Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the word “presumption.” By definition, it means something taken for granted; going beyond proper bounds; impudent boldness; arrogance.
Is it just me or does “presuming” sound bad? I never thought of it as prideful, rude, or taking something or someone for granted before. Have you? And yet, most people “presume” everyday.
For example, my children presume I will feed them, let them drive my car, pay for college, and if need be, move back home until they really decided what they want to be. Does their presumption mean they are taking me for granted? Could they be crossing the line by presuming I’ll support their every impulse—good or bad? Are their presumptions a display of rude boldness and arrogance?
If so, what does it mean when I presume God will provide financially for my bills, wellness for my body, or security in my marriage? (I’m not saying he won’t) but am I taking for granted His marvelous grace? If so, then is it wrong to presume I’ll continue to speak, my husband will keep his job, and my son will make All-Stars again?
Spiritually speaking to presume is the opposite of dependence on God.
Remember when the Israelites crossed the Jordan River? Their first obstacle before taking the Promise Lard was the wall around Jericho. God told Joshua to march around the city walls in silence for six days, then raise a shout and sound trumpets on their seventh. Who-la! Victory was theirs!
Then after Jericho, their path became blocked by a small town named Ai. Joshua’s officers quickly considered the situation. After sizing up the town, they decided they wouldn’t need their entire army. Just a few thousand troops would be enough to easily defeat Ai—or so they arrogantly presumed.
They were defeated by Ai. The sad thing was it didn’t have to be that way. They had been promised the land. If only Joshua and the officers had depended on God to guide their every step, their defeat would have been prevented. Reminds me of some wise words from the bible…pride comes before the fall.
It’s amazing how quickly the Israelites went from dependence to presumption. Although…I have to give them some credit. At least it took from one battle till the next before they became prideful and self-sufficient. I can usually do it before the sun dries the morning dew off the grass.
The truth is I’m not much different from the Israelites. Sure, I’m grateful when God intervenes in the big stuff of life and provides victory! But shortly afterwards, I move ahead on my own as if I don’t have to depend on God for the small stuff. When I do, I’ve moved from dependence to presumption.
I like what Chuck Smith has to say about being presumptuous.
Dependence on God is not something we muster in emergencies; it is the realization that apart from His will we cannot presume even our next breath.
Dependence sees God as being everything; presumption sees Him merely as a resource for dealing with crises.
Dependence is an expression of faith; presumption is an act of pride.
Dependence is confidence in God; presumption trusts the arm of flesh.
Dependence surrenders the need to control everything; presumption attempts to seize God’s throne.
I love to know your thoughts. How often do you presume? What does that reveal about your relationship with God?