GOD HAS A PLAN
Look here, you 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.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil.
James 4:13-16 NLT
As I sit to write this devotion I have read and re-read this passage multiple times. First, I see a reminder that I don’t know tomorrow. It is impossible for me to make concrete plans about the future because my knowledge of the future is very limited. I am always surprised at things that happen in each year of my life.
I remember in my first year of pastoring—many years ago. I led the leadership of the church in putting together a five-year plan for the church. You must realize I was 30 years old and had never pastored. Despite my inexperience, I was a dreamer. We worked for months gathering historical data on the church, getting demographic information from the area, and projecting what we needed to do to grow the church and impact our community.
That plan worked for about a year. God’s dream for the church was longer than five years. At 30 I never dreamed I would pastor that same church for 36 years. I never dreamed we would plant seven other campuses and others around the world. It was impossible for me to see what God had in store for our future.
The second thing I see in this passage—and this is the good part—God does know tomorrow!
When God created us, He had a plan for our lives. Instead of wandering around aimlessly we can come to God and ask for Him to show us His plan. We can begin to walk out God’s will for us daily.
I have found from my life experience that God does not give me all the details of His plan. Often there are gaps, and the steps are uncertain. That is why the Bible says we are to live by faith—we trust God even when we don’t fully know the next step. We trust that God loves us and does have a plan for our lives. When we lean into God through reading His Word, prayer, and fellowship with other believers we begin to discover God’s will.
I don’t remember God speaking audibly to me. I have impressions that come from the Spirit of God living in me. Usually, they are gentle nudges that prompt certain actions or behavioral shifts. Rarely are these huge shifts—just gentle shifts added together over time that have led me in God’s path for my life. Many of these shifts are more obvious in the rearview mirror than they were in the moments they occurred.
We all need to remember that God has a plan. Even in the times when it seems life is out-of-control and God is hard to hear—He is working. As we lean into God on a daily, we can discover his plan and purpose. Only when we trust our past, present, and future into the hands of God can we fully discover His will for our lives.
That doesn’t mean I don’t plan and work hard—it means I spend time daily asking for God’s direction in my planning.
Heavenly Father I am thankful that You created me. You have a plan for me. You want to work through me to transform my world and bring about Your kingdom on earth. Please help me to walk out Your plan for this day. Help me to live out Your will each day.
“Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying based on today’s reading.”