If the Lord wills

If the Lord wills – a sermon on James 4:13-17 by Rev. Colin Pretorius.

Every day across the world, people make plans. Politicians try to win our hearts and votes with their plans for the ward or the city or the state or the country. CEO’s or general managers and their boards meet to discuss a variety of plans – strategic plans, production plans, financial plans, takeover plans and even plans to avoid tax. In our homes, we (hopefully) plan our budgets so that we can know if we have enough money to get through each month. As dating couples, we plan our weddings. As students we (hopefully again) plan our study time so that we can get the most done in the least time so we can have lots of spare time to party. As parents, we help our children to plan for their futures by advising them on career options and trying to stop them from partying too much. As a church, we make plans too, such as the plan to call a new minister.

Planning is part of life, for each one of us. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing! But our mindset in the process of planning is crucial. That’s one of the things that the practical pastor James writes about in this part of his letter to his fellow believers who have been scattered far and wide. James’ letter is chock-a-block with practical advice for Christians on their daily walk. And the verses we’re looking at today are no different: they tell us about the error of planning without taking God into account. Verses 13-14 tell us about the wrong walk with God – or more accurately, a walk that is really without God. And verses 15-17 tell us how we should be walking with God in terms of our planning. Or to put it more concisely:

• Planning without God (v 13-14)
• Planning with God (v15-17)