WHY ARE WE OFTEN GUILTY OF PRESUMPTION?
We listen to people more than the Lord. There is a price to pay for listening to God, as Jesus knew. He didn’t dance to the tune of the religious leaders, and He paid for it. But He wanted the favor of God more than the favor of man.
We want to be popular rather than prophetic. When we “go with the flow,” we will find ourselves in the wrong river.
We think we know enough to travel on our own. Maybe we needed God more when we started teaching, but we have developed our skills.
We don’t like submitting to anyone. We hate giving up control, even to God. That is why it takes a real breaking to submit to God’s authority.
HOW CAN WE OVERCOME THE SIN OF PRESUMPTION?
Start by realizing the danger. Presumptuous sin can dominate our thinking, block true vision, and squeeze out revelation.
Confess presumption. Perhaps this prayer could get you started: “Dear Father. I confess that I have too often assumed Your will without paying the price to find it. I have wanted to know You without seeking You. I acknowledge that Your thoughts are not my thoughts, and Your ways are not my ways, but I have easily assumed that they are. I have been guilty of consulting people more than You. Please give me Your plans and Your ideas instead, so that by Your grace I can succeed in the places where I have failed and that I may be faithful in the places where I have been unfaithful. Through your perfect Son Christ Jesus. Amen.”
Practice the art of listening. When Mother Teresa was asked how she prayed, she answered, “I listen.” “Then what does God do?” asked the inquirer. “Oh, He listens too.” It wasn’t easy for me to learn this, and sometimes I presumed to know His will when I didn’t, but I also found out that by simply listening, I could grow in recognizing His voice.
Be cautious in areas of strength. Presumption happens most where we think we know the most. It’s one thing to cry out to God in the face of defeat or in the midst of temptation. It’s another thing to call out when we are riding the wave of blessing.
If you live by reason, you will live by presumption. You can’t help it; you’re relying on your finite mind for answers. You can’t see far enough out. You can’t probe the human heart. So you must trust in your reason, which amounts to guess-work. The alternative–live by revelation. To do this we don’t assume that we know. We acknowledge that we know precious little, and we surrender to the One who knows all.
So, unlike the Pharisees, we don’t assume that Matthew’s core problem is that he’s a thief. We don’t assume that we know his situation well enough to stand in judgment. Those who judge must know all the pertinent facts to render a decision. How presumptuous can you get. Jesus did not focus on Matthew’s yesterday but on his tomorrow. He called him out of his sinful, painful past into a rich destiny. True dreamers and dream releasers learn to overcome presumption and live in dependence upon God.