IF THE LORD WILLS

Scripture Reading:  Acts 18:18-23

“When they asked him to stay for a longer period, he declined.  But on taking leave of them he said, ‘I will return to you if God wills;’ and he set sail from Ephesus.”

Paul had a very strong faith in the providence of God.  He knew that God is sovereign over all things.  Thus, when he spoke to the Ephesian leaders as he was departing, he said, “I will return to you if God wills.”  Paul knew the Old Testament well and surely he knew the words of Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of man plans his way, but he Lord establishes his steps.”  

James made this clear when he wrote these words:  “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit — yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.  What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that'” (James 4:13-15).

Like James and Paul, we must accept the fact that our Creator God sustains the universe by His power and wisdom.  He is God and He has a sovereign plan for our lives.  We do not know what tomorrow holds.  Whenever we make plans, we must realize that our plans are subject to he will of our heavenly Father.  He knows what is best for us.  He intervenes into the very course of  human history and He intervenes into the details of our individual lives.

How comforting this is to know.  God rules and over-rules the plans we make.  He directs our steps by His sovereign hand.  When we make plans, let’s be sure that we acknowledge the fact that they are subjected to God’s perfect will.

Lord God, Creator and Sustainer of all life, I rest in Your sovereign plans for my life.  When I make plans, I acknowledge with thanksgiving that they are subject to Your perfect will.  Thank you that You are in control of all things, even the plans I make this day.

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