Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 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.
In an earlier devotion, we spent some time discussing the plans these men were making; we discussed the fact that God certainly approves of planning. In fact, God encourages us to live a responsible, ordered, and industrious life. God absolutely does not expect us to sit around awaiting manna from heaven to fall into our supper plates. He clearly expects us to get our own manna, so to speak.
There is an old Italian proverb that states:
Men make plans, but God laughs.
Okay, for those of you looking to find fault with God, that doesn’t mean He is up in heaven laughing hysterically at our mess-ups and troubles. He’s not a cosmic meanie mocking and deriding His creation. But, it does show us some things.
We know that the making of these plans was not sinning. God likes plans. There were several things that were done incorrectly here. We are going to take some time and review some of these.
Read our passage closely; determine what is missing. It’s not hard, really to see(or not see.) These men had a great plan with almost all of the key steps included, except what should be the first step for any Christian. There is no allusion to God being included in their plans; apparently, He was not consulted. James even refers to this in Verse 16 when he says, “ye ought to say.”
God will provide us direction; God desires to provide us direction. Let’s look at a couple of things God tells us.
Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
God wants to direct us, and He wants to give us the wishes of our hearts, but there are disclaimers; He has to be included in the process. We must “acknowledge Him,” and “Delight” in Him.
God frowns on being left out of our plans. Jesus taught this parable about planning without God which shows God’s thoughts in this matter.
Luke 12:16-21 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
These men did not sin by planning; they sinned by leaving God out of the equation. Isn’t that our entire problem anyway? We think we know better than God. Adam and Eve thought that it was their desire to know what God knows that caused The Fall. Remember Lucifer and the 5 “I Wills?” He thought he knew better than God also.
Do we think we know better, or do we trust Him?