“Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: (14) Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. (15) For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. (16) But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.” (James 4:13-16)
Answers to our title question vary from person to person considering that each individual has their own particular responsibilities in life.
Some mornings when you arise, you look at the day’s planner and immediately you feel trapped. You may even say:
I don’t want to do this – I do want my life to change; for I am tired of doing the same old thing every day. I want a change; for I am miserable. However, the fact is that I am married, have children, an upscale house and an expensive car; I am the primary provider for all my debt. This debt necessitates work on my part. I am sick of debt and I am sick of what all “these” things mean; I have to work, work, work, and work – until that is all I seem to do. The company, my job, and the banker own my soul. But debt is not my only problem.
When I am off from work, then there are school functions for the children; time spent to keep up the house and property; and oh yes, there is my church and its demands on me. When I analyze it all, I ask myself, “Where is ‘my time’?” Somehow in my struggle to experience the American Dream, I have lost my way, and who I am, and my old dreams and aspirations; and all my desires and my goals have taken a back seat in my life – and now I am no more than a slave to debt, etc..
So, the question for me today is, “Where am I Headed?”
The answer lies in me facing me. But to help untangle my life I need to answer the following questions and be truthful with myself as I answer these questions:
1) How did I get where I am? and why?
2) Why am I frustrated with where I am in life today?
3) Why am I not happy with where I am today?
4) Why has my life become a burden and not a joy?
5) Who or what is my master?
6) Does God have a plan for my life? If God has a plan for my life; why don’t I know what it is?
These types of questions are many, and vary with everyone’s particular situation. The solution to your problem may lie in the following:
1) The problem is not married life; or your family; or your daily responsibilities; or your debt for the house, car, etc. It is not these things that have brought you to unhappiness; to drudgery; or to think that life is passing you by and there is no way now to change your course of life; and there is no way to ever realize your dreams. No, a thousand times no. These burdens as you see them now are not the problem;
2) The problem is: Who is your master? You must choose between submitting to the “Flesh” or the “old carnal man” and its desires and lust. Or choose as your Master, the Holy Spirit of God, and submit to His revealed Will for His children in the Written Word of God; the Bible.
The Flesh (or the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life) is a “Deceiver.” In the end, “the Flesh,” or “the old man,” always, always produces the fruit of depression, defeat, and destruction. The eye is never satisfied; it wants a bigger house, a more expensive car, designer clothes, etc. – more, much more than you can afford, or even you need. But in the end, it has not only robbed you of happiness; it is harmful to your health with stress-related diseases. The flesh’s motto is, “you must keep up with the Joneses.” But the map laid out by the flesh, for you to have success, is a path that daily steals who God made you to become; it is a robber of you, or of who you are; for it steals who you really are. It is a deceiver; and this is why you are where you are today – if you are miserable and full of questions of what is life really about, or what is really important for your joy and happiness.
However, on the opposite side of the coin is the Holy Spirit. When you submit to the leadership and guidance of the Holy Spirit daily in your life; then your life is directed by God and for His glory; and really this is the reason of your creation, and of having life given to you. When you begin to follow God’s instruction, instead of relying on your fleshly desires, then love fills your spirit; joy floods your soul; peace will be the rule of the day, and not misery. You will arise in the mornings knowing without a doubt where you are headed; for you are headed God’s way, and His way is the way of success. Your master will not be your flesh; or any man; or any standard of this world. When God is the Leader of your life, your view of life, and your daily duties, will be a blessing and not a curse. Praise will fill your spirit for all the blessings God has allowed you to have; such as a faithful wife; beautiful children; and that God lives in you.
When God is the Leader of your life, and the Word of God is your sole rule of faith and practice; something beautiful happens to your spending habits, your home life, your church life, and even your work life. It is beautiful because your daily planner is ordered and designed and empowered by God; wherein you are full of the Spirit of God, full of joy unspeakable; and everywhere you look brings on praises to God, the Source of it all, and the God that has rewarded you abundantly.
In closing, when you have time please read the following Scripture references: Ps. 127:3; Prov. 12:4a; 13:7; 15:16; 16:8; 18:22; 19:14; 22:4; 23:4-5; 27:24; 28:13; 30:8-9; 2:6; 3:5-6; 24:14; 3:9, 13; 4:7, 14, 18-27; 2 Cor. 9:6.