James wrote about the arrogance and foolishness of making plans without seeking God’s counsel (Jas. 4:13-16). The truth is, we cannot even guarantee one more heartbeat. God is the creator and sustainer of life and of this world in which we live. We have no power, in and of ourselves, to make things happen.
We try to make irresponsible people responsible. We lecture them. We show them how to do it right! We watch over them. We try to make them act in the way they should, and we threaten them with dire consequences if they do not. But some people act irresponsibly all of their lives, in spite of our diligent efforts to make them do better. Why?
We try to make people more spiritual. Again, we tell them how they should do it. We scold them when they mess up. We lecture and correct and browbeat and threaten. So, why are so many people still so unspiritual?
Drug addicts and alcoholics are constantly bombarded with people trying to make them reform. Family members and friends go to unreal lengths trying to literally make them stop their self-destructive behavior. Federal, state and local governments continually pass laws aimed at making such individuals act responsibly. And, there are all kinds of medical and social services designed to help them get well. So, why are so many people still addicted to drugs and alcohol?
We cannot make the sun not rise tomorrow, and we cannot make people change lifestyles they do not want to change. The best we can do is try to help them see reality, offer them options for change, pray diligently about their situation and be there for them.
But the most effective way for people to change in the ways discussed above is for them to make up their minds and turn to God for help. Nobody will ever be the best he can be until he surrenders his will to God (Gal. 2:20). God has to have first place in our lives, even above self (Matt. 10:34-39).
Try to handle everything yourself, and you’ll be continually frustrated. Turn it over to God. Ask for His will to be done and for His guidance to help you deal with whatever happens. You’ll find more peace, more happiness and less frustration when you learn to let go, and let God...