The Sin of Presumption


What is that? 

I’ve asked it of myself many times.  Do I presume to speak for God?  How does anyone speak for God?  Sure…in ancient times God raised up prophets in His name to speak His words.  Does He still do that today?


So how do we know when someone is speaking for God, or speaking from his/her own agenda?

Please, hear me.  The Israelites asked this question of Moses. 

The LORD then said to me,
“What they have said is good.  I will raise up a prophet like you for them from among their fellow Israelites.  I will put my words in his mouth and he will speak to them whatever I command.  I will personally hold responsible anyone who then pays no attention to the words that prophet speaks in My name.

“But if any prophet presumes to speak anything in My name that I have not authorized him to speak, or speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die.  Now if you say to yourselves, ‘How can we tell that a message is not from the Lord?’  Whenever a prophet speaks in My name and the prediction is not fulfilled, then I have not spoken it; the prophet has presumed to speak it, so you need not fear him.”  ~Deuteronomy 18:17-22

Of course, we don’t stone people today who mistakenly declare themselves to have a word from the Lord.  We live under the perfect law of liberty.  But we do have a sure word of prophecy that has been made clear.  We do well to pay attention to it.

If I (Michelle) do not speak God’s word, then do not listen to me.

Do not listen to any man who comes in the name of the Lord and says, “I speak for God,”  only if  that man’s words can be held up to the standard of God’s word are we to listen.  Otherwise, he is being presumptuous.


Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins;

Let them not rule over me;

Then I will be blameless,

And I shall be acquitted of great transgression. 


Annie has some good thoughts on Truth.  She challenges me.


21 responses »

  1. measure everything against the word of God…AMEN!
    (checking for you alittle later..hope you are not feeling Ike..been watching it on the weather channel..for a cat2 that thing is vicious!)

  2. Morning Sis~I agree that we cannot speak anything with assurity unless we can align it with God’s Word. That can get tricky though because sometimes, we interpret God’s Word according to our limited understanding, and can unfortunately use our interpretation to prove someone else wrong. I know God’s Word doesn’t change or conform to our understanding but being human, I cannot assume that my understanding of what He’s saying is always correct or accurate. It’s a lifelong process figuring it out and we will never completely know until the day He returns.

    When someone claims to speak a Word from the Lord to me, I have a process in how I respond. One is seeking God’s Word for what it says concerning that particular situation, and praying for confirmation. If I receive confirmation, I know it’s from God.

    Love you; feel better!

  3. I think we need to be Bereans, Gch. When we hear a word and we aren’t sure if it’s truth (even if we think it’s truth), then we need to go back and search the scriptures. It is hard work to dig, but we are told it is a “clear word” and the one who searches for wisdom will find it. It can be understood. God didn’t leave us without a “map.”

    If we have many interpretations and then rely upon confirmation in our spirits from the Lord…yet we get diverse confirmations…who has revealed truth? The Spirit of God is One with the Father and the Son.

    I believe Jesus is the prophet spoken about in this passage. Why? Because He said He was. He upheld the Law and the Prophets, He spoke as the Father led Him…we are to uphold His words, which include the Law and the Prophets.

    Only then do we speak truth. It’s not about individual interpretations…never was. The Spirit speaks to us, yet not to give us a “new revelation,” but to confirm the word that exists, His word.

    I started to say, “that’s my thinking,” but in actuality, that is what the scripture says.

    Love you too, enjoy your day!! 😉

  4. I have heard ‘speakers’ say; “god has told me …” – at that moment I have turned them off. Now my pastor, who has never said those words, I listen intently to. He is a man of God who walks with him. He speaks, I listen.

  5. Why, thank you, TammyJo! 😉

    I needed to hear it, I guess. I woke up in the middle of the night and had to post. 😆

    Me too, Papa. When I hear someone say, “God told me,” well…it scares me! I’m not sure people know they’ve just put their words on the same level as scripture, His revealed word to us.

    Y’all have a great weekend and a blessed Lord’s day!

  6. Hey, Annie. That idea of taking the Lord’s name in vain — I heard once that it can mean to be casual or flippant about our relationship with Him. Kind of going along the same lines as “walking in a manner worthy of His calling and choosing you.”

    Yeah, the consequences…on both sides…

  7. @papa: I so get what you’re saying. For awhile when people would say that I always wanted to ask what that sounds like to them. Because I’m certainly not a scholar and am not as well versed as most, but I am a very prayerful person. I listen for him a lot, but I have never heard his voice aloud or had him tell me what to say. But I do trust the feelings he puts in my heart and the urge to action he instills in me. But having him tell me a truth to proclaim as his own, or a judgement on others to tell them why they are wrong and I am right? I can’t imagine.

    Michelle: it’s raining here and I know what that is doing to my joints, so I hope you are well and treating yourself gently. If you ever need anything, feel free to email me 🙂


  8. Hey, Sara! I’ve loved reading your blog. Tam emailed with your link yesterday thinking the similarities were too odd. Thanks for coming by.

    Yes, I hurt today. Yesterday was worse. When the weather systems push in, the pain intensifies. Treating myself gently…? Physically, yes.

    Your grace is so appreciated, please feel free to email me, as well.
    Thanks for coming by. 🙂

  9. We have to measure everything by the Word of God. It’ so easy to get wrapped up into listening to and believe every word that comes out of someone’s mouth when they utter those famous words, “God is telling me…….” But everything must be tested to see whether or not it is really of Him. Sometimes our spirits will bear witness with whether not it is of Him.

  10. Michelle. This is good. How do we know? I have no answer. I just… shucks. I don’t know!

    Ok, I’m trying to look into me, not outward. And here’s what I’m thinking right now. Sometimes when something I do is good, so good that I don’t think I could not have done it by myself, I often think that maybe I was being made an instrument for that particular thing. Come to think of it, it could indeed be both humble and presumptous. Humble for letting someone bigger than me to have the credit, and presumptous for thinking that “I” was actually chosen to do it. How will I reconcile that?

  11. Hello, Rachel. Welcome. I think we’re saying the same thing. The Holy Spirit definitely bears witness and confirms the things of God.

    I need to check out your blog. Please come back and join in the conversation anytime.

    Good morning, Sherma. It seems you and Nor took this more to a human relational level than I was thinking. We presume, all too often, about others…about ourselves.

    I believe we are to walk in complete humility with one another. I think that means giving eachother the benefit of the doubt. We never know another’s heart. When I wonder if I’ve “done” something that is “good” — well, that doesn’t actually happen much — it has brought me to my knees. I want to be a vessel He will use.

    How will any of us reconcile that? I guess it will all be made known when we see the Lord.

  12. Hi Sis – some good wisdom there.

    One thing i’d like to point out though – regarding prophets and the truth of their word becoming true…

    Many prophets in the OT prophesied of the coming of Jesus – which was without doubt True… and yet it never happened in THEIR lifetime..

    Ignoring a True prophet because his words are not YET come true is not always a good thing – we know not when God’s ‘time’ is to come.

    ‘I come like a thief in the night and you shall not know the hour thereof.’

    Still – you don’t get too many prophets these days – do you?

    We don’t down here – or none i can think of anyway 🙂

    BE well 🙂


  13. Hey, Love. I’ve heard so many people call themselves prophets or claim the gift of prophecy. It’s scary when a person declares their words are from God; therefore, we should listen. Only if their words are in line with scripture do I tend to give them an ear.

    The bit about the prophecy not coming true in their time… they were told “in that day”…”in the last days”… “on the day”…they knew to be looking ahead for the Messiah, at a time of God’s choosing. But the message was always the same…man has rebelled and needs to repent, do right before the Lord, for one day you will be judged.

    The false prophets spoke a counter/twisted message.

    Good to see you here, Love! ♥ U.

  14. Thanks Sis 🙂

    Just to clarify…. i do not deny a prophet who speaks truly – from the Spirit. i wanted to point out that any who decided upon their ( the prophet ) word being from God by it coming true would have made false prophets of many who preached of Jesus for that did not happen in their lifetimes but hundreds of years after they were dead.

    And yes there are still many ‘false’ prophets – as well as many who are poorly understood, if at all. Those whose words are misunderstood are often pronounced ‘false’ by those more in the flesh than spirit.

    There are many who are in and of the flesh who twist His word to their own purposes.

    Satan works through them, appearing ‘pleasant’ and godly to the eyes of some while pulling their hearts and minds from the True path.

    Take Care Hun 🙂


  15. It seems that the test of scripture is the main point of this post. Just because someone jumps up and says “This saith the Lord.” doesn’t mean it’s the Lord speaking. How do we know it’s the Spirit speaking through someone? How do I know which ‘spirit’ is leading me when I claim to be ‘led by the Spirit? By the test of scripture.

  16. Yes, Love. I don’t want to be too quick to declare one “false” without truly knowing their words and lifestyle. In this venue, I think it’s very hard to know what people are actually saying. Unless, they have denied Christ — God came in the flesh and made atonement for our sins, was dead, buried and resurrected — I’m wary of declaring one “false.” I don’t know all, I can’t see others’ hearts…I can only read their words and determine if they have preached “a clear word” based upon the final Word of God:

    After God spoke long ago in various portions and in various ways to our ancestors through the prophets, in these last days he has spoken to us in a Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He created the world. The Son is the radiance of His glory and the representation of His essence, and He sustains all things by His powerful word, and so when He had accomplished cleansing for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. ~Hebrews 1:1-3

    Did that make sense, Love? ♥

    Hey, Dan. Yes, that is exactly the point of this post. Love you!

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