Posted on August 2, 2021 in Devos with Dani

Five Year Plan

James 4:13-17

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. (ESV)

Are you a planner?  I am, but I’m also not.  I like to plan short term things like what my weekend trip will look like this week, but I don’t have big long-term plans like what job I plan to have next year when I finish my fellowship at JAARS.  In fact, the question I absolutely hate being asked is “what’s your five year plan?”  I got that questions numerous times in high school and college and it drove me nuts because I didn’t have a plan and I didn’t want to feel like I was behind on life.  There was so much pressure to have everything figured out, but I felt like I couldn’t plan what was after college because I didn’t know if I’d get a job even if I applied for it.  I couldn’t plan to be married and have a family in a few years when I didn’t even have a boyfriend yet.  There are just some things that I don’t find reasonable to plan for when they’re so far out of my control.

However, the things that I do plan I hold very tightly.  For instance, I’m planning to go to a friend’s wedding this weekend, and I’m planning to go home for Labor Day, and I’m not really willing to sway on those plans.  I’ve also got plans to finish this fellowship and then go home in December, and those are plans that I don’t really want anyone to mess with.  However, the Bible talks a bit about how we need to hold our plans loosely because God is in control, not me.  In James 4 we are reminded that the future is not set in stone.  We can’t say that we are going to go somewhere for a year and work hard and make a lot of money, because we don’t know for sure what will happen tomorrow.  Perhaps, on your way to that place you get in a car accident and your life suddenly changes.  Perhaps your business doesn’t go as planned and you lose everything.  You can’t plan for the outcomes of your life, you must simply choose to follow where God leads and trust that he will establish his plans for you each day as you follow him.

Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand” (ESV).  We tend to have a lot of plans for our lives, but make sure that you hold them loosely and let God establish your way.