SCRIPTURE STUDY – JAMES 4:13-17
Although there might be more, I discovered THREE words in this passage of Scripture that will help in finding God’s plan for every area of your life.
The FIRST word begins with the letter “C”. CONFESSION.
CONFESS your sins. Get your heart right with God if you want Him to lead you.
Psalm 66, VERSE 18 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”
In other words, you are wasting your breath if you PRAY unconfessed, unrepented of sin in your heart and in your life. If you’re remembering and talking about the Great Prayer Promises in the Bible–that’s one of them.
1 John 1:5, 6 goes on to say, “This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him, there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet you walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.” [NIV]
You see, if there’s SIN in our lives, rather than walking in the Light, we are stumbling in the dark. Let me put in this way. Do you have an IDOL in your life? You say, “No, they worship ‘IDOLS’ over in foreign countries. We don’t worship idols here.”
An IDOL is anything you love more than God.
An IDOL is anything you serve more than God.
An IDOL is anything that you fear more than God.
Here’s a verse of Scripture to ponder:
Ezekiel 14, VERSE 3 [AMP]
 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts and put the stumbling block of the iniquity (sin) and guilt before their faces; should I permit Myself to be inquired of at all by them?
That is, can these men who have IDOLS say, “God lead me?”
God says, “Look. These men have idols in their hearts. What right do they have to come to Me and ask Me to guide them?”
So, if you want to know God’s WILL for the future, number one, CONFESSION. Make certain there’s no unconfessed, unrepented SIN in your life! If that sounds strange, it’s not! It’s normal living.
Number TWO is CONSECRATION.
The word “consecration” sounds a bit churchly to most. In the Bible, the word means “the separation of oneself from things that are unclear, especially anything that would contaminate one’s relationship with a perfect God.” [See footnote [i].]
It’s not enough to be CLEANSED; you need to be CONSECRATED!
Proverbs 3:6 READS, “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (NIV).
Do you really want to know God’s WILL in your life, or do you just want God to help you with your plans?
“In ALL your ways,” not some of your ways, acknowledge Him!
Number THREE – Listen.
You see, there’s a VOICE behind you.
I feel this is the most important. Well, not the most important, but a vital thing and that’s concentration!
- Confession, Consecration, Concentration.
LISTEN TO GOD!
There’s a Voice behind you.
There’s God GUIDING you with His eye.
The Holy Spirit is spoken of as a gentle dove, as a still, small voice. That’s why we need that quiet time alone, away from the worldly noise, alone with Abba Father.
You might say, “Well, God never speaks to me!” One would have to be foolish to deny that there’s no music in the air just because you have the radio turned off.
God is speaking. Are you listening? Or do you keep interrupting the conversation with all the “Yeah, but’s”?
BEWARE of this godless planning.
BEWARE of self-centered planning, okay?
Not only should you beware of self-centered planning, but you need to be aware of self-confident presumption.
Our lives are but a VAPOR.
The words, “…what is your life…you are but a mist [a vapor]…”; it’s the word atmos. It’s where we get the English word, Atmosphere from. It’s like that foggy breath you see when you [the Word Detectivie] walk the dog on crisp, cold air, days in the Fall. It’s there for a little while, and then it vanishes.
We don’t know what the FUTURE holds.
This may be the year you check out of here. You may be going to heaven, or this may be the year you’re going to hell if you don’t know Jesus as your Savior. This may be your final year on earth. You don’t know.
Now I know what you’re probably thinking right now. You think “Well, I’m in good health. I’m young, I’m this, I’m that.” But you don’t know, do you?
What is your life?
It’s but a VAPOR that appears for a little while then vanishes away. And what we all need to be aware of is not only self-centered planning, but being AWARE of self-confident presumption–thinking we’re going to do this, or we’re going to do that before we leave this old earth and we get frivolous with our use of time.
Proverbs 27:1 says “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.”
So as you PLAN THE FUTURE, you should say, “Lod God, I don’t know what the future is, I don’t know how much more time I have. So Lord, help me to apply my days unto wisdom. And Lord, may I live out the rest of my days, whether they be few or whether they be many, may they be used for You.”
To Kill Time is Suicide by Degree.
Don’t presume upon the time that you have.
Here’s the THIRD thing you need to beware of in your planning.
Not only self-centered planning, not only self-confident presumption BUT perhaps the most dangerous of all…you NEED to beware of SELF-COMPLACENT PROCRASTINATION.
You got to notice where James is headed here in the passage. [verses 15-17]
 You ought instead to say, If the Lord is willing, we shall live and we shall do this or that [thing].
 But as it is, you boast [falsely] in your presumption and your self-conceit. All such boasting is wrong.
 So any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin. [AMP]
Now, here’s a man who knew what he should do, BUT…he didn’t do it.
He’s boasting in himself all that he’s done. He became complacent.
He’s AWARE of God’s WILL, but he doesn’t want to do it.
PROCRASTINATION MAY BE THE BIGGEST PROBLEM THAT MOST OF US HAVE TODAY.
It’s a very deceptive SIN. Many of us think we’re doing good if we don’t do the ‘dirty dozen’ sins. You know, we have our own little list of sins, and we say, “Well, I don’t do any of those things, thank God! I’m fine.”
But most of us don’t think of Procrastination as a sin:  So any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it,,, it’s a SIN.
Now most of us don’t believe that, but I believe it with all of my heart. The Bible teaches it. The Bible teaches that the sins of OMISSION are greater than the sins of COMMISSION. Let me try to explain.
The SIN of OMISSION, the SIN of PROCRASTINATION is such a dangerous and deceptive sin. It’s the reason that so many people are lost.
Why do people go to HELL today? Because they steal, commit adultery? NO! Oh, those are sins worthy to damn us, but those sins have been PAID for!
The REASON a person is LOST today, simply put, is because he’s FAILED to do what he ought to do.
John 3:18, Jesus said, “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” [NIV].
No longer is MAN condemned to hell because he’s a sinner, because those SINS have been paid for. “He that BELIEVES in Him [Jesus] is not condemned, but he that does not believe is condemned already…” WHY? Because he has NOT believed. It is the SIN OF OMISSION now that sends a soul to hell.
The REASON that people have WRONG THINKING is that of the sin of omission.
The reason that homes break up, THE SIN OF OMISSION.
The reason that churches fall, it is THE SIN OF OMISSION, failing to do what needs to be done.
You say, “Well, one of these days I’m going to do such and such.”
You have SIN in your heart! “…to him that knoweth to do good and doeth not, to him it is a SIN” (KJV).
Thinking about your FAILURE –
No one likes to FAIL, so ‘planning to fail’ must seem to be out of the question in your life.
While thinking about your future, BEWARE of self-centeredness, don’t leave God out of your plans.
BEWARE of self-confident presumption. You don’t have a promise of tomorrow. Your LIFE is but a VAPOR, a MIST!
What you are going to do, DO!
If you think about your future, BEWARE of self-complacent procrastination, saying, “You just wait and see. One of these days I’m going to do it!” “So any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin” (AMP).
So, do you want to face your future with positive results?
“NO FAILING HERE!”
Face your future then by giving your HEART, MIND, and SOUL to Jesus Christ and letting the Holy Spirit be in you to GUIDE, SHOW you and give you a HOPE that is wonderful and glorious.
If I had a thousand lives to live, I’d give them ALL to Jesus.
CREDITS & FOOTNOTES
Footnote [i]: “What does the Bible say about consecration?” @ GotQuestions.org.
Photos/Images: Google Image Search, Settings, advanced search.
Bible Translations: New International Version (NIV), Amplified Bible (AMP), or where noted in the text.