God’s Will # 7 (Humility and Submission)

I love to plan, and I believe the Scriptures clearly instruct us to plan the activities and events in our lives. I believe that we should seek God’s will and direction in our lives, and then make plans accordingly. We find In James 4:13-17, we find two important and sobering truths about planning and God’s will. We need humility and submission when trying to follow God’s will.

James introduces this by speaking to those who would say what they intend to do. “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” In Proverbs 16:1, we find that the plans of the heart belong to the man, and in Proverbs 16:9 that the mind of a man plans his way. It is wise to plan our ways, and God has given us the responsibility of planning our ways. We should be clear about our plans and intentions.

James says that we do not know what our lives will be like tomorrow and that our lives are like a vapor that vanishes away. Essentially, he is telling us that unlike God, we cannot see the future, and second, that our lives here on earth are temporary. James finishes the passage by saying that our boasting is arrogant and evil. James is not contradicting the wisdom given in Proverbs; he is just giving us a proper perspective. We do not see, know, and understand everything. Only God sees and knows the future. We need to have a humble and sober estimation of ourselves and our plans. We also need to submit our plans to the Lord.

James gives us an alternative way to declare our plans and intentions. “Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord will, we will live and also do this or that.’” When we go back to Proverbs 16, we find that what James says lines up perfectly with the wisdom of Solomon. The second half of Proverbs 16:1 says, “but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.” In other words, God has the final say about things. We should pray and discuss our intentions with the Lord with an attitude of humility. Second, we should submit our plans to the Lord. The second part of Proverbs 16:9 says, “but the Lord directs his steps.” God gives us the responsibility to plan our ways, but He directs our steps. We should make plans, but we should be humble in making and declaring them, knowing that we are limited in our understanding. Second, we should submit our plans to the Lord, ultimately seeking His will to be done.

Connecting # 1 – Through the Gospel

Three weeks ago I was returning from South America, and on the last leg of my flight home, the Lord gave me a divine appointment. After a little small talk, the lady next to me shared three different dreams that she recently had. In the first dream, she saw Jesus from a distance being crucified. In the second dream, she was much closer to the crucifixion. In the third dream, she was at the foot of the cross, and she could see the stakes in Jesus that were holding him to the cross. She asked me if I knew what the dreams meant. I told her that all three dreams were one and the same. God is drawing you to the cross. I explained to her that our sins had separated us from God and that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. I took her to Romans 10 and shared the rest of the gospel with her.

Afterwards, I told her that it was important for her to get connected to a local church, where she could get fed, cared for, and grow in her relationship with God. I told her it was important to get connected to other believers. Since she lives in Santa Fe, I gave her the name of a church in Santa Fe, the pastor’s name, and his contact information.

At the Connection Church, this is what we do, we help people get connected to God, and to people. Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love God with all our hearts, and the second is to love our neighbor.

Connecting # 2 (Relationally)

I was in South America again this week. Yesterday, on my flight from Miami to Houston, I had the privilege of sitting next to a commercial airline pilot. Since I have used a number of airline illustrations in messages over the past seven years, we had lots of common ground. In fact, I did a ten-week message series on Ministry, and I used a Check List from the Embraer 175, which my brother in law, Scot, who is a pilot for American Eagle, had sent me.  This was a plane that this pilot was very familiar with and had flown extensively.

After establishing some rapport, he opened up about his struggling marriage. I was able to share some marriage principles with him. I exhorted him to begin pursuing his wife and rekindling the passion. I exhorted him to go on dates, and do fun things together. I exhorted him to let his wife know how much he loved her, and to make her know that she is his priority. I exhorted him to pray over his wife and to begin to lead her spiritually.

At Connection Church, this is what we do. We help husbands and wives reconnect. We help families reconnect. We help people connect with God and with one another. We are committed to helping people passionately love God, and to fervently love one another. Because we live in a broken world with disconnected relationships, God has given all of us this vitally important ministry of reconciliation.