Putting My Plans in Their Place

I never thought that two words—”Lord willing”—could have such a profound effect on my faith.

It all started when I was 24 and in my second year working with The Navs in South Africa. I loved talking about my plans for the future: moving back home, marrying Melinda, and starting a new job. Then I read James 4:13-16.

“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.’ 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. Instead you ought to say, ‘if it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.”

Wow—I was so convicted! From that day, I began adding “Lord willing” to my conversations about my plans, and it eventually became a natural part of how I talk about the future. (Yes, I did get a few funny looks when I said, “Lord willing, Melinda and I are getting married.”)

What I hadn’t expected was how those words would begin to change how I thought about my future. Always saying “Lord willing” reminded me that the future is in God’s hands and how His plans might be different from my own.

In the years since then, Melinda and I (we did get married!) have seen plenty of our plans get rerouted or set aside entirely. We can still be surprised—and sometimes saddened—to see our plans change, but as we continue to say “Lord willing,” we find that we are more willing to trust His plans.

Can those two words be part of how you talk (and think) about your future?

Resources

 Check out Trusting God, by Jerry Bridges, for more steps on how to walk in God’s plan, even when life throws you a curveball.

Looking for some inspiring music? Oceans, by Hillsong United, is all about following God’s path for you. Crank it up!