Last week, in the Gospel Advocate’s “Foundations Series, Adult Bible Study” covering “Christian Growth in James in Jude”, the question, “Why do you think we make plans without considering God?” was asked in contrast to James’ admonition, “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”” (James 4:13-15 NKJV)
Here are a few answers that immediately come to mind:
- Because we know what the Lord already thinks about our plans.
- Because of arrogance stemming from too much confidence in our own abilities due to being young and dumb or old and stubborn.
- Because we intentionally forget the Lord (much akin to what Deuteronomy 8:14 and Psalm 9:17 has in mind).
Regardless of the specific reason we give, James’ intent and meaning is too plain and simple – if we forget to include God in our plans we are forgetting the one who always gets the last word.
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 NKJV)