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. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15 (NIV)
Ask Of Me
Do you have big plans? What makes you think that you have time to accomplish them all? There is something a little strange about the roadmap that you have laid out for yourself. What’s that? I don’t recall you inviting me in on your little planning process. You have a good point there. Why did you do that? Well, I wasn’t getting a roadmap from you, so I decided to forge ahead on my own. Without me? Now that you put it that way, my action does seem really misguided. You got that right. Your efforts are not only going to be misguided by you, but unguided by me. Don’t you want me to guide and direct your life? Yes Lord, I do. But, you’re impatient. It’s hard for you to wait for instructions and ask for help, isn’t it? Yes, it is.
Haven’t you done this before? What? Forged ahead without me, with your own roadmap and plans? I guess that I have. Is that really a guess? No, I know that I have ventured out ahead of you with my own plan. How has that worked out for you? Not so well. What’s happened? Any number of undesirable outcomes have occurred. Like what? I’ve gone the wrong direction, had to turn around and retrace my steps, for one thing. That sounds like a big waste of time. It is. But you like that better than waiting for my instructions? At least I feel like I am doing something. You know what they say about feelings, don’t you? What’s that? You can’t rely on them.
Anyhow, you felt like you were doing something? Yes, I did. Why did you turn around? I realized that I had made a mistake. How was that? I may have thought that I was doing something but I knew for sure that you were not. I could tell that you were not in the plan I was pursuing. How could you tell that? I really had no power or ability to accomplish what I was attempting to do. It was just a lot of tiresome self-effort on my part. That sounds very exhausting. It was, that’s for sure. What have you learned by forging ahead without me? I’ve learned that it is better to wait for instructions from you so that I will be able to move forward with your plan and rely on your power to accomplish it. You’ve learned a very important lesson, don’t you think? Yes, I have and for that I am very thankful.
It seems to me that there is one missing element we have not considered. What’s that? Well, so far we’ve talked about plans and power. You’ve learned that you want my plan and power rather than your own. Yes that’s correct. We have not talked about purpose. What is the purpose of your plans? Will the purpose of your plans standup in light of eternity? What do you mean by that? Let’s say it’s 10,000 years from now and you’re looking back from eternity, will you be pleased with the purpose of your plans? Probably not. Why is that? The purpose of my plan was too centered around me and what I wanted in that moment of my life. I will have wished that I had asked you to show me your purposes and plans so that I could accomplish them with your power. There is no need to wish. Why is that? You can come and ask that of me right now.
Lord, I’m sorry that I have made big plans without consulting you. I don’t want my plans in life. I want your purposes and plans to be accomplished through my life, by your power, for your kingdom and glory. Thank you that I can serve you. Amen
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