In my church, we have this expression we say when we say “goodbye” to one another until the next time we meet: “If the Lord says the same.” For example, it might be Wednesday night, the next time we’re supposed to get together again is on Sunday, so we’ll say something like, “I’ll see you on Sunday, if the Lord says the same.” To me, this isn’t just something that “church” people say to one another. It means something. The question is, what does it mean?

The Scriptures that come to mind are these from James.

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.” 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.

James 4:13-14 (NIV)

Therefore, when we’re saying to each other, “If the Lord says the same,” we’re acknowledging that we don’t know “what a day may bring” (Proverbs 27:1 NIV). We might be around for this next thing, or we may not. We leave our lives in the hands of God, who knows all things. We trust in Him.

Sometimes, when we make plans to do something or go somewhere they get thwarted. It might not be anything like what we read about in James 4:13. We’re not planning to make money or any such thing. It could be, as I’ve said, plans to go to church, or it could be something we want to do to honor God. There’s nothing unholy or worldly about it, but for some reason, it doesn’t work out how we planned. How do we respond on these occasions?

I’m reminded of King David who wanted to build a place for God. When David told Nathan about it, “Nathan replied to the king, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you” but later that same night the word of God came to Nathan, and told him something different (2 Samuel 7:3-4 NIV). God told Nathan that he had other plans for David and for his family. If you’re not familiar with this, you can read about it here in 2 Samuel 7.

When we read about this revelation to Nathan, we don’t read that Nathan felt bad about telling the King to do whatever he had in mind to do. We don’t read about Nathan questioning his relationship with God. We know that Nathan said what he said to David because he had a relationship with God. He was, after all, a prophet of the Lord. What do we read? Scripture tells us “Nathan reported to David all the words of this entire revelation” (2 Samuel 7:17 NIV).

Nathan could have responded in any other way. God spoke to him and not to anyone else, but out of humility, Nathan listened to everything the Lord had said and then told David. We might read about this exchange and not think anything of it, but it’s a big deal to give advice to the king or tell him one thing and then go back on it. Look at Ahithophel. He was a counselor to David and then to his son Absalom, and when his advice wasn’t taken he hanged himself (cf. 2 Samuel 17:23).

However, Nathan continued to serve David as the Lord’s prophet. Nathan didn’t focus on this one time he made a mistake, thinking the Lord wanted one thing to happen when God wanted something else to happen. We need to be more like Nathan. There are things in our lives we want to do to advance the Kingdom. Some of these things may be God’s will, or they may not. Perhaps they might not be His will for right now.

There are two verses from Proverbs that have been like a mantra to me since I was saved.

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.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

We might think when we read these verses that they’re telling us to include God in everything we do, and it will work out how we want, but that’s not what they say. They tell us that he’ll make our paths straight. The King James version says that “he shall direct thy paths.” That’s what He will do. He will direct us in the way we should go. However, if we take these verses the wrong way and think God is going to take us in the way we think we should go, as long as we include him in our plans, then we’re in for a world of hurt.

This is why we must remain humble. Nathan was a prophet of the Lord who heard way more clearly from God than I ever have. Yet, when he misspoke, and the Lord corrected him, he stayed humble even when he had thought something else.

We’re not going to get everything right. We may start to walk one way and find out we need to stop and go another. However, as long as we keep our eyes on the Lord, we will always end in the direction he wants us to go.

Thanks for stopping by! I pray that this day finds you well.

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be free from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.