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“Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”


Instead you ought to say,

Instead of self-sufficient bluster about future business dealings (4:13), we need to tune ourselves to God’s will. 

“If the Lord wills,

The idea is, “If the Lord permits.” The spiritual Christian submits himself to the will of God. He keeps God’s viewpoint on his whole life. We say, “The Lord willing; I will do this or that.” This attitude demonstrates submission to God’s will. It should be more than a jingle but an orientation of life that accepts God’s providence for my life, “I accept what God chooses to do with me. This is far from a magic formula for one’s life. 

Acts 18:21, “…but took leave of them, saying, ‘I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing.’ And he sailed from Ephesus.”

Ac 21:14, “So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, ‘The will of the Lord be done.’”

Ro 1:10, “…making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you.”

Ro 15:32, “…that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you.”

1 Co 4:19, “But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power.”

1 Co 16:7, “For I do not wish to see you now on the way; but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits.”

we shall live and do this or that.”

A spiritual Christian preserves a godly viewpoint on life by dependence on God’s will in his choices. She always conditions her plans keeping an eye on the will of God. Our times are not in our hands, but the providential care of God. There is always a condition for our plans. 

Php 2:19, 24, “But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state… 24 But I trust in the Lord that I myself shall also come shortly.”

The words “this or that” indicate that dependence on God’s will should apply to any situation. God’s eternal counsels in His eternal decree shows that He is not capricious in His acts but concurs with exact details all the events of the universe.


A presumption person lives as if there is no will of God in our lives, but a spiritual person depends on God’s plan for her life.


Some people use the shortness of life to pursue pleasure; others use it as an excuse for laziness. However, we should see our transient life situation with a sense of humility. We depend on the Lord with a sense of our frailty and shortness of life. 

The mature Christian keeps a constant dependence on the will of God for his life. He understands that God’s providence upsets all our schemes and throws us into confusion. He knows God always has the last word. 

The will of God may be completely different from our plan, which is why we say, “The Lord willing.” The words “The Lord willing” should be on our hearts as well as on our lips. 

Ro 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

If an architect of a building had one plan and the builder had another, the result would be messy. God is the Architect of our lives, and we build our lives around God’s plan, not our plan. God’s plan for us is perfect because He planned it from eternity.  

Ac 17:28, “…for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’”

Nothing can happen to us apart from God’s will. If I fall ill, I know that it is in God’s plan. If I fall short of some goal, God has a design in this. There is great solace in the providence of God because we know that God works all things together for our good. 

Ro 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”