The Journal of Biblical Accuracy
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"If the Lord wills..."

Plans, activities, projects. All about the future. «Tomorrow I will do this and that». «At the such and such day I will go there». «On the so and so day of this month I will start this job». Making plans and having a vision for the future has nothing wrong in itself. What is wrong however is to make plans that we do not submit to the Lord and for which we do not seek His approval. James tells us concerning this:

James 4:13
«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 vapour that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, «If the Lord wills, and live we will do this and that.» But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil»

In making plans, there is a very important «if» that should never be missed: «If the Lord wills, and live we will do this and that.» It is not arrogant to make plans. What is arrogant is to behave like having total authority over the realisation of these plans i.e. like having authority over tomorrow. As we all know, none of us has such authority. «You do not know what will happen tomorrow»

An example of good planning is given by Paul in Acts 18:21. There we find him in Ephesus, greeting the local believers on his way to Jerusalem:

Acts 18:20-21
«When they asked him to stay a longer time with them, he did not consent, but took leave of them, saying, «I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, GOD WILLING»

and again in I Corinthians 16:5-7, concerning the church of Corinth this time:

1 Corinthians 16:5-7
«Now I will come to you when I pass through Macedonia (for I am passing through Macedonia). And it may be that I will remain, or even spend the winter with you, that you may send me on my journey wherever I go. For I do not wish to see you now on the way; but I hope to stay a while with you, IF THE LORD PERMITS»

«If the Lord permits», «God willing», «if the Lord wills» should accompany every plan we make. Every plan we make should be delivered to the hands of the Lord. He also has a plan for our life. As Jeremiah 29:11 says:

Jeremiah 29:11
«For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope»

Also Isaiah 55:8-9
«For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways» says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts»

And Psalms 40:5
«Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works which you have done; AND YOUR THOUGHTS TOWARD US CANNOT BE RECOUNTED TO YOU IN ORDER; IF I WOULD DECLARE AND SPEAK OF THEM, THEY ARE MORE THAN CAN BE NUMBERED»

Ephesians 3:20-21
«Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him beglory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen»

Do you think much about yourself and your future? Well, God thinks much more. HIS THOUGHTS ABOUT YOU, ARE MORE THAN CAN BE NUMBERED! They are uncountable! If your plans were not fulfilled and want to say «why God?» and show how beautifully YOU had planned your life, just remember how higher are His plans from yours. Remember that His thoughts for you are more than can be numbered and these are thoughts of peace and not evil. If there was something the Lord didn’t bless is not because He overlooked you nor because He doesn’t love you but because it was not His perfect and acceptable will for your life. His will and plans for you are indeed PERFECT.

To conclude, certainly it is not wrong to make plans. However do make sure that in your plans and in your attitude towards them, you add the «God willing» condition or as Christ said: «not as I will but as YOU WILL» (Matthew 26:39)

Anastasios Kioulachoglou