Please read along with us in James 4:13-17. We often make plans for ourselves, but in this section James is cautioning believers about making decisions independent of God. The proper Christian response is to humbly come before the Lord to ask about His plans. What is His mission and direction for our life? It has been often quoted during our James study, but Matthew 6:26-30 really speaks to this fact:
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
- When is a time that you have made plans for yourself only to realize that God had a better plan? How did God lead you in His plan? Is making plans innately evil, explain?
- How does Proverbs 16:1-4 speak to the sovereignty of God? How does God’s sovereignty impact our decisions? How does this compare with the significance of vapor in v.14? What are some instances you have experienced regarding how short life is? If you’d like additional study in this area see Ecclesiastes (chapters omitted on purpose, the entire book is a great read).
- What does v.17 mean in this context? Have you ever put off good for something else?