Aug. 11, 2020

What Does James 4:15 Mean?

What Does James 4:15 Mean?

James 4:15 (NIV): "Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.'"

THE SIMPLE TRUTH BIBLE PODCAST STUDY

In this week's podcasts, James has been warning us of the arrogance of believing that we have complete control of our lives and our future. 

In today's Bible podcast, James discusses the need for a mindset shift when we make plans. 

In today's 2-minute podcast, you will discover:

  1. What is the deeper reason James wants us to say "If it is the Lord's will?"
  2. Why would the Apostel Paul say, "If the Lord wills?"
  3. If God is in control, then is it wrong to make plans?

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Transcript

Hey, welcome to The Simple Truth. I’m Julie Carruth. 

We’ve been examining a portion of James’ letter that is written to warn businesspeople of the danger of making plans without asking God for wisdom. 

James continues with his teaching in James 4:15 with, “Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’  

When James says, “If it is the Lord’s will we will live and do this or that,” he’s teaching us that our lives are in God’s hands. God has the ultimate control on how long we live and what we do during that life.  

We see the Apostle Paul use these words in several places in the Bible.  

For example, in Acts 18:21, after he left Ephesus he said, “I will return to you again if God wills.”

The same in 1 Corinthians 4:19, “I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills.” 

Paul never knew which town would be his last. He faced severe persecution wherever he shared the message of the gospel. He truly understood the fact that his life was but a vapor, as we learned about yesterday. 

James isn’t saying that we literally need to mindlessly tack on the words “if God wills” onto every future plan of ours. Not even Paul himself did that with every plan he wrote about. However, Paul always remained humble and knew that he was dependent upon God and that God had the final say in his life. 

You see, this has to do with a shift in mindset. James witnessed the Christian businesspeople using worldly wisdom to run their business, just the way that every other merchant did.  They made the call on where they went, how long they stayed, what they sold, what they did with the money. James saw the businesspeople giving honor to God on the day of worship, but once the workweek began, God was forgotten.  

So what James is telling us here is simply that we must have the understanding that God controls our future, and that we need to partner with Him and allow Him alone to direct our lives. I can’t imagine a better business partner.  

Your simple truth for today: It is good to make plans but remember to always ask God for His guidance and His will. And remember that if God changes the plans, His ways and His thoughts are so much higher than yours, and what He has in store for you is so much better than you can imagine. 

Wanna know one simple way to know God’s will for you? Yep. Studying God’s Word. We’ve made it super simple for you. Just ask your Amazon smart speaker to “Play Bible study

I’m Julie Carruth. And, if the Lord wills, I’ll see you again tomorrow.