WHAT IS YOUR LIFE
“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” (James 4:13—17)
James addresses those who are too confident of their plans for today or tomorrow. People often assume that they have control of what happen in life. They often plan without considering what might happen. People plan as if they know what will happen tomorrow, or even the next seconds of their lives. Our plans are important things to God. However, when we plan as if we know where we will be tomorrow and what we will do tomorrow, without acknowledging God’s providence, in our plans, it is a tragic thing to do.
I am reminded of the proverbs that says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.
Believers often approach their planning just as non-believers do. Many do not acknowledge God’s role in their plans for their lives. James gave a good word about our lives here when he said; Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
The question for me to ponder is; What is my life? Is it mine, or do I belong to God, and the life that I now live, does it belong to me? All our plans, we must as believers say; “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James added; As it is, you boast in your ARROGANT SCHEMES. And all such boasting is evil. James called many plans arrogant scheming. To be an arrogant person is having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities.
This is James’s warning to believers, saying, we may think that we know it all and presumed that we will be successful, but you may not live long enough to see it. Our life is only but a mist. Scheming, plan of action, strategy, many are not based on righteousness, but on sole objectives to be successful even if one have to bend the rules.
James ended with this exhortation, “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” As for believers we are called not to depend on our own wisdom but on are our plans, God’s plans or not. Do we seek the Lord’s will, to do this or that or do we follow our own arrogant scheming? Planning is not the problem, but we must involve God in our plannings and seek his will. James concluded that if we know the good that we ought to do and we don’t, that’s a sin, meaning, choosing to ask God or depending on our own arrogant scheme is a choice we must make.
I am grateful for this reminder. How often I am in danger of assuming that God is in what I am doing. I am grateful to the Holy Spirit to remind me this as I look into the new year coming. Even as I already have plans for next year, I am continuously thinking this in according to the will of God to see it happen. I do not want to rely on my arrogant scheming and presumption. I need the leading of the Spirit of God daily.
Jesus, I am grateful for the reminder today. I know that there are times that I am tempted to rely on me know how to plan things forward. I ask that you forgive me for my presumptuous sins and lead me to do your will. Thank you for opening my eyes to see your truth today. Keep me from relying on my arrogantly device scheming, and instead ask you if it is your will to do this or that. Lead and guide me forward. Amen!