James 4:15-16 says, “Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’ But now you boast in your arrogance…”
If we’re honest, we all want to know what the future holds; we believe if we know what lies ahead, we can set ourselves up for success and avoid failure. But the Book of James offers three warnings for us in planning our future.
First, beware of self-centered planning: “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” (James 4:13).
This businessman had planned the period of time, the place, procedures, and profits. The problem is he left God out of the plan altogether; he did not consult with God or seek His will.
Psalm 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” God has a plan for every area of our lives. If we confess our sins, acknowledge Him as Lord and listen closely to Him, He promises to guide us.
We must also beware of self-confident presumption: “…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” (James 4:14).
Our lives are like vapors — here for a moment, quickly gone; we don’t know what the future holds, so we must not be frivolous with our time.
Finally, beware of self-complacent procrastination. “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). Procrastination is a very deceptive and dangerous sin. The sins of omission are greater than the sins of commission.
Adrian Rogers says, “It is a greater sin to fail to do what you ought to do than to do what you ought not to do.”
It is good to plan, but we must commit our plans to God and actively pursue His will for our future.
Apply it to your life
Would you like for God to guide you this coming year?
Adrian Rogers says, “Face your future by giving your heart to Jesus Christ. Let the Holy Spirit of God be in you to guide you and give you a hope that is wonderful and glorious.”