James 4:14 – “What is your life? It is even a vapor.”
This week when I was discussing my long-term goals with my roommates, I was really humbled when one of them told me that they just wanted to continue passionately loving God and living for Him for the rest of their life. She basically told me that she did not want to limit God by making plans of her own. Not to say it is wrong to have goals or plan ahead, but I realized that when we have such specific goals and are pretty set in stone with making these happen, sometimes we end up missing God’s plans for our lives.
I included a devotional below from “Our Daily Bread” that I feel relates to this well:
When someone said to my friend, “See you in a year,” it sounded odd when he replied, “Yes, see you on the other side.” He meant that he’d see him on the other side of a one-year deployment for the US Navy. But because the phrase is often used of heaven, it made me think about the uncertainty of life. I wondered, Who will be here in another year? Who might by then be on the other side—in heaven?
We certainly don’t know what the next year—or hour—will bring. In his epistle, James wrote about this uncertainty. He rebuked the greedy merchants for boasting about what they would do that day, the next day, or even the next year (4:13). Their sin wasn’t that they were making plans; it was forgetting God and arrogantly boasting about those business plans.
James reminded them: “What is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (v.14). Commentator Peter Davids says that James was pointing out their foolishness and saying, in essence, “Come now, you who make plans—you don’t even understand how little control you have over life itself.”
No part of life is outside the control of God. So when we make plans, we need to remember, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that” (v.15). — Anne Cetas
Tomorrow’s plans I do not know,
I only know this minute;
But He will say, “This is the way,
By faith now walk ye in it.” —Ryberg
Write your plans in pencil and let God have the eraser.
This devotional is such a great reminder to give God the steering wheel in this road trip we call life. I pray that we will remember this as we consider our goals in life. And let us ask ourselves how open we are to God changing these plans.
May grace and peace follow you as you follow the Lord!
“My Savior, My God” by Aaron Shust
“I am not skilled to understand
What God has willed, what God has planned
I only know at His right hand
Stands one who is my Savior”