Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- December 12, 2010
“Do not go up, because the Lord is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies.… Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the high hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the Lord’s covenant moved from the camp.…[Their enemies] who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down.…” Numbers 14:42, 44-45b
Pride presumes. It presumes on people and, more disturbingly, it presumes on God. It manipulates on behalf of “my” agenda. When you and I presume, we take matters into our own hands. Presumption is a big price to pay for forced results. You think you can do just about anything if you have enough time, money and will power.
But, is this really the will of God? Should you even do this, or are your motives a product of your pride—presuming that the good times will keep on rolling? Everything you touched in the past may have turned to gold, but past success cannot justify future presumption. Instead, stay sharp and dependent on God.
When you first started out, there was a respect and a dependence on God that defined you daily. Don’t lose this. When you slip from dependence on God to presuming on God, you are set up for failure. God will not be used. This is not His style nor the style of discerning leaders. Indeed, before you charge ahead, make sure others are up to speed and on board with your goals and His plan.
You may artificially bend another’s will, but eventually your subtle presumption of their loyalty will break their spirit and drive them away. They will not be taken for granted. It is a matter of respect. Will we respect the wishes of others, or will we plow ahead with a wake of relational wreckage behind us? Certain assumptions need to be questioned.
The team that served you with excellence up until now may not be the team that takes you to the next level. Or, you may be the one who needs to be replaced. Do not presume that your level of leadership skills has the capacity to carry on the expansion of the enterprise. Presumption is painful and painstaking. Avoid it at all costs.
Presumption on God is the most serious derivative of pride. Religious pride subtly uses God to manipulate people and circumstances. It is sad but true. If left unchecked, God gets saddled with our immature goals and desires. Sometimes the desired outcome is noble, but the timing is unwise. A building program is a worthy goal, but it becomes presumptive if the last facility is unpaid for and the future one needs to be highly leveraged by debt.
Don’t drag God into poor planning and ask Him to bless it after the fact. Scripture is the Word of God. However, if a Bible verse is ripped from its context to prove a point of presumption, then it becomes a facilitator of deception. Do not use the Holy Bible for worldly outcomes. You cannot presume that the Scripture supports your desires just because it seems right. Emotion can lead you down the dead-end road of presumption.
Therefore, keep pride’s presumption in check with humility’s trust. Humility trusts God to come through without having to mandate or manipulate. Humility patiently waits on people. You can have a sense of eternal urgency without being disrespectful or demanding. Pride, without fear of God as a check and balance, will drive you ahead in your presumption. Humility first seeks out the Lord in a quiet spot and listens for His voice of validation.
Pride will push you to presume. Humility will invite you to trust. Trust God’s promises, but do not presume that He will bless your pride. Pride’s presumption will lead to your downfall. Humility’s trust will lead to your success. Therefore, take a step back, wait, pray, listen and make sure the Lord is with you!
Taken from Dose 31 of the 90-day devotional book Infusion.
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