“Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then shall I be blameless and I shall be innocent and clear of great transgression” Psalms 19:13.
KJV – deal proudly, presumptuously, presume, proud, to boil, boil up, seethe, act proudly, act presumptuously, act rebelliously, be presumptuous, be arrogant, be rebelliously proud.
– Presume: take for granted that something exists or is the case; be audacious enough to do something; make unjustified demands; take liberties.
-Assume: suppose to be the case without proof. (it is reasonable to assume); take or begin to have power or responsibility, seize power or control; take on a specified quality, appearance or extent; take on or adopt a manner or identity, sometimes falsely.
“When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or prove true, that is a word which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him” Deut. 1:22.
“The man who does presumptuously, and will not listen to the priest who stands to minister there before the Lord your God or to the Judge, that man shall die; so you shall purge the evil from Israel And all the people shall hear and reverently fear, and not act presumptuously again” Deut. 17:12,13.
“But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die” Deut. 18:20.
“And particularly those who walk after the flesh and indulge in the lust of polluting passion and scorn and despise authority. Presumptuous, daring and self-willed and self-loving creatures they scoff at and revile dignitaries (glorious ones) without trembling”2 Peter 2:10.
“But they presumed to go up to the heights of the hill country; however neither the ark of the covenant of the Lord nor Moses departed out of the camp” Numbers 14:44. After being told that they would not enter into the promised land, but would all perish in the wilderness because of their murmuring and grumbling against the Lord. They presumed to try and enter the promised land anyway, but were beaten back. (Presumed: be lifted up, to swell, to be bold, be heedless).
Presumption is part and parcel of our human nature. We are given a little information, and we presume the rest. We are all guilty of making snap-judgments, critical observations, under the assumption that we are right in doing so. How often do we even consider that in God’s eyes, our ‘presumption’ is a sin against Him?
How so? Our presumptions are a product of our flesh, and we all know that it is written that we are called to walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Walking after the Spirit is not something that ‘just comes naturally’ because we have been born-again.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” Romans 8:1.
“That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” Romans 8:4.
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh”Galatians 5:16.
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” Galatians 5:25. Paraphrased:to enjoy real life in the Spirit, (with the emphasis on His disposition and character), then let us proceed to direct our life in order, as a soldier marching in his appointed place, possessed of the power of knowing, desiring, deciding, and acting. This takes growing up spiritually, and not by the power of our reasoning mind.
“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:15, 16.
We have to grow up in the spirit, just as we grow up in the natural. And just as children, we presume that we know at each stage along life’s path, only to learn farther along that we only thought we knew, and we really knew nothing at all.
We attempt to achieve spiritual growth by acquiring knowledge about spiritual things. We presume that the more we learn about spiritual things, the more spiritual we will become, which is a totally natural and reasonable assumption. The danger we run of course, is that of following hard after our presumptions, all the while assuming that we are in the Spirit. Little realizing that we are taking for granted the progression of our spiritual growth being achieved in this way. It never occurs to us that our presumption could ever be considered as a great transgression. We can rightly say, “it’s the accepted practice, everyone does it.” What is great transgression, if not rebellion? It should be sobering to come to the realization of how easily we can convince ourselves that what we are presuming is correct and proper according to scripture, and tradition, and our personal opinion or feeling on the matter, yet we are hard pressed to find anywhere in scripture where we are encouraged to make presumptions. Quite the contrary. If we would truly follow Christ, then we will have to relinquish and lay down all of our presumptions.
The way of the cross is set forth here in Hebrews 12:1-15:
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.”
“And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;” Ephesians 4:23. We must become sensitive to the Spirit. The more sensitized we become, the more we will find that what seemed so right and good in our eyes was colored by our feelings, our limited understanding, and yes, our presumptions. Our flesh loves to ride its religious high-horse, and flex its muscles, little comprehending the damage we are inflicting upon the ‘lame along the way.’
Would that we all take to heart Paul’s admonition to believers: “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12.And “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29.
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as (in proportion; to the degree that) also I amknown (to know accurately; become thoroughly acquainted with).” 1 Corinthians 13:12.
For me at least, the following quote from a message given by Art Katz in 1993, succinctly describes how we ignorantly give place to presumption…
“I’ll say it again. How many of us, in the hearing of the word on these very nights, have taken that word in through the prism of our own subjectivity and fitted it into the existing construct of our life, our categories, and found a way in which the Word would be amenable to our view of ourselves, of our spirituality, of our call? In a word, what are we doing, even unconsciously, is elevating ourselves above the Word, and ourselves determining how it is to be fitted comfortably into the categories that we approve. Instead of allowing the Word to devastate and demolish our categories, we stand or sit above it as arbiters, carefully moulding it so that it can neatly be taken in and even acknowledged and celebrated as the Word of God, applauding the speaker for having brought it, thinking we have done God’s service!
Can you see why we need to be converted? This egocentrism is unspeakably deep, and ironically, deepest in the religious and spiritual realm. What greater affront to God, what greater expression of putting our ‘thou’ before His ‘Me’ than the way in which we even hear and conditionally receive the Word? It is an entirely unconscious process, and we have been doing it for years, thereby missing the value and intent of the God who gave it!”
….Saul was the prized student of the Rabbi Gamaliel, and if there is any man who committed religious suicide by the raising of that question and forfeiting an entire career that would have won him a celebration to this day in Jewish orthodoxy, it was Saul. But he forfeited all that, and counted it as dung, as we know, by raising the only question, the right question, that any creature can raise before its Creator, “Lord, what would You have for me to do?” Whatever the consequences, whatever the loss, You are Lord, and if You are not the Lord of that question, then anything I would presume to speak in that name is a mockery and a travesty and a religious exercise that even at best falls short of the glory of God!
The irony is, and mark my words, if you continue in such an exercise, in the last days you’ll find yourself, not among the persecuted, but among the persecutors! Centrifugal force continues to work, ever bringing us into the one orbit or the other – into that which is apostolic or that which is finally apostate! “For the love of many shall grow cold,” and the last days shall be marked by the great apostasy and falling away of many who could not bring themselves to follow the Lord withersoever He would lead them, but who found themselves in a vortex of a kind less than that which is apostolic and themselves offended by those who are apostolic and ironically opposing and persecutingthem! This is the end of those whose ‘thou’ is yet before His ‘Me.’
We must now ask, with Saul, “Who art thou, Lord?” and receive the answer, “I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest.”[end quote]
Is this not an accurate description of acting presumptuously? Are we not committing presumptuous sins when we move in; when we do, what seems good in our own eyes, according to our own understanding?
Our flesh likes to argue, to justify, to be ‘right,’ and have the pre-eminence. All of which are in opposition to the Holy Spirit. It is not enough for us to ‘presume’ that we are righteous. We must be willing to suffer. We must be a willing servant…“And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all” Mark 9:35. “And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.”Mark 10:44. Are we willing?
I encourage you to search this matter out for yourself. Presumption and Pride may comfortably walk hand in hand, but there is no place for either one in the Kingdom of God, or in the life of the true believer. If we ask Father to show us where we are being presumptuous, He will. “Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then shall I be blameless and I shall be innocent and clear of great transgression.”