Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
My grandfather, better known to us as Pa Haynie, was one my heroes! He, along with my dad, taught me to love the game of baseball. To this day when I’m calling pitches, I can hear him say, “Mick, the best pitch in baseball is a high and tight fastball.” That being said, Pa Haynie, was also one the most Godly men that I have ever known. There was so much wisdom in his words and actions.
One saying that he used often was, “Lord willing.” As a kid, when I would leave him to go home I would say something like this, “By Pa, see you tomorrow”, and his response was always “Lord willing.” Those words seem so simple, and I never put much thought into them until now at age 44 and they are powerful!
I’m going to share with you some sayings that sound good, but they are missing something.
This one is attributed to Oprah Winfrey, “Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.”
Here is another one, not sure who it’s from, “Today I will do what others won’t so tomorrow I can do what others can’t.”
Mark Victor Hansen, “By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands – your own.”
Norman Vincent Peale, “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”
Lyndon Johnson, “Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”
This list could go on and on, but I will stop with one last quote from Napolean Hill, “You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.”
These are nice sounding quotes, and there is some truth to them, but why are they wrong? First none of them start with “Lord Willing”. The beginning of this writing starts with James 4:15, but let’s add context to it:
Boasting About Tomorrow
13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
Is this saying that we should not plan or have goals? Absolutely not! Ultimately, we have no control of many things that may happen to us, so to say we are 100% in control of our own destiny is not only a lie, it is dangerous! Where is my faith? In me? or in God? In everything we do and plan to do, we should always preface it with “Lord Willing.” If you want to lose weight, “Lord willing, I will lose 80 pounds in the next year.” If I want to be somewhere financially start it with “Lord Willing” I will accomplish whatever that goal is. Things could happen such as a car accident, the stock market crashes, my business fails and leaves me with $200k in debt, or I’m stricken with cancer. If your faith is in you, then what?
In one day Job lost his family. He lost his wealth, and a few days later he lost his health! His friends had all kinds of advice for him, yet they were all wrong. Never once did Job curse God. He knew God was in control of ALL things, and Job was powerless to do anything about it. Job was tested beyond anything most of us can imagine, and in the end God restored him because of his faithfulness. Job 1, Job 42
Paul said in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” We like to quote that verse when we are trying to accomplish a goal. What isn’t often quoted are the verses that come before where he said he had learned “the secret to being content”. Whether he was in need or in plenty, well fed or hungry, Paul knew that he could endure and be content because his faith was not in his situation, his stuff, or anything worldly. His faith was in Christ! Philippians 4:10-13
Have big goals! Have great plans! But always start with “Lord Willing” because the creator of everything may have different plans for you and me, and placing our faith in HIM will allow us to say, I’ve learned the secret to being content, and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!
Tomorrow, I leave for Powdersville, SC to share a concept that can change the lives of millions, and Lord Willing it will!