Wednesday, November 23, 2022
Boast Not in What You Will Do
Boast Not in What You Will Do
by David Brenneman
"Come now, you who say, “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.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. For you are just a vapor that appears for a little while, and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. So for one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, for him it is sin." James 4:13-17 NASB
"But above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you do not fall under judgment." James 5:12 NASB
For some particular reason these thoughts complicate my mind in the fall and winter months more than other seasons. Perhaps it's from personal experience, perhaps it's in seeing it so clearly in the lives of others. In any case God's firmly implanted these thoughts in my mind and heart.
Which is interestingly ironic because indecision in life annoys me. I would rather decide and do than sit and be undecided.
In many many hundreds of lives we see them altered forever because if life not going the way they thought it ought to have gone.
We see a straight path towards a goal.
What happens is rarely that.
We want the straight shot to success.
We want this or that this morning, this afternoon, this day.
We want we want we want.
God says hold up there Hoss, not so fast.
We want to just go to work, much as I did in 2003. In less than 20 minutes into that drive to work my life was forever altered by an errant semi truck.
People go to the Doctor for what appears to be semi-harmless symptoms. In a week they are having surgery and cancer treatment options tossed at them.
These very vivid imprints on my mind make me extremely squeamish about committing to do something days down the road. As another movie quote goes its arrogant presumption on our parts to commit to something that we didn't consider asking God about.
We often want to be places because of family, but, God's obviously got other factors that we can't see that prevent us. Is this God being harsh with us? No.
Is this God not being considerate of our feelings? No.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, leaning not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.
My own personal experiences cause me to be gun shy at times that perhaps I shouldn't be. It's that erring on the side of caution.
It also sometimes causes me to really consider the ramifications of giving my word.
In Biblical terms giving your word isn't some willy-nilly thing. It's not to be disposable. It's like a handshake used to be enough to seal a deal. It used to be the gold standard in decisions. It used to be counted on as good as done.
We often don't look at the simpler things that the Bible teaches as being paramount to a stronger walk with Jesus.
Consider what Jesus said to the Jewish Leaders. The stone they rejected was the chief corner stone. It's the plan and purpose of God that will always be the right choice the right decision.
It's really boasting to say we will do this or will do that. I hope that I will be able to do this or that, go here or there. If God wants me at a place then by His enabling I will be there.
In many cases in my own life God's not permitted what I want through hardship in illness or something breaking or some other circumstance. It's just taken decades of my life to realize there are other factors. Factors like it's not meant for me to participate. Factors like I am strong enough to handle a Spiritual battle that He's sparing someone else from being in. Factors like He wants to bless someone and my stepping aside from doing it myself will make it possible. Factors like my being in a dark valley is keeping someone else from it that's not strong enough to deal with it.
Scripture says we are not our own, we were bought with a price, the precious blood of Jesus Christ. We aren't here to create our own kingdom. We aren't here to get our will done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
We read that we all like sheep have gone astray. Each one doing their own thing.
Everyone seems to want to do what's right in their own eyes.
Jesus gave us a commissioning.
Jesus forewarned us about what to expect from life.
We ought to remember we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in them.
I have relatives that recently had their lives greatly altered because of what God allowed in their life. Sometimes He allows things to get our attention who are saved. For others who aren't saved it's to show them He's there waiting for them.
Jesus is transforming lives, not remodeling lives as Dr. Charles Stanley wrote in today's Life Principles entry.
He is making all things new, not rehashing them.
He wrote of doing a new work in people.
Consider well your day.
Consider well your possible arrogance in making decisions outside of asking Him first. We aren't wrong to hope in going here or there. In doing something or not doing something. But keep God in the picture.