This morning while thinking of my plans for the day, a thought came that I needed to first check with God. I was then reminded of James 4:13-16 which says, ‘Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.’
The part the Lord highlighted and wants us to see is ‘if the Lord wills’. God revealed that it’s not a just a question of IF it’s His will but more so that we ask; so as to obtain denial or approval, and if need be, correction or direction. Proverbs 3:5,6 says, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.’ You, leaning on your own understanding of what you want or think you need to do, is the same as you saying, ‘Today or tomorrow [I] will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit.’ That’s what you want to do. That’s your plan. But ‘instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, [I] shall…do this or that” which is the same as acknowledging Him in all your ways or in what you plan to do today. Because when you do that, if what you plan to do is HIS WILL, then He’ll direct your paths.
Grateful That You Get To
Asking “If the Lord wills” is also being grateful that you get to do or not do what you planned on doing. Because if what you planned to do is something that you shouldn’t have done, then you should be grateful that you consulted with God because whatever you wanted to do wasn’t something you should be doing in the first place. Even if you experience a little success in the beginning, in the long run, you’d encounter problems. You should also be grateful to be able to ask, as opposed to taking for granted that you have the freedom, health, well-being, and financial ability to do what you’ve planned. Instead, you be thankful that it was the Lord’s will for you to be free, healthy, well, and financially able to do what needed to be done. If you’re successful in your endeavors, it’s only because He willed it, and not because of anything you’ve done.
Deuteronomy 8:11-17 says it like this: “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes…12 lest—when you have eaten and are full (tasted and experienced success), and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them (no longer homeless, living in rundown apartments and have purchased your first and forever homes); 13 and when your herds and your flocks (sources of income) multiply, and your silver and your gold (checking, savings, and investments) are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied (not just financially but influentially); 14 when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt), from the house of bondage (because you’re so busy taking care of the sources of income He gave you and busy being about the life that multiplication brings); 15 who led you through that great and terrible wilderness (the times of homelessness, unemployment, living off less than, or when you had no customers or clients) in which were fiery serpents and scorpions (people who were against you, wouldn’t hire or do business with you) and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna (because those who were against you didn’t want you to eat so they stopped the food/income from coming so that you couldn’t take care of yourself), which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you (because you thought you were better than or too good to experience what you experienced) and that He might test you (to see if you would be faithful through the bad and the ugly), to do you good in the end (to get you to the point of wealth and success)— 17 then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ To do so would be to ‘boast in [your] arrogance.’
The last thing you need to say is ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth’ because ‘in you (that is, in your flesh) nothing good dwells…’ Jesus even said that ‘I can of Myself do nothing…I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.’ If you do experience any success, it’s only because it was God's will and because He ‘gave you the power to get wealth.’ (Dt 8:18) I know that sounds far-reaching, but that includes the wealth that comes with each day. So today, make your plans according God’s will, and not according to the COVID-19 restrictions in place. There's still success to be had and wealth to be gotten. Seek Him during this time about how to spend your time because in so doing, you will experience the success of health and wealth.
Confess this with me: Heavenly Father, I submit my plans unto You and I thank You for causing my thoughts to become agreeable to Your will so shall my plans be established and succeed. (Proverbs 16:3)
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Sources: James 4:13-16, Proverbs 3:5,6, Deuteronomy 8:11-17, James 4:16, Romans 7:18, Deuteronomy 8:18, Proverbs 16:3