In studying James chapter four, I find that there are at least seven ways to miss God’s will for your life. Here is an overview of the seven:
1. I miss God’s will when I follow my sensual desires.
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?—James 4:1
2. I miss God’s will when I put me first.
Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.—James 4:2
3. I miss God’s will when I pray with the wrong motives.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.—James 4:3
4. I miss God’s will when I fail to confess my known sin.
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.—James 4:8
5. I miss God’s will when I choose wrong friends for my life.
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.—James 4:4
6. I miss God’s will when I refuse to humble myself.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.—James 4:10
7. I miss God’s will when I reject God’s grace for my life.
Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow 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 vapour, 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. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.—James 4:13–17
These seven sobering thoughts should cause us to pause and consider our own personal life as it stands before God.