In my last post on James I talked about practical atheism, where people believe in God but live their lives as though He does not exist. I discussed how one way this is done is through talking badly about other people and judging them. This is also done through making plans for our lives on our own without taking into consideration God's plans. Jeff Cavins said we must remember how short our lives are and seek God's guidance so we can make the most of the time we do have on this earth.
"Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we shall go into such and such town, spend a year there doing business, and make a profit' You have no idea what your life will be like tomorrow. You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears. Instead you should say, 'If the Lord wills it, we shall live to do this or that.' "
- James 4:13-15
I think this holds true for even the small plans in life. We might have plans to run out for a quick trip to the store but end up getting caught in a big line. It's easy to get frustrated and annoyed, but maybe it would be helpful to consider what God's plans are for you in that moment. Of the over 6 billion people in the world, perhaps he brought you and the person standing behind you in line together for a reason. Maybe you are there to extend God's grace to that person. It's definitely something to think about the next time something doesn't go your way, and I think re-framing the situation can help us to become much more humble (not to mention less stressed when things don't go our way).
We know that God's plans for our lives are so, so, so good. In fact, they are better than anything else we could ever plan ourselves. Many of us really and truly want to live out the plans He has for us, but how exactly do we find out what those plans are (especially for major life decisions)? That is such a hard question to answer, and it's something that I definitely struggle with. How do I know that I am living the life that God wants me to live? I think that more time spent in prayer can definitely help lead us to those answers. One thing that I have found particularly helpful was a piece of advice my sorority adviser in college gave me. She said that if she can't decide if an opportunity that opens up is part of God's plans for her, she prays for God to put obstacles in her way. I have found that to be so very helpful in making decisions in my own life.
I want to hear from anyone reading this! :) How do you know what Gods' plans are for your life? Do you have any practical tips or steps to help people who are trying to determine what His plans are for their life? Have you ever had a situation where you found that God's plans were so much better than your own?
This blog post is based on the Bible Study James: Pearls for Wise Living by Jeff Cavins. Here are my previous posts based on this study: