Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” (ESV)
Maybe you have heard the expression, "The Lord willin' and the creek don't rise." This grammatically incorrect sentence fragment is sound biblical theology. I am sure that if James would be in total agreement with it. He is speaking in today's verse about how we are to look at our lives and the plans that are made in them.
We have all kinds of ideas about what we want to do with our lives. We have big picture goals like what career path we want to take, when we will get married, or even how many children we would like to have. We also have day to day plans, such as where we might go to eat, who to hang with, or even what Church to attend.
James gives us an important reminder. We ought to look at our plans through the lens of God's will. If God wills then I will plan to do thus and such. Too often we make our plans and then tell God what we are going to do. It is impossible for God to bless those kinds of plans. We cannot ignore his leading and then expect his blessing.
In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 Paul tells us, "you are not your own, for you were bought with a price." The fact that God owns us means that he has the right to direct our paths for his glory and not for our selfish ambition. Even things that are "good" or "godly" things are still to be submitted to the absolute leading of our loving Heavenly Father.
What are your plans? Seek the Lord first before you attempt to answer that question. You will be able to pursue those plans Lord willin' and the creek don't rise.