On a superficial level I know what it means to ask amiss. However, there was always a question in my mind when asking God for something whether in fact I was asking amiss. Today, reading another version, I think I’ve got it clear:
What is the cause of your conflicts and quarrels with each other? Doesn’t the battle begin inside of you as you fight to have your own way and fulfill your own desires? 2 You jealously want what others have so you begin to see yourself as better than others. You scheme with envy and harm others to selfishly obtain what you crave—that’s why you quarrel and fight. And all the time you don’t obtain what you want because you won’t ask God for it! 3 And if you ask, you won’t receive it for you’re asking with corrupt motives, seeking only to fulfill your own selfish desires. 4 You have become spiritual adulterers who are having an affair, an unholy relationship with the world. Don’t you know that flirting with the world’s values places you at odds with God? Whoever chooses to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy! James 4:1-4 (TPT)
Sometimes our answers come when we simply change the translation. Something that has been puzzling will suddenly click. There are some messages that God is trying desperately to get to us as His children. One of them is shrouded in this passage, choosing to be a friend of the world makes you an enemy of God. While that is not the first question I had in mind, it was the bonus to my question. For when we become a friend of the world, very subtly we begin to gravitate to the things of the world. It is no wonder that we then begin to crave the things of the world. How easy to take those desires into our prayers. To feel that we are not only justified in "asking", but also "offended" when not receiving.
The enemy of our soul knows how to leer us into a pit that places us at variance with God. From the Garden, satan has always used the same ploy, to get God’s creation into believing that God is keeping something good from them. He twists the truth to make things seem different than they really are. Then he questions us over and over as to why God seems to be preventing us from good things.
Yet, when we shift our perspective by digging a little deeper, we will invariably find the goodness of God in the land of the living:
6 But he continues to pour out more and more grace upon us. For it says,
7 So then, surrender to God. Stand up to the devil and resist him and he will turn and run away from you. 8 Move your heart closer and closer to God, and he will come even closer to you. James 4:5-day 7 (TPT)
A little shift, surrendering to God, coming closer to Him, can change not only you but also change your world.