We are all guilty of taking life for granted sometimes, thinking we will live forever, making plans for what we think our future holds. Our decisions based on what we desire for ourselves. We develop a lived-out sense of hope – our interests coming first. Lists made, reservations confirmed, and ribbons tied in pretty little bows. You’re all set. But do your plans include the Lord? Our brief moment on earth could evaporate in an instant. What would we leave behind when those plans are completed without God behind them?
The Rich Fool
In Luke 12, The Rich Fool was schooled in the effects of self-centered thinking. He made plans to expand his riches because of his abundance. He had no consideration for the brevity of life. His life was demanded of him that night as he lay in bed dreaming of the easiness of life that was to come because of his own ingenuity.
We do the same thing. We have “stuff” we own that we put before God. While we may not see it that way, but when we choose to go fishing instead of attending a Sunday service, that is a form of self-centered thinking. Our lives are short, and our calling is clear – to love God and to serve others the way Christ served. When we store up for ourselves when we feel that tug at our hearts, we fail Christ.
James, in his epistle, cautions the believer about boasting about tomorrow. Making plans that concern our own well-being is futile without God’s direction in mind. James goes as far as to call it evil.
But it is normal to make plans. We would not be able to function otherwise. We all have a schedule to keep, we arrange our days with verbal agreements. “I’ll be there at 9,” we say. “Meet me tomorrow at the shop,” and “I see the dentist on Monday at 4,” are common to say. To be honest, it would sound weird to say, “I have an appointment with Mr. Jones on Tuesday if it is the Lord’s will.” However, it is more of a mindset than an out-loud declaration. It’s an acknowledging that God is in control of every moment and that He determines every step and every outcome of your life.
Our Brief Moment of Life
Psalm 90 is a prayer Moses is giving to God. The Israelites have little consideration for their fleeting lives. All it seems they care to do is live in their sins. Moses prays for God to teach them to consider how short life is (see verse 12). God desires them to remember His goodness and turn away from their secret sins that are bringing His wrath and their inevitable death.
We will all die someday. So, how are we living at this moment? Are we living our lives like the rich fool, with eyes set on making plans for a prosperous future? Maybe we aren’t as ambitious. Perhaps we only plan for what tomorrow may hold. Even then, we can still be admonished for our over preparedness. Is God, then, against making plans?
Our Brief Moment of Control
God wants to keep us from those anxious moments. Those moments where we try desperately to control our lives. He desires to keep us from those ill-fated hurried decisions we make. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to plan for our future. God gave us a mind and the ability to think for a reason. Just as long as we know that the outcome is all in His hands. And here is the kicker – He gives us the control to give Him the control of our lives. It is a free-will decision.
You have heard that God is a gentleman. This could not be a more accurate statement. He will never assume control from us; that is why we get ourselves in so much trouble. He is patient with us, waiting for us to willingly hand our lives over to him. And when we do, He will accept it. And the best part, He accepts it in whatever condition it is in – whole, cracked, or shattered in pieces.
The Final Word
When we decide to give him control, we regain our future. Because we are choosing to put Him first. We have come to realize that He gave us our life, and with him in the driver seat, we will make better choices and have a greater chance of making it through life’s circumstances than without Him.
God gave us a preset number of days on earth, so how are we going to spend those days? Are we going to make each choice with consideration of God’s direction? For only He can give us the wisdom to make the most of each brief moment.