Hunkered Down Devotion

James 4:13-17 (Voice)
13 Listen carefully, those of you who make your plans and say, “We are traveling to this city in the next few days. We’ll stay there for one year while our business explodes and revenue is up.” 14 The reality is you have no idea where your life will take you tomorrow. You are like a mist that appears one moment and then vanishes another. 15 It would be best to say, “If it is the Lord’s will and we live long enough, we hope to do this project or pursue that dream.” 16 But your current speech indicates an arrogance that does not acknowledge the One who controls the universe, and this kind of big talking is the epitome of evil. 17 So if you know the right way to live and ignore it, it is sin—plain and simple.

This passage makes me think about two old clichés and the importance of striking the balance between the two of them.  The first is one that I think is somewhat regional (western Pennsylvania) but will still translate and is one of my favorite ways to say maybe: Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.  The second cliché is: trust in Jesus, but lock your doors.  

Many of us operate as if God exists one extreme plane of existence or another.  Either God perhaps exists, but isn’t really involved in any meaningful way in our daily lives or everything is both God’s fault and God’s responsibility.  The reality is somewhere in-between, which is what this passage is trying to highlight.  Go ahead, and make your plans, but don’t forget to include the very real possibility that God might have different ones.  

Don’t get so caught up in your own ideas, and in your own arrogance that your plans and ideas are best that you are caught off guard when God, the ‘One who controls the universe,’ comes along and changes the plan.  

The thing that is important to understand here is that God isn’t doing this as some sort of power trip.  God isn’t ‘taking his ball and going home’, if he doesn’t like the plans that you are making.  Rather, as it always is with God, it is about relationships.  God loves you, wants to know you, and God wants to be in relationship with you.  

So, if you want to make sure that the plans you make don’t change?  Figure out where God is and what God is doing and go there, do that.  If you join in on what God is doing, if you step along side the Holy Spirit and work hand and hand, in humble service, you will find not only peace, but joy and meaning.

Sharing God’s Love,

Prayer: Lord, help us to know the good and perfect plans you have for us.  Help us to see them as good.  Amen.

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