top of page

Importance of Having God in Your Plan

Hello my brothers and sisters in Christ. Hope you are keeping well though life is full of surprises. Unfortunately, these surprises may not always be good and pleasing, but we always try our best to cope and get out of situations. It is my turn to share a thought for this week, and I would like to share my thoughts on James 4:13-15 i.e. the importance of having God in our plans, and not to live arrogantly confident and independently of God. Let’s read:

“Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. 16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil” (James 4:13-16)

This passage is a chastisement for Christians who think they can live independently from the will of God without consequences. They have forgotten that all good things come from God. Hence, we ought not be boastful about our plans. This passage reminds us that when we make plans without considering God’s word, we have failed to be mindful of His sovereignty and His grace. This is not the kind of heart that God will accept, as such rejoicing is evil. Paul knew and lived by this principle of dependence on God. When he told the brethren at Ephesus that he would return again, he added “if God will” (Acts 18:21). To the brethren at Corinth, “But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills” (1 Corinthians 4:19), and again, I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits” (1 Corinthians 16:7).

Let us delve deeper. Firstly, there is nothing wrong with taking up a well-paying job with better opportunities, and wanting our families to have a better life by working hard. Having career goals and moving up is important, not just for self and family, but for what one can contribute to the church. There is nothing wrong with owning and running a good business. I believe God wants Christians to be a good example to the world as employees and businessmen who are hardworking with good work ethics and morals. So, when Jesus said to his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:23), He is merely pointing out a glaring fact of the propensity of man to fall prey to riches.

Jesus made this statement just after the rich young ruler walked away sorrowfully, when he was told to choose to forsake his earthly wealth and follow Him (Matthew 19:21). The disciples were amazed at Jesus’ statement and asked, who then will make it to heaven? If it was so hard for the rich to enter heaven, wouldn’t it be more difficult for the poor, as they have more struggles in life to deal with, leaving no time for God? However, the problem is not that the young man was rich, but that his heart was inclined to his riches. Hence, he was short-sighted and failed to appreciate the glory he would have received if he had prioritized God and eternal life over his earthly riches. Jesus had made it clear that man had this weakness, and we also ought to take heed. It is also equally important to note that when Jesus answered the disciples, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26), he is also answering to those who are poor but have their hearts set after riches, thus having no time for God. It is not the intent of Jesus to force everyone to forsake our families and everything we have in order to follow him. Jesus is making a promise that the reward for all the difficult sacrifices we make here on earth for His name’s sake will be immeasurable, and will include the inheritance of eternal life.

Secondly, it is important to plan ahead. The servants who were given the five and ten talents planned, invested, and made gains for the master, while the one talent man did nothing. He received severe consequences for failing to use his talent wisely. Proper planning reduces stress when uncertainties arise, it improves productivity, and there many other benefits that comes with good planning. So, let’s be reflective. You and I often leave out something (or someone) very important from our plans. Without that crucial element of having God in our plans, decisions we make can end up being destructive to our spiritual lives, family and even our future. The chastisement from James 4:13-15 for the arrogant man who leaves God out of his plan can be better understood with the reading of Proverbs 16:1-9, which provides other reasonings apart from the shortness and fragility of the human life. Proverbs 16:9 tells us that:

“A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.”
The NIV version puts it this way, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”

If we read from verse 1 of the chapter, you will find the wisdom that will lead to a proper understanding. These words of wisdom show that it is bad decision if we do not commit our plans to the will of God. Let me summarize the lessons from God in Proverbs 16:1-9.

  1. V1- It is normal that man makes preparations in his heart. Unfortunately, man makes plans according to his own wisdom, and the truth is, man will not know for certain how his plans will turn out. Therefore, the wise man Solomon tells us that the right answer always lies in God who knows all outcomes. As the apostle Paul wrote, “the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25)

  2. V2- It is man’s way to constantly justify his own actions and plans as perfect and clean. Notwithstanding the self-justifications, God will evaluate us by looking into the spirit of man. The sad ending of Ananias and Sapphira is a testament that God loves the lips of an honest answer (Proverbs 24:26). The Bible advises us to regularly examine ourselves if we are right with God. (2 Corinthians 13:5)

  3. V3- Man’s way is to establish his own thinking before making a commitment; however, God’s way is for us to commit our plan to God, and He will help us to establish the direction of our thoughts. As the psalmist puts it, “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass” (Psalms 37:5).

  4. V4- Man must remember that God is the Creator, and He has established the destiny of the wicked. God has made plans for the wicked, and it is indeed a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Lord. Let us not fall into the wrong side of God’s plan, when we chart the course for our lives (Matthew 25:41).

  5. V5- God will resist the proud, as pride is an abomination to Him (James 4:6). Even if the wicked join hands, Isaiah said none of the wicked will go unpunished (Isaiah 11:13). The plan of an arrogant man, in which God’s input is absent, is an abomination to Him.

  6. V6- In contrast to the proud, if man acts in mercy and truth, God promises atonement for iniquity. Knowing what God had planned for the wicked, this fear of the Lord will make man depart from evil. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7).

  7. V7- It is possible that our plans and actions please God i.e. our plans are aligned to that of God’s purpose. He promises that He will bless us with peace, even peace with our enemies (Romans 12:17-18). God never promises us that we will not meet difficulties, even if our plans are aligned to His, but He did say how we ought to respond (Proverbs 15:18; James 3:18)

  8. V8- Freedom from guilt is a blessing. Therefore, it is better to hold righteousness in higher regard over riches (Proverbs 15:16). If our plan brings us guilt, abandon it, even though it brings riches.

  9. V9- It is important that man makes plans in his life, but it is more important to understand and decide whether the plans we make fulfils God’s greater purpose. No man can decide that he is outside of the governance of God’s law. If you were to read the last verse of the chapter, v33, the conclusion is: it is not a matter of choice, no matter how we cast the lots, it is God who is in control. Therefore, it is better to align our plans with God’s purposes.

What does it mean when I say we should put God’s will in our plans? It would mean that, whether it is a short-term or long-term plan, we must set aside time (preferably, set a cadence) for the Lord in:

  1. Worship,

  2. Bible study

  3. Fellowship

  4. Serving in edification, evangelism & benevolence

In conclusion, God understands that we need time for many areas in our lives, but time must be set aside for God. It will please Him, and we will be blessed by Him, when our plans are aligned to His greater purposes. 

Good day and God bless.


bottom of page