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.” As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. James 4:13-16 (NIV)
Listen, now that’s one of the more important words that you will ever hear. Why is that? You will hear many voices in life. There will be a voice that says stop while another voice says start. Another voice will say go as one more says stay. You will hear a voice suggesting that you turn left while turning right looks equally inviting. You will hear yes and no. You will be faced with a hundred different directions you could go. You will have the choice of a thousand different things that you could do. How will I ever know which way to go? How will I ever know for sure what I should do? Those are two very good questions.
How have you decided which way you should go? How have you determined what you should do? How I have decided which way I should go and what I should do in the past is no basis for making a good decision in the future. Why is that? I have made a lot of mistakes. Quite frequently I have made the wrong choices and followed a faulty plan. I have gone left when right would have been far better. I have stayed when I should have gone. I have said yes when no would have been far wiser. Who did you listen to when you made all these choices? Who gave you guidance? What wisdom did you seek? What counsel did you follow? Those are all good questions. Unfortunately I don’t have any good answers. You must have an answer. My answer is the problem. I didn’t listen to anyone when I made my decisions. I had no guidance. I received no wisdom. I sought no one’s counsel. What did you do? I listened to myself. I listened to my own counsel. I followed my own wisdom. I set my own goals and followed my own plan. That is a problem. Yes, I know.
Your past has not gone to waste. You have been taught valuable lessons. What have you learned? I have learned to listen. I have learned to ask for wisdom. I have learned to seek counsel. I have learned to receive guidance. I have learned to listen and rely on one voice that will give me wisdom, counsel and guidance. What voice is that? I have learned to listen to your voice. I have learned to rely on you. So now, you will listen to me? Yes Lord, I will listen to you. That will be very good.
Lord, no longer will I go charging forward with my own pride filled plan of what I think I will do and accomplish. Instead I will attentively listen to you. I will seek you and your will for my life. I will go where you guide me. I will do all that you ask of me. Amen
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