James 4:13-15—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: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
In the first century, there were more Jews living outside of Israel than inside its boundaries. God gifted them with a good sense of business. Cities that were being founded in remote areas would offer incentives to begin a business there. It gave Jews an opportunity to make large sums of money. The expression in the passage was quite common. In our world, it is just as common. A business idea captures our imagination. Things start to fall into place, and before you know it, we are boasting about the great success we are about to experience. Our heart becomes enthralled with what we expect to take place. James is warning us that life is transitory. Our vision needs to be fixed on the eternal. If God wills, we may have financial success, but we must always keep it in balance with the fact that it is temporary. When we keep our eyes on heaven, the business of this world cannot steal our hearts from what is truly important.