Sermon Notes: Embracing Life’s Detours

James 4:13-17

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. 

The plan:

(1) “go to this or that city,” 

(2) “spend a year there,” 

(3) “carry on business,” and 

(4) “make money.” The starting time is arranged (“today or tomorrow”); the city has been selected; but God has no place in the plans.


  • Planning is a good thing
  • Planning conveys wisdom
  • Plans are subject to change
    • God uses detour in life to assure our best destination

Proverbs 3:5‭-‬7 NIV Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.

” In the morning it covers the countryside; before noon it is gone. But some of James’s readers had been planning as if they were going to be here forever!

  • Jeremiah 29:11 NIV For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 

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.


It opens us to being receptive to the detours in life

Luke 12:35‭-‬36 NIV “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning,  like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.