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Gods Perfect Plan & Timing

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”; 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. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15 (NKJV)

I woke up last Tuesday after a great night’s sleep—eight hours actually, which just so happened to be about 3 hours more than I have been averaging lately.  Refreshed and ready to sit down and write a sermon message, I was soon inundated with phone calls and emails.  Normally, this isn’t too bad to handle, re-direct or re-schedule, but it seemed as if each of these were very important, and they couldn’t wait. 

Interestingly enough, I have been frequently speaking about God’s perfect plans and timing lately.  It always seems to fit when people are facing challenging situations they did not bring on themselves.  For example, I was speaking with my mother last week, and we were discussing a biopsy she had done on one of her lungs.  She was waiting for the report, but she told me she plans on living till she is 100 years old, regardless of what they tell her.  I just listened to her, and tried to comfort her as best I could.  She finally said, “It’s really not my decision; it’s up to God isn’t it?”  I said, “Yeah mom, it’s really not up to us—what is up to us is whether or not we trust God with our very life, and whether we trust in His perfect plan, and His perfect timing.”

I have been trying to live my life trying to allow God’s perfect timing to weave intricately through every aspect, and every detail, but in my flesh, I find I still want it my way.   I keep saying, “Not my will, but Yours be done Lord,” and yet I can still find myself occasionally caught off guard, or becoming frustrated when things don’t go as planned.   Then I remind myself that God is truly in control, and the best I can hope for in my life is to come in agreement with His perfect plan being accomplished in His perfect timing.  When I think about this, I quickly find myself at peace—asking, “What would you have me do Lord?”

As I was writing this devotional today my daughter Shayla began having birthing contractions, and they progressed until they were about 4 minutes apart.  Normally this would be a time of excitement, but she is only 34 weeks along.  I thought about the very words I was writing on God’s perfect timing—I smiled, and decided to put my trust in Him.  So I threw a fast email out to the other pastors at church—asking them to pray for her contractions to cease.  Before my wife and I could even make it to the hospital we received word from our son-in-law, the contractions were slowing down, and within a couple of hours they had stopped all together. 

I am learning, I do not have the right to make my own plans, or to really say what I will do today, or tomorrow.  If I am to understand God’s word, I would be wiser to say, “If the Lord wills, I shall live and do this or that” (cf. James 4:15).

STUDY QUESTION: According to James 4:13-15, what can we learn about making our own plans without ultimately asking God’s will, and timing to be done?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to surrender your life completely to God, and exchange your will for His?

APPLICATION: Let’s continue to make God-honoring plans for each day of our lives, but let’s also be willing to allow God to change these plans, and be flexible when things don’t go as we had planned them. 

LET’S PRAY: Father, thank You for guiding our lives, and leading us in Your ways.  Help me to remember this teaching when I find myself becoming frustrated because my day, or even my life isn’t going as I had planned.  Remind me to simply stop and surrender my desires and plans to You and be content in what You  are allowing into my life.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000