Lord Willing

by Dr. Ken Matto

(James 4:15 KJV) For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

Many Christians use the phrase, “Lord willing” as an appendage to their conversation and normally that conversation will be about something they plan to do. I believe there is a wise sincerity in using that phrase because it places our plans under the guiding hand of the Lord. Whenever we acknowledge the fact that we may make plans but God can change them, then we are living according to God’s will.

(Prov 16:9 KJV) A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

It is the height of practical arrogance to believe that we are in control. Now there are many things that we plan and they come to fruition. We may plan a vacation and it may go off without a hitch. On the other hand, we may plan a vacation and something may happen and the vacation is called off. What do we do when something like that happens? Do we thank the Lord that His wisdom has ruled in that case or do we become a “cry baby Christian” by complaining and pouting. Why would we want to ask for God’s will in our life and then we receive it by means of a change of plan, we become chronic complainers? We ask for God’s will really expecting to get our will! In other words, we want our way, period!

If we are walking in the spirit, then we can expect to have God’s will overshadow ours. Anytime God overrules anything we plan in our life it is always for our benefit. We may never know why some plans that we have are cancelled by the Lord. It may be that if we would have taken that trip, maybe the plane would have went down or if we drove, a truck could have slammed into the back of our car. No matter what, whenever our plans are divinely diverted, it is always for a reason, which God may or may not reveal to us. Sometimes they may be just simple faith tests other times it is for other purposes. I remember in 2001, I went on vacation and was planning on going to Chicago. The day before I was going to leave, I hurt my leg and could hardly walk so I had to spend that vacation at home. However, I found it quite peaceful to sit out on my front porch and read and relax in the warm shade of a summer afternoon.

My leg healed up in time for me to go back to work but in essence, I had a real vacation in that I was really rested up, something that may not have been true if I would have driven to Chicago and back which is about 1600 miles (2575 KM) round trip from NJ. Whenever we use the phrase, “Lord Willing,” we need to make sure we are saying that in all sincerity, expecting that God may or may not change our plans. “Lord Willing” is not just a trite Christian expression, it basically is a prayer for the guidance of God in the particular situation we are planning. Whenever we invoke the name of the Lord, we must do it with seriousness.