Aligning Your Plans With God's

“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’ ” (James 4:13-15).

Most Christians agree that we should do God’s will. Yet sometimes our assumptions lead to presumptions—we assume we’re in the will of God and so don’t bother to take the time to ask for God’s will in a given matter. In the example above, James points to people making decisions about work, relocating and making profits. Clearly they should have taken the matter to God, seeking His will. People fail to seek God’s will for several reasons:

1. They do not see the need. Much of our life works by automation—we do things automatically, such as driving to work/school, doing chores and preparing meals. We normally do not pray for guidance for which route to drive to work (but we might be pleasantly surprised if we tried it once!). We just do these things almost by reflex.

2. We might be afraid of the answer. Some people harbor suspicions about God, strange as it may seem. They don’t pray about a relationship because they fear God’s answer. They want to pursue a life change that sounds appealing to them, but God might spoil the fun. When it comes down to it, we sometimes harbor the feeling we might know better than God what’s best for us.

3. They do not even think about it.
Some people get to the point where they never even ask themselves what God might think about a pending decision. It never really enters their thinking. Perhaps they were disappointed by the results from previous praying, and now do not bother to ask. When they get to this point, they enter dangerous waters.

When we walk by faith, we trust that God will lead us in the right way. As we grow in our faith, our wills and desires align with His. When He does answer, we accept His response, whether yes, no, or wait. Since God loves us, He will do us no harm at all. He will lead us to green pastures that give us spiritual blessing. When He says “no,” we bless His name. He’s protecting us from venturing out of His will. He knows what’s best for us.

We should count it a blessing that God hears our prayers, even if He fails to answer as we prayed. He knows best, and will keep us in His perfect will as we look to Him.

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