Presumptuous Ways

September 9, 2021

Presumptuous Ways

James 4;13-17

Go to now, ye that say, Today or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away For that ye [ought] to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin.

               Most of us become pretty independent with our lives, our routines and our activities.  We may even pray about our day, but then continue on with little thought of what we asked the Lord to guide and bless.  We are often quite presumptuous with what the Lord’s will is in a matter.  How many opportunities do I miss to live for Christ, to be a witness or even to minister the love of God to someone because I’ve zoned out what God’s purpose is for me each moment of my life and I’m off on my agenda.  I see how often I do that with my wife with ignoring or being insensitive to her needs because I become so engrossed in what I’m doing.  How much more do I do it with the Lord?

               Perhaps the Lord wants us to step back and just take a look at our lives to see how much we lend ourselves to be sensitive to the way the Holy Spirit wants to lead us.  The truth is, most of us live more in our will than in His.  As a result, our focus is about us and what we have accomplished or what we want to accomplish.  If I really want to be what Acts 17:28 says, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being…” then where I am living in each moment of time is all relevant and purposed by our Lord.  Each moment, each accomplishment, or act should for His glory, and submitted to His will and purpose. 

               Obviously we have lives, jobs, demands and responsibilities.  We are not making every little action and decision a matter of intense prayer.  James says in the last sentence of this passage,  “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin.”  There is the instruction to live our lives in the light of what we know to be good and right.  When we live contrary to that we are in sin.  The closer and more mindful we walk our daily lives in the light of His Word and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, the more we are going to be aware of when we are out of the will and purpose of God.

There is an attitude conveyed here that I am to presume nothing, but continually be mindful that if my faith is truly in Christ, then I am trusting Him to guide my steps and order my ways.  I should be willing to have my day and plans interrupted if the will of God so orders it.  After all, I am His agent, living in His service not the other way around.  Usually we want God’s blessing on what we decide to do rather than becoming the blessing of His will and purpose in everyday life.  All that we are, all that we have and even the few short years we have on this earth are a gift from Him.  We must be careful about arrogantly boasting about our lives or accomplishments.  We are the products of God’s grace and workings, not our great ability. We are most effective for the Lord when we are least full of ourselves and most full of His Spirit and life working through us.  That happens as we let God be God in every moment of our lives, having our mind, affections and purpose continually set upon Him.



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