If the Lord Wills
James 4:13-16 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
Proverbs 27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.
Proverbs 19:21 There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the LORD’s counsel—that will stand.
A century ago, it was not uncommon to see the letters “DV” at the end of correspondence written in English. The two letters meant Deo Volente, Latin for “God willing.” While not directly quoting James 4, it was a clear reference to its main idea—that instead of being sure or making sure that something is going to happen according to our plans, we should simply consider them as something to be submitted to the sovereign will of our Lord. Letters with “DV” at the end often contained plans or hopes that were to be ultimately considered in the light of God and His plans.
There are several heart issues attached to this issue. One is trust in the Lord. If we trust in Him and His goodness, believing that He works everything together for good for us, then it is easier to submit our plans to Him. If we tend to be control freaks—both fearful and controlling—then it is hard to let go, as we have placed our trust in the plan itself and/or our ability to make things happen. When DV is in our hearts, we can trust in Him when our plans change. If it’s not, then we lock down on our plans under pressure, and God help those that get in the way.
Another issue is simple humility. We can’t assume that just because we have planned something, or have agreed to a plan, that it’s the best-case scenario for us. God may well have something better, or He may be protecting us from things unseen.
The thing we have to remember with every one of our plans is to hold them loosely.
We cannot set our hearts on them, or our hearts will be shaken if the plans alter. We can plan to the best of our ability, but we must also hold onto a humble attitude that submits first and foremost to His will. Our thoughts and plans can be developed, but then they must be held onto lightly, with us neither carelessly dropping them nor grasping them tightly.
All our plans must be an offering.
Prayer: Father, help me to have the right heart attitude toward my plans. Help me to grow in trust so that I can hold plans loosely, and so that my heart can rest fully on You, not on what I plan or foresee. Thank You that You always know best.