Your arrogant plans ...
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into this or that town and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” You do not know about tomorrow. What is your life like? For you are a puff of smoke that appears for a short time and then vanishes. You ought to say instead, “If the Lord is willing, then we will live and do this or that.” But as it is, you boast about your arrogant plans. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows what is good to do and does not do it is guilty of sin. -James 4:13-17 NET
I think that many people suffer from vision of fame and grandeur. When I was a boy I dreamed of becoming president of the United States - I had a grand vision of my future. Rarely do these dreams come true because they are based in our head and not our heart. These dreams and plans are built around our ego and have little to do with God's plans. In my life I have found that His plans are more about who I am becoming in my heart rather that what I am doing with my hands.
The last sentence of this passage intrigues me. Is James connecting our egocentric dreams to sinning? Or does the verse stand alone? I think both. Certainly sin can be defined as doing something we know that we should not do or not doing something that we know we should do. Seems like making plans apart from God's known will could also be sinful. The key in these ideas is that sin is contradicting what we 'know' in our innermost being to be God's will in our life.
Lord, we lay our dreams, visions, expectations and plans at the foot of your throne and ask to be filled with your will.