James & the Path to all Joy and Flourishing, when we Realize we are not the Point

James 4:13-17

13 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.” 14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” 16 But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. 17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

“But as it is, you boast in your arrogance;”

Arrogance:        an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions.

I have been super arrogant with my assumptions about others choices, we all are.  It come from many places in the dark corners of my heart.  Pride, comparison and jealousy… Sigh….

Seeing the manifestation of sin in my own life is both humbling and devastating.  In these moments of raw reality in my own soul, I am also starkly aware of Gods mercy and love toward me, regardless of my flaws and insecurities.

Because in the end it is not about me….  Ya Ill say it again ITS NOT ABOUT ME,  or you.  Because “MY” plans are insignificant and “GODS” plans are the whole point.  So I need to be thinking on, praying over, and anxiously awaiting, Gods plans, not mine.

And I know the type A planner in you just freaked out a bit but take a breath.  This is God releasing us from so much pressure and rejection.  When His plans are the agenda,  when He is the most glorified.  It releases us to to not be offended when everyone else dose not realize that we “should be” the point.

When I think my plans are first priority, but everyone else has their plans as the top of the list, that only mixes up a recipe for strife and disappointment.  Too many cooks spoil the broth and it is true.  Because we are all adding to the same pot in the end if we are working as one body.  My chicken soup might be your minestrone, and without prayer from the communal body, the Church, we all might be missing the fact that Christ was making mushroom soup all along.

And that is not to say we aren’t to plan.  That we can’t move ahead in life and ministry without a committee meeting.  We all know that we are to be good stewards of our finances and families and bodies and such.  We are all to be daily taking part in the great commission.  But be ready for change.  Be ready to make Gods agenda your number one and then tailor your life here to work with in that vision.

When we are living holistically with Christ, He will to touch every aspect of our existence.  What are all the labels we place on ourselves , mom, teacher, cook, minister leader, farmer, employee, friend, wife…  Are they honouring Gods plans?  Then hang onto them. But if it is earthly temptation,  if you are placing your identity in anything other then Christ, let it go.

This spring I sold some horses.  It was hard.  But not because I was emotionally attached to these particular horses.  Actually I was happy to get rid of theses few.  They were bossy in the herd and hard to catch.  It was just more feet to trim and more coats to shed out.  More feed to buy and more pasture to be managed.  It was work and money I was spending on horses I hadn’t rode in years.

But it met me in a prideful place, where I was basing my identity in “Being a Horsewoman”.  I wasn’t ready to let go of that part of myself for many years and its shameful, all the time we wasted and money we burned just to prop up my assessment of myself.

But the time had come and they needed to go.  I didn’t want to do it alone.  But the Lord called me out into my wilderness once again, because deciding in  my heart wasn’t anouf.  I had to obey with my feet.  The trucker got called out to drive and I was dropping the kids off with Grandma and headed down the hwy. with the trailer in tow.

And despite my tears of anxiety the night before. The anxiety to have to face this taring away, this revealing of what lay beneath the layer of Horsewoman to what the Lord was working out underneath that facade.  It was a pleasant drive.  It was a freeing realize as I opened the back gate into the ally, as I watched the ponies get marked and prepared for sale.  I was free,  I was home, there in the dusty stock yard.  Because I had let go of the label I had clung to all these years, and I was still whole.  I was still loved, and I was drawn onto the solid ground of Christ and not in the things of this world.

Stand in Christs calling, not in the plans of this world.  That is the space you will feel most free.

This is the message of James…

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