

o the authors of the OT/NT aren¡¦t going ¡§DV¡¨ all the time

Rather- its an attitude of humble abiding in Him and planning/living your whole life in Him

God wants to be involved in EVERY bit of their lives. In fact- he even wants to help their business life

- but they won¡¦t let Him

- Illustr: God designed the world so Adam would be working in partnership with him. ¡¥Where are my cattle, Lord?!¡¨

So- plan- but plan in prayer and partnership with God¡K and place Him first in priority.

if something is going to wreck your relationship with God- don¡¦t plan it!

- Lots of pressure, today. But why is it GOD gets squeezed out first? Then things get worse

o Maybe we should take a lower salary, less pressure so our souls can survive and we can REALLY be happy?

„X And go on with God

FRAILTY- recognise life is fragile

I guess I could summarise point 1 by saying ¡¥life is fragile, handle with prayer¡¦

But they don¡¦t recognise that.

- in fact- what James draws out is behind this is:

o not only the missing out on God¡¦s plans but also

o sheer lack of life wisdom/understanding:

PR 16:9 In his heart a man plans his course,

but the LORD determines his steps.

o Sheer presumption- not only about ¡¥today¡¦¡K but also ¡¥tomorrow¡¦¡K and next year. Arrogance.

„X Lack of HUMILITY. (that you can go a whole year forward without involving God!)

o And (typical of James!) they express it with that old viper- the tongue ¡¥oh we¡¦ll go here, do this, do that¡¦

So- there¡¦s no recognition of the fragility of life

- of tomorrow- it being a MYSTERY

"The past is history, the future is a mystery... and this moment is a gift- that’s why it’s called ’the present’"

- of our lives- - us being a MIST

Seriously- we really don¡¦t know what might happen tomorrow

- sun will come up. But you think everything¡¦s secure

o it might not be!

o Illustr: 1929 crash. Shares dropped $7 to $2. Buy, buy! Dropped to 15c!

„X I¡¦m NOT saying we¡¦re on the verge of a crash (I know nothing) - I¡¦m just saying ¡¥we don¡¦t know the future¡¦. So invest in the right place- God!

- We do not know what the future may hold. We only knows who holds the future- the Lord. And he holds our lives, too!

o So we need to recognise this.

o And that it¡¦s okay to plan- but realise who gets the last say!

o And that we don¡¦t know all factors.

„X We don¡¦t even know what¡¦s good for us, actually!

o And we often don¡¦t know how God¡¦s going to work things out- even when He¡¦s told us ¡¥the ending¡¦

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