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 (Numbers 14:44 NIV).
Presumption is dangerous in Christian living. It puts you in trouble and brings sorrow. But what is presumption? It is acting on what you think is best when God has specifically commanded you not to do so.
For example, the Israelites attempted to conquer the Promised Land after Moses had told them that God was not with them. He further told them that they will therefore be surely defeated by their enemies. But they went and came back defeated.
They went in spite of the fact that the ark of the Lord’s covenant did not move from their camp. The point is that it was always through the moving of the ark that God signaled to the Israelites that they were to move. In other words, when the ark, the visible presence of God, remained in the camp, the Israelites were commanded not to move. But in this case, since the ark did not move, they moved when God did not want them to move. This is presumption.
So, in your life, wait to hear from God. Do not assume something in your heart and act on it. Whatever you do, see that you’ve God’s word to do it. Act only when you surely know that God has moved ahead of you from your camp. Make sure that you are not doing something that God had asked you to stop attempting because of earlier disobedience on your part. But if you act, in spite of God’s warning not to do so, that is presumption and it will surely bring defeat.
Sadly, almost every saint of God has made mistakes in the area of presumption. If you also have made a mistake of presumption, ask God to forgive you. And plead with God to set right the consequences of your presumptuous act. He is a merciful God and He will hear when you humbly pray.