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His Plan and His 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 was speaking with my mother years ago, 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.”

Later that week our daughter Shayla began having birthing contractions, and they progressed until they were about 4-minutes apart.  Normally this would have been a time of excitement, but she was only 34-weeks along.  I thought about the very words I had spoken to my mother a few days earlier, 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 have been trying to allow God’s perfect timing to weave intricately through every aspect, and in every detail of my life, 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?”

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?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Continue to make God honoring plans for each day of your life, but also be willing to allow God to change these plans, and be flexible when things don’t go as you had planned them.  

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Father, thank You for guiding my life, and for leading me 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…


May the Lord bless your day abundantly, 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