Sunday, December 15, 2013

James 4:14-17 -- On The Lord's Will

"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."
James 4:14-17

This is an interesting set of verses... I think that it is a great reminder of how little we know compared to God.  In our society, we sometimes believe that we are pretty cool... enlightened, civilized, and really, really smart.  We can handle it all, and plan out our lives whatever way we want.  And on one level, sure.  We're pretty cool.  But on another level, we're also pretty lost, and we often are faking that confidence and competence.  We think we have things figured out, but we find out more and more how much we don't know.  And how much cooler and smarter we'd really like to be, so we can solve some of the huge problems facing the world today.

And here, God reminds us that we're only here on Earth briefly, and we should focus carefully on taking advantage of the time that we have.  Remembering to look to God and including the "if the Lord will" in our plans is a good daily reminder of who makes it all possible, and the source of our solutions. :)

The last verse I think is especially interesting.  The "therefore" confuses me a little, because I don't see exactly how this came from what was before it.  But maybe it is more about the attention that we have to pay in our lives, focusing on making the most of our time.  Focusing on God.  And focusing on opportunities to do good.  When we know what we should do, and we don't do it, then to us it is sin.  When we have the power to do good, and we don't... then we're not taking advantage of that time that we've been given.  It is the Lord's will that we take advantage of those opportunities, so if we're saying "if the Lord will" before we make plans, then maybe we should even more so when we come across opportunities to serve or to do good.

 Today, let's try to focus on the Lord's will and not on our own.  ... I think if we try it his way, we'll find life will work out a lot cooler than we could make it on our own. :)

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