James 4:13 (NLT) Look here, you people who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.”
1. James, Jesus’ brother, was addressing people for whom the novelty of Christianity had worn off and distinguished themselves based upon their works, leading to conflict.
2. James warns about drifting from God and following our own plans. Replacing God with “self” is preceded by jealousy, judging others, and arrogance.
“No I am a very good man; I’m just a very bad wizard” was a line from the movie Wizard of Oz depicting a human condition when our illusion of self-significance from God is followed by failure. He was a good man who perhaps became enamored with the authority entrusted to him. This is a story too of three innocent characters joyfully following a gold like road in search of a wish granting “wizard” that will provide the solution to their troubles. Searching for someone to help us, when all we needed to do in the first place was just believe. Why do we do this?
One Thanksgiving morning, my dad needed to spend a couple hours at work inventorying automotive goods. As a child, I jumped at any chance to be with my dad no matter what he was doing. So for a couple of hours I got filthy dirty rolling tires, placing product on shelves, and having a great time with my dad. As I grew, so did my interests. So much in fact that I become too busy to help my dad. There was a time when my dad’s invitations fell on deaf ears. My illusion of self-reliance was naturally replaced with disappointment.
As a young Christian, I wanted to be with my Father all the time no matter what He was doing. Developing my own interests and not remaining close to my Father; I became enamored with the authority He gave me to make my own choices and take my own path. Ultimately, I accepted myself as a good man and not a “wizard” and decided to believe. Now all I want is to be with my Father all the time and follow Him no matter where He takes me.
Loving and patient Father. You are the one and only powerful loving God. I want to go where you want me to go and do whatever you say. Lead me on the path you want me to take. Do with me what you want, I am yours. In your name I pray, Amen.
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