You ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." James 4:15
Does the old phrase "the good Lord willing" still play a part in our planning? Most of us have heard stirring graduation speeches or motivational seminars where we are told, "You can be whatever you want to be." The intention is to inspire higher goals and greater ambition. While we appreciate encouragement, as Christians we are wary of any promise that leaves God out of the picture.
James noted that even we Christians are tempted to make plans without considering the will of God. He reminds us that we who live under a loving God depend on His good pleasure. When we plan for the future, we must seek guidance and direction from Him. When we add "If the Lord wills," we are doing much more than tacking on a pious phrase. Those words express our willingness to change or abandon our plans in favor of God's design.
Life brings disappointments and questions: What was wrong with my plan? What is God's will for my job, education, or marriage? Because we know the Master Planner, we can accept His ways for us. To all our dreams and wishes and prayers we can add, "If the Lord wills." The God who sacrificed His own Son to redeem us will not let us down!
PRAYER: Teach us, Lord, to trust Your good and gracious will for us; in Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
(Devotions from "The Abundant Life" copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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