We are a pragmatic people, living in a very fast-paced post-modern world. Our society is addicted to busyness & rush. Our entire communities are built upon principles for achieving peace, safety, security, comfort and convenience. We work to create environment & momentum to achieve these goals and aims. We move quickly to remove any barriers that stands our way. We like everything to be fast, including fast-food, fast-cars, fast-sex, fast-phone calls, fast-trains, fast-work & fast-everything. We are an impatient people. We have myriads of things to do; things that are seemingly right for us. We like to think ahead and foresee our future. We are, most of the time, false-prophets of our own future. We like to make wild predictions based on our own assumptions and selfish agendas. Even though God is not a distant theory, we are prone to live daily like practicing atheists. We live as though God were the gene in Aladdin’s Lamp called upon only when his helping hands are needed. We make plans in our hearts; we conceive big dreams of our own making. We seem to know how to maneuver and manage things well, without ultimately stripping off our Christian-religious affiliations altogether. We seem capable of doing the rest of the job fine without Him. But are we?
Whether you’re an individual or a corporation, if you’re reading this- wherever you are- let’s consider together: Do we have the habit of making plans without acknowledging our Maker? Have we learned to plan well without God at the center? Is God involved in our scheduling and plannings?
Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes:
We are all expert planners, are we not? Those people [the builders of Babel’s Tower] were planners. They drew the specifications of the city. They had it all worked out. We all do that in life, do we not? You have your plans. Your future life and career are mapped out. You know what you want to do. Where does God come in? Is the plan made under God, or is it made apart from him? The one lesson of [Genesis 11] is that if you plan your life without God at the center, it will come to nothing, nothing at all. It will be as futile and as fatuous as the Tower of Babel. God will come down and will destroy it, whether you like that or not. This is the whole history of the Bible. It is the history of the subsequent centuries after the end of the Bible. It is the history of the twentieth century. The human race is not allowed to build a civilization without God, and you are not allowed to build your life without God.(Martyn Lloyd-Jones, The Gospel in Genesis: From Fig Leaves to Faith (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2009), 141.)
We got only one life. Eternity is just around the corner. Are we constantly living in light of this reality? What are we doing with our gifts, time, resources & energy? Is Christ our utmost treasure? Hear a brotherly humbling rebuke from James 4 (beginning with verse 13). Most of us would fall into this category. He understands & perceives our fallen human tendency to make plans without putting God in the big picture:
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”— 14. 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. 15. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16. As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
Listen to what God said to the rich man in the parable of Jesus:
16. And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17. and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18. And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ 20. But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21. So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
The last word we want to hear from God is: “Fool!” No one wants to be called a “fool” in a post-modern society. After all, we are “post-modern” with all of our scientific and technological advances etc. But worse would happen if we lost our own lives in an over-night, without being “rich toward God.” This is crucial, in light of the recent catastrophes around the world. Hear Solomon, the wisest & richest king that ever lived in history, concerning this subject. He admonishes:
“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1)
But he also leaves us with encouragements:
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21).
“A man’s steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?” (Proverbs 20:24).
Again in Jeremiah 10:23
“I know, O LORD, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.”
Devise plans and be ready, but trust in God not in your plans. Your plans can fail but not God. “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD” (Proverbs 21:31).