As we continue working on the outline of James 4 we need to look at verses 13-17 where James discusses being Christian in our work when we feel we’ve got life by the tail.
We have a tendency to think there is power in positive thinking while not recognizing that positive thinking can get us into trouble. If you’re making plans for tomorrow, James warns that you had better have some contingencies in your plans. You might expect to go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.
Don’t forget, says James, “You do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” The best laid plans can go up in smoke very easily. All you need is some expected piece in your plans to not fall into place, or some unexpected factor to intrude.
Instead of independently and arrogantly planning for tomorrow it would be wise to acknowledge the power of Biblical thinking. It can keep us out of trouble. “You ought to say,” James counsels, “if it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” The guiding principle in Biblical thinking is, “The Lord’s will.”
To factor in God’s will you need to determine what God has already said. List the options before you. Then, think of as many pros and cons you can think of for each option. Follow this up by trying to find Biblical support for these pros and cons.
Finally, pray over the list and seek counsel from mature believers. Then wait for God’s timing, before you act. This will help you determine and then do God’s will.