4:13-5:6 DON'T TRUST IN YOUR OWN PLANS AND POSSESSIONS
4: 13-17 We do not know what tomorrow will bring. Only God knows. And yet we make daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly plans. Our life can disappear like the mist and all our plans will be mute. Life is short. Live for God each day! I'd rather burn out for Jesus than smolder in long life. I love to sit by the river and sometimes there is a foggy mist that comes off the water. As the sun comes up and over the trees, it burns off the mist. The mist is only there for fleeting moments much like our lives come and go so quickly in the grand measurement of eternity. If life is fleeting, does it matter how I live it?
Verse 15 is something I do often in my prayers, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” I tend to pray for things prefacing it, "If it is Your Will, Lord," and not really expecting to receive it, but to know if I do receive what I ask for, I will know it is good and be blessed.
However, do I live my life this way? I have a huge problem sometimes with my own goal setting. I set personal goals every morning when I wake up for what I want to get done that day. Yes, goals are a good thing, but when I do not reach my goals by the end of the day, I am often depressed. When I do not accomplish tasks for a long period of time, it weighs on my shoulders. I am not sure why I have such an inborn drive to always be accomplishing something. Why can't I just go throughout a day and do absolutely nothing, or just what comes along, every once in a while? I must remember that when things do not go "my way," it may be because things went the "Lord's way." A Corri ten Boon quote: “I’ve learned to hold everything loosely because it hurts when God preys my fingers from it.” Considering and remembering God's Word for me, I know that everything is on His timing, not mine. It helps me to feel a burden off my shoulders. Goals and planning are a good thing to do, but if it gets rearranged and goes God's way rather than my way, that is also a good thing. Who am I to be independent from God? Goals and planning is being a good steward of my time, talents, and gifts, but should be planned around what God would have me do. My life path is not more important that God's way. The future is in God's hands. Lord, guide me. Amen.
Verse 17 just confirms that I can never be without sin. How many times do I know the right thing to do and then I do not do it? God's Word says this is sin. This is the "sin of omission." I consider the times I feel a nudge to call someone and talk out differences, but instead just let it ride until time smooths things and the pretending all is okay continues the relationship. I consider the times I feel a nudge to help someone out and instead delay or am just pure lazy. Avoidance and withdrawing from something for my own fears leads to sin. Not only that, it is selfish.
5:1-6 I read these passages and think to myself, "that rich person is not me." I do not have much gold or silver. I do not have laborers mowing my yard, much less even to own a field. I do not live in luxury. Ah, but then I get to the words "self-indulgence" and "fattened." Yes, I may live paycheck to paycheck and live in a small home, but in comparison to many others in this world, I do live in luxury. Are there those with less than me that are crying out for help? I do indulge in little things for myself from time to time. I do have on too much weight. I need to zap myself out of this self-denial of how much God really has given me. Do I store up treasures in heaven? This should be my focus. Verses 2 and 3 are yet another comparison in James to the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 6:19-20, "19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal." In Christ, I am rich.