When we take our eyes off the Lord we can easily enter in to the sin of presumption. Psalm 19 records David’s prayer to the Lord, v.13-14 “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins, let them not have dominion over me.”

Jesus declared, Matthew 4:4: “It is written (Deuteronomy 8:3): Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” A proceeding word is a living word that God gives for a current or ongoing situation that we need strong faith for. Our problems arise when we make a formula out of a proceeding word, not recognising that God wants to move me on from the last word to a new one. This is where I can operate in the sin of presumption, doing the same old things in the same old way when God has given fresh instruction that I have failed to hear, embrace and move on in the IS of God. He is the great “I AM”, that is His name, (Exodus 3:13-14). He is always current in a present situation and we can learn to live in the IS of God, in His proceeding word.

Consider the record of Moses. Exodus 17:1-6 He was leading the children of Israel through the desert and they were desperate for water, murmuring against Moses. The Lord told Moses to strike the rock with his rod and water would gush forth. (That was God’s proceeding word to Moses.) He obeyed and the Lord miraculously produced water for them.

On a second occasion, history repeated itself in that the people were desperate, once again, for water, Numbers 20: 1-13. In this instance though, Moses was told to “speak” to the rock, (not to strike it, as on the last occasion). Moses entered in to the sin of presumption and did not sanctify the Lord’s name before the people. He judged the people, became angry through his judgements of them and lost the plot! He made the mistake of identifying himself and Aaron with God’s power. Verse 10-11, “….Hear now, you rebels, must we fetch you water out of this rock?” Only God could perform the miracle of producing water from a rock. Moses part was to obey God’s instruction, His proceeding word. In his anger he did not either listen, or heed to the details of the proceeding word God had given him. This time the Lord told him to “speak” to the rock, not “strike” it, as on the last occasion. Judging others’ faults impairs clarity of hearing our Father’s instruction.

In spite of Moses’ sin, the Lord mercifully gave the people and cattle the water they desperately needed anyway. Moses, however, suffered the great loss of never entering the Promised Land because he failed to sanctify the Lord’s name before the people there. He entered into presumption. In his anger he acted on a past word, not heeding the present one, but his greatest mistake was identifying himself with God’s power, as if he could bring water from a rock!! Jesus said, “Thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen,” Matthew 6:13. As we often quote, God’s mighty power is for the extension of His kingdom, for His glory alone. He will not give His glory to another. Moses made the mistake of claiming God’s power was also his. This is where he did not sanctify the Lord’s name before the people.

Am I leaning on a past word the Lord gave me which has come to pass, that I have now made a formula of? If the word has not yet been fulfilled, there is nothing wrong with strong faith as we wait. But if it is past, God gives a new proceeding word to move on and into.

Our God is the God of the impossible:


We may not like the proceeding word the Lord gives us at times, but as we obey, He opens the door of opportunity as we proceed towards our divine destiny: “For in Him we live and move and have our being”, Acts 17:28.

Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man that he should lie, neither the son of man that he should repent. Hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken and shall he not make it good?”

God is not the author of confusion. That is the devil’s territory. As I walk in humility, I hear my heavenly Father’s voice more clearly than when I am unstable in confusion. Make the time to get alone with Him and allow His love to quiet my heart. As I bow here in surrender, I will hear clearly. Listen for the whispers of Jesus as He gives the bread of life; His proceeding word.