If the Lord Wills: One Powerful Sunday Sermon
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’ . . . Instead you ought to say ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
James 4:13 & 15
It is always gratifying to live out a Sunday sermon. This past Sunday we heard an excellent message on the foolishness of holding too tightly to any plans we may have for our day. Who knew that only a few hours later Dad and I would experience a small example of how the best laid plans can quickly change. The timely message not only proved true, but it also prevented an argument!
Hold Your Plans Loosely
The book of James reminds us that although we may decide on a specific course of action we must always hold those plans loosely. We never know what a day will bring, and we must be humble and open to changes that God interjects into our lives. We may not always understand His reasons, but we can trust His wisdom and love. We demonstrate our faith when we submissively pray "if the Lord wills."
Sunday morning Dad and I got up as usual and prepared for church. Upon arrival we enjoyed meeting with our Bible class and then attended the church service where we were reminded of James’ timely message. Afterwards we went home and had a quick lunch before setting out for a dear friend’s wedding.
We gave ourselves plenty of time so we wouldn’t be late. A little after two o’clock we pulled into the venue’s parking lot and noticed that there weren’t many cars there. Feeling a little confused I grabbed the invitation out of my purse and with unbelieving eyes realized that the wedding I thought started at 2:30 didn’t actually start until 4:30! We had planned our whole day around a time that was incorrect.
The Lord Plans Our Days
I felt so stupid about my silly mistake and would have deserved it if Dad had berated me for wasting so much of our time. But I was pleasantly surprised. Instead of being aggravated with me Dad responded by saying, “Well, we make our plans but the Lord directs our steps. I guess this is what He wanted for our day!”
So, for the next two hours Dad and I passed time by holding hands and shopping at a nearby outdoor mall where we took care of a few needed purchases we hadn’t had time to make before. I had no idea why this blip in our day had to happen, but it really turned into a special, uninterrupted time for Dad and me to spend together.
If the Lord Wills
While it is prudent for us to think through our personal goals and to plan wisely for the future, we must always hold our objectives loosely. It is arrogant to believe we can control all the details of our lives; it just isn’t possible. God may have other plans and we must be flexible and open to his alterations of our schedules or dreams. Proverbs 16:9 says, “The mind of a person plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” It is important to couch all our decisions in the understanding that we will accomplish our goals only if the Lord wills it to be so.
I don’t know what is on your schedule for today, but don’t be frustrated if it changes. The LORD may guide you down an unexpected, but providential, path. If He does, just relax and enjoy the ride. The sooner you learn to trust Him the happier you will be. Your positive attitude will give Him glory . . . and it may even prevent a potential argument.