James 4:13-15 KJV
13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
Planning for the future is something many of us spend a lot of time on. And it is good that we do. The Bible is very specific about planning my financial situation for the future. You can read Proverbs 6:6-8 or Proverbs 27:23 to see this. We also need to plan our spiritual future. Have I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and made heaven my home?. That is a plan that we should never neglect. James is not talking about those two areas of the future. I believe what he’s addressing here are the day to day things that we do.
In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus talks about day-to-day circumstances and I think James is trying to help people remember what the Lord said at that time. He wants people to remember that God has the ultimate say on what their plans will be. We do not know if we even have tomorrow! How often do we consult God and ask him what we should do tomorrow? How often do we sit and pray and seek guidance for tomorrow or even for the rest of today?
I probably mentioned it before but I sell Aflac insurance. Right now I am not working because of my cancer treatments and because of the frigid cold in the Midwest. But when I get back to work, I will always leave room for God to direct me during my day. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have felt the nudging of the Holy Spirit to go into this business or that business when I hadn’t planned on doing that. And most of the time I follow that leading I am rewarded with a nice welcome and possibly a new customer. It’s essential that I try to listen for this prompting of the Holy Spirit as I make my way from business to business and town to town.
When I plan my tomorrows I need to leave room for God to move there. If I schedule so tightly that God does not have a place to move me then when the prompting of the Holy Spirit comes I will say “God, I don’t have the time! My schedule is too full.” Remember James says that our time is like a vapor. My life is gone in an instant and we hardly know that the day is past before it’s over. I need to make sure I am giving God every opportunity to bless me in the middle of that day by listening very closely and by following the prompt when I get it.
This does not only go for business. It also goes for my prayer life and my personal life. I need to stay open to hear what God has to say on these things too. When a person comes into my mind during the day, I always start to pray, or I go visit them if I am able. I may text them or call them to see ow their day is going. God brings people to our minds on constant basis because they need our prayers or an encouraging word. Do I take the time to do those things?
If there’s one hing I need to make sure that I plan every day it’s to spend time in his word. If you do not spend this time when you first get up, then most likely the rest of the day will eat up any time you have planned for God. I strongly urge you to put God first thing in the day and spend 10 minutes to 2 hours, whatever you can, in his word and in devotion to Him in prayer and praise. These plans are always pleasing to God.
The second thing that Jesus addressed was worrying about tomorrow. There is absolutely no sense in doing that. God holds our tomorrow in his hands. When we are fully devoted to him, nothing will come into our lives that will be harmful in the long run. Things may look harmful to us, and they may seem harmful – they may even seem like the end of the world to us. But if we are in God’s hands, and we know we are, then we have nothing to fear because He is always in control and He will bring us through just fine.
If you make it a habit to worry about tomorrow then I might suggest you need to draw closer to God. You need to allow Him to give you the assurance that He has you in the palm of His hands and He always will. He is intricately involved in your life and in every phase of your life. He knows you better than you know yourself. And He will watch over you and protect you no matter what circumstance comes your way. If you don’t know these things then get into the word more. Here are some scriptures that might help you realize how much God is involved in your life. Meditate on these and make them part of your belief system:
Psalm 33:18-19 But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.
Psalm 139:1-14 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast,
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand, when I awake, I am still with you.
Jer 29:11-13 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 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Joshua 1:8 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
Isaiah 40:31 31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isa 41:10 10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
I could fill 100 pages with scriptures showing you ow much He loves you and will take care of you. This is a start. I urge you to find more on your own. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide and direct you very day into is promises. He has more for you than you can possibly imagine!