But Is It God’s Will?
James 4:13–17 (NIV)
“13 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.” 14 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. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”
Obviously James is not telling us in this verse to merely say the words, “if it is the Lord’s will,” and then go about doing whatever we want to do anyways. He is telling us to seek the Lord’s will before we do something, particularly something important and life impacting like finding new employment and moving to a new town. Have you prayed about this, asking the Lord if this direction is from him, or if it is merely your own desire (James just taught the danger of asking out of our own wrong desires, James 4:3)? Even if you are doing something for the Lord, don’t just assume it is from Him, make sure to seek him in prayer first. Even Jesus preceded major changes in his ministry by first spending time with his Father in prayer to make sure he was in the center of the Fathers will (see Mark 1:35-38). If Jesus needed to do this, how much more should we? Otherwise, if we miss the Father’s will we might not be doing all the good we are meant to do (which James reminds us, is also a sin). After praying, do you sense the Lord’s peace about the decision (even if we might be anxious to take a big step)? Or is your heart troubled? Do not move forward without the peace.