“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.’ 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.” James 4:13-14
People like to make plans. We make plans to go to dinner and a movie; to celebrate holidays, birthdays and special occasions; to marry the right person; to own a great house; to raise responsible and independent children; to go on our dream vacation; to pursue the perfect career opportunity; to retire and travel the world–the list goes on and on, doesn’t it? It’s always good to have some kind of plan for your life, to set goals, to pursue passions, to watch your hopes and dreams unfold.
Imagine if we never made plans. We would be like a piece of driftwood floating in the sea tossed to and fro in the waves, drifting aimlessly from place to place. We would not have direction and purpose. We would be completely at the mercy of our current circumstances. We would never know exactly upon which shore we washed up or when the sea would carry us out once again. In the end, we would just be another piece of hollow, well-traveled driftwood lying on a beach with all of the other scattered pieces.
Our lives need meaning, purpose and direction. God doesn’t wanted us to plan out every single detail of our lives. He also doesn’t want us to drift aimlessly through life. Our plans always need to include Him. We must seek His wisdom and guidance as we make decisions big and small. We must listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit as we choose our path. Sometimes we may even think we are already pursuing God’s immediate or long-term plans for our lives when He suddenly–without warning–asks us to change course. God never wants us to have rigid plans. Instead of saying, “Why me?” we can ask Him, “What’s next?” Sometimes we beat ourselves up too much for a change of plans. We feel like we’re being punished. Have you ever stopped to think that sometimes a change in our plans can be part a part of God’s plan to impact another person’s life? God wants us to be open to change and sometimes even a little spontaneity. His plans need to be adopted as our plans. Only then will our plans succeed! Only then will we receive the desires of our heart.
Our lives are not just about fun and pleasure. This doesn’t mean that Christians are totally boring! We don’t just live and die. The best this life has to offer is of little comparison to what heaven offers us! Our greatest rewards on Earth may be the praises of men, along with fame, riches and glory. We should never pursue materialism. When we die, our stuff stays here. We can’t take it with us. We can, however, pursue Godliness, righteousness, holiness and purity as we accomplish God’s purpose and plans for our lives. When we seek to obey Jesus Christ, and we make God’s plans our plans, we receive blessings and eternal rewards. We please God and bring glory and honor to Him. We help lost people become saved, hopeless people hold onto God’s promises, sick people become healed, and we make a lasting difference in people’s lives.
The next time you hit “a bump in the road” or suddenly see your plans and dreams change, remember that God is getting ready to unfold a wonderful plan for your life! It can be frustrating and disheartening at times. You may lose hope for a moment or two, but soon God will fill you up with hope and joy. You may not have a clue what to expect next, and this is where you need to have obedience, trust and faith that God has your best interest in mind. Sometimes a series of plans seem to go off course. It feels like one setback after another. You may feel you’ve lost complete control of your future. Just remember that when you are down to nothing, God is up to something! We may not be able to direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails. We cannot discover new oceans unless we have courage to lose sight of the shore.
Are you being flexible? Willing to do whatever it is God has in mind for you? Ready to go anytime, anywhere, whenever He needs you? Are you being obedient to His calling in your life? It may be easy for a time to go your own course, but eventually you’ll be destined for failure and destruction. Make God part of your plans today. Ask Him to take charge of your life. Let Him set your agenda for today, tomorrow and your future. Be open to rescheduling, postponing, deleting and entirely restructuring your plans. You will be blown away by how God will work in you and through you to make a positive impact in your own life and the people around you! Life is short and our days are numbered. Make every single day count for Jesus!
Pray this Prayer: “Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for caring enough about me to design a special plan and purpose for life. Help me to live each day for you. Let me be used by you as needed. Allow my heart to be open to changes in my own plans so your purpose may prevail. May everything I do bring you honor, glory and praise all of the days of my life. Amen.”