In the first part of James 4, he had mentioned a conflict which was current in the church. Although the specifics are not given, the reader can gather that people were fighting to get their own way. In the passage we are reading today, there seems to be another problem facing James’ readers. This dilemma had to do with people who were making daily choices, but leaving God out of their thought process; in other words, they claimed to believe in God but were not willing to allow His word to shape their decision making. The particular situation James mentions here is that their were business people who were selfishly making financial ventures without considering God’s perspective. It is as if these individuals were making their own plans with no regard for their faith in Jesus Christ. For this reason James warns “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” (4:14). Although these people thought they had their future figured out, James reminded them that they were not even aware of what would happen tomorrow. Instead of selfishly planning their future, they should have declared “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that” (4:15). When a supposed follower of Jesus Christ ignores God’s ways for daily life, are they really following Christ? Some people refer to this type of person as a practical atheist – with their mouth a person claims they have faith, but their actions do not represent God in any way. Life is too short to leave God out. He knows the beginning from the end and deserves to be first place in all the plans we make. Spending time reading God’s word will make a person aware of His will. Prayer is an act of submission where we are asking God for strength to accomplish His work. Admit today that you do not know what will happen tomorrow, but make a fresh commitment to follow Christ right now.
Dear God, I know life is short so help me to consider You in all the plans I make.