Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

We All Make Plans

James 4:15

Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

112015 Ray McDonaldWe all make plans. Some of us put them down on paper or store them electronically. Some of us just have them in our minds. We make To-Do Lists and we set schedules. We dream dreams and we make plans to do this or that as the days unfold around us.

We all make plans. At time – life has a way of getting in the way of our plans. Unexpected things happen. Our vehicle breaks down and needs repair and the money we set aside for a trip is used up and the trip is canceled. A sickness or death occurs in the family or of a close friend and we have to adjust our schedule – canceling things we had planned – to be by their side. We could go on and on. Life happens and often changes our plans.

We all make plans. Today’s passage is the basis for a common saying. Many use this saying without knowing its origin. Have you ever heard someone say – when talking about seeing you later or seeing you at the next event – the Lord willing?

We all make plans. Here is today’s passage in partial context. In my Bible it is from a section titled – Boasting About Tomorrow. James 4:13–17 – 13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, 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. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

We all make plans. But – we need to realize that our best-laid plans will not always happen as we planned them. There are so many variables outside of ourselves and we aren’t always consistent either. The only One we can rely on – the only One that can be counted on to always be there and be consistent and be true to their word is Jesus!

We all make plans. As we make our plans during this Lenten season – let us seek God’s will for our lives. If our plans match God’s will – we have a better chance of carrying them out. In the morning after playing basketball – I often tell the guys I will see them next time – the Lord willing.

We all make plans. Seeking God’s will is not just a thing we should do during Lent. Paul write that the way to know God’s will is to devoid ourselves of the world and fill ourselves up with the things of God. Romans 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

We all make plans. As we strive to find things to remove from our lives during Lent – let us also find ways to add more of God. If we remove something – let us add something as well. Remove a bad habit – add a good one. Remove or abstain from something (like a favorite TV show) – spend that space of time with Jesus in prayer and devotion.

We all make plans. The Lord willing – I will see many of you soon. If not – I will see you in God’s presence when He comes for us. May your day be blessed and may you be encouraged.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.


February 11, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , ,


  1. Thought you might find the humor in this screen shot picture as I finished up your recent post. One of my fasts is from alcohol. We all make plans…


    Comment by thebrycelife | February 11, 2016 | Reply

    • No screen shot came through – but I will be praying about your fast from alcohol – and how God will use that to draw you closer to Him.


      Comment by raymcdonald | February 12, 2016 | Reply

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