James 4:13-15 says, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow, we shall 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. 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 shall live and also do this or that.’ “
That’s a sobering few verses with which to begin the day, but I couldn’t help remembering the gist of them as I stared at my calendar this morning.
We want to live a godly life and there are things that must be done in order for us to live. In the process of getting things in a right order, we sometimes get things out of whack
How many times have I said to God, “Today I have this, this, and this to do. Will you bless my efforts?” When, according to James, I should be saying, “Lord, if You will, then I will live and also do this or that.”
The gist of it is what is God’s will for me and for you today?
Someone from the Thursday Bible study asked me yesterday the timespan between Exodus 28-29 and Leviticus 8. I knew I had the answer from when we studied the Pentateuch but I had to make sure and it still surprised me.
Although I don’t have the actual time frame between those chapters, I do know based on the dates in the Scripture, that the time between the completion of the Tabernacle (the transportable tabernacle, not the Temple) and the first census being taken in Numbers is only one month.
During that month, the Israelites, living in the Sinai wilderness got more instruction from God and followed them (until two of Aaron’s sons entered the tabernacle with strange fire and God smote them). During that time the priests were ordained and consecrated. There was more going on, too, but still it amazes me at what God willed for them to do in that time period and they did.
As I think further about that in light of James, I think of application for us:
1. As Moses met with God at the door of the tent of meeting to understand God’s plan for him and the people, so we must meet with God in order to know His plans/will for us. Our line of communication must be unobstructed and kept open.
2. As two of Aaron’s sons, priests, had the right intent (in their minds) in bringing the fire to the altar, it was not God’s will nor part of his instruction that the priests do this. So, because they were outside of God’s will, they perished. Therefore, obedience to God’s will is more important and life-saving than what we think is best, even when His will and ways don’t make sense to our small minds. God desires our obedience. Period.
3. This one will minister to parents of adult children more than those who still have little ones at home. But, as Aaron had two sons who disobeyed God’s instructions, sometimes parents with adult children struggle through the decisions they see their children making because their wisdom and experience and their knowledge of God (most important) tells them it’s a mistake. Yet, when they try to persuade their children to not follow this path of destruction, the children do it anyway and the consequences are devastating. When we go back and read about Aaron, God did not punish him for his sons’ disobedience. The sons were accountable to God for their poor, death-resulting choice. So it is with us.
If you’ve got things planned to do today, I suggest we stop and get our focus back on God, meet with Him and ask Him what He desires us to do today and walk in obedience to His will for us.