Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Yesterday we looked at two major truths about understanding the nature of God’s sovereignty: First, God is not random in what He does, and second, that tends to mess with your plans.
jSo, now begins our follow-up of how to cooperate with God Sovereign.
And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, “Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we’re off to such and such a city for the year. We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.” You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.” As it is, you are full of your grandiose selves. All such vaunting self-importance is evil. In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don’t do it, that, for you, is evil.
The greatest arrogance in the universe is presuming upon God. Stuff disappears quickly, just like our plans. James teaches us that making our plans requires a reality check about the sovereignty of God.
Some years ago the Florida lottery ran television ads attempting to promote ticket sales. Of course the chances of winning a lottery are one in several million gazillion, which is a rather conservative, if not altogether mathematically-accurate estimate. However, each commercial would end with an average-looking person holding up the winning ticket, saying with a smile: You never know…!
We need to heed that saying about tomorrow for our lives – you need to include God in your plans…because you never know if you have tomorrow…or if today God will require your presence before the bar! Friends, life is incredibly short; eternity is incredibly long.
It may not be necessary, but I’ll say it anyway, it is wiser to prepare for eternity, than anything in the here and now.
It is certainly not begging the issue to repeat – failing to prepare for eternity is more than dangerous – it is foolish!
James is so thorough. He has told us to not leave God out of our plans.
Tomorrow we will (if God permits) turn to the other vital issue which naturally follows…how to include God on a practical level.
Those of us who were born in the United States have no idea what living under a sovereign ruler is like. We hold a sacrosanct idea of freedom; we make ourselves sovereign over our own lives. We do what we want.
But for a follower of Jesus Christ, acknowledging and embracing God’s sovereign rule is the disciple’s baby step #1. Absent of knowing and living by that rule in our hearts, we cannot even think ourselves Christian.