Google+ 09/10/13 Make God's Plans Your Plans Now!

James 4:15-17

 

What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.”

Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil.

Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.

 

Yesterday in part one of our seven-part devotion series entitled, "The Best Laid Plans," we discussed God's plans for us.  Today in part two, we hear about what happens when we go our own way and ignore God's plans.  The longer I study and teach Scripture, the more I discern God's will in my life.  The biggest revelation I have had over the past year is the one that James talks about today in our Scripture lesson.  Lots of people misunderstand God's will in their lives.  It is the biggest challenge I have as a pastor.  Explaining practical applications of Scripture in our lives is central to discipleship. God commands those of us that have been called to be pastors to practice evangelism and discipleship daily.  Where we all get stuck, in our Christian walk, is in the middle of deeds and works.  I listen to lots of people tell me everyday about what they do in their lives.  Most often, they proclaim how they try to be a good person each day.  They detail their generosity and kindness.  Often, money becomes a part of the conversation, in terms of how much they give to various charities.  Many are confused when I ask them why they do all this.  The reason they are confused is because our actions for Christ should come from our heart, not the other way around!  Remember the old song "They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love?"  God's plan for us is to change our hearts and make His Son, Jesus Christ, the center of our lives.  Once this occurs, everything else falls into place through our obedience.  We worship and pray regularly and we know why we do!  We fellowship in the temple daily with other believers because we can't imagine being anywhere else.  We evangelize and disciple because we want everyone to have the joy of the Lord like we do.  Of course there are struggles.  But as God's people, in our chosen local New Testament Church, we conquer them together.  When we do this, God wins every time.  The final point of our Scripture today is the one that many miss.  Christianity is often not about what we do, but about what we don't do.  James tells us that if we know what to do and don't do it, we have sinned.  Listen to this carefully because I believe that, deep in all of our hearts, we know exactly what to do.  I believe that the reason we often appear to be lost is because we refuse to listen to the Holy Spirit.  We know what to do, but it is either not convenient at the time or requires too much work for us to complete.  I have often told people that God has simply convicted my heart to work harder for Him than most people are willing to do.  For that reason, God continues to bless our work because it is His!  Before you devise your own plans, consult with God.  Listen carefully to what He has to say.  Don't boast about what God has told you.  James tells us that boasting is evil.  Instead, "put the pedal to the metal" for God.  Spend the time and watch God work in your life.  Make God's Plans Your Plans Now!