Making Plans God’s Way (Part 1)

James 4:13-17: “13 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.”

How many of you are planners?

How many of you get upset when your plans change?

How many of you make goals in life?

How many of you have a five-year plan? Ten year? Lord, just help me make it through the day plan?

Architects are notorious for making detailed plans. From a small bathroom project to a new house, the plans are complicated and must be approved by several organizations.

What would happen if we took the architectural plans and got bids from contractors, and then when they showed up to do the work, they came with their own plans? The architect and the contractor would not be on the same page, and there would be conflict, mistakes, and perhaps even fights!

When a massive building is put up in New York City, Chicago, or Denver, and it changes the skyline, who gets the credit? Yes, the builder may be recognized, but the architect, the designer, is the one who is credited.

Can I tell you something? God’s the ultimate architect, and we are simply contractors. 

He is the one with the master plan. He is the one who controls what should happen.

We are the contractors; we work for Him.

Let me rephrase those questions:

How many of you do your planning after consulting God?

How many of you get upset when God changes your human plans?

How many of you consult God when making goals?

How involved was God in your five-year, ten-year, twenty-year plans?

How much of your day is planned around God’s plan?

The bottom line: planning without God will lead to frustration, misery, bitterness, and ultimately defeat.

Chapter four starts by talking about conflict between people and war with God. Chapter four ends by talking about the will of God. There is a link between the will of God and the amount of conflict in our lives. When we are living inside of God’s will, life seems to work better. There may still be conflict and persecution because we live in a fallen world surrounded by sinners. However, we have more joy, peace, and grace when we are in God’s will. If we are outside of God’s will, there is trouble. Nothing seems to go right, and minor issues become major ones.

Some questions to consider:

-How can you surrender your plans to God’s will?

-What would happen if your plans were abandoned fully to God?

-How should we incorporate God into our planning sessions?

-What happened to your goals for 2020? How did that impact your strategic planning for 2021?

Photo by Hanna Morris on Unsplash

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