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Summary: People who presume to know what is best for them are often mistaken.

The Problem with Presumption – Rom. 9:19-29

People who presume to know what is best for them are often mistaken.

Illustration:

Take for example the man who presumed that he knew which plane to board when he wanted a quick 50 minute flight from Los Angeles to Oakland, California. However, after two hours in the air he asked the flight attendant why it was taking so long to land in Oakland. The stewardess disappeared for a moment and called the pilot about a man who might pose a threat to the safety of all those on board. Before the man knew it he was handcuffed and put in the back of the plane. 12 hours later, the man learned that he was in New Zealand. After serious questioning, the man confessed that he misunderstood the New Zealand pronounciation of the capital of New Zealand, Auckland for Oakland. Even though it turned out to be an innocent mistake, the man’s faulty presumption landed him and many others in a heap of trouble.

Let us examine some of the problems of presumption about God and His will for our lives:

1. Many people forge ahead with faulty presuppositions about God and His will for our lives. In our text today we learn that God overrules all the behavior of people and nations with His sovereign power. His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher are than our minds can comprehend. Who has known the mind the of the Lord that we should presume to instruct Him? For from Him and and to Him and through Him are all things. Job had to confess how little he knew about God and how guilty he was in presuming upon God when he wrote, “Lord, now I know you can do all things and no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:1,2)

Application: God has total right to do whatever He wants to with us and our situations. Even when we are tempted to presume that we have the right to become bitter about the unfairness of our circumstances we should remember that He is the Potter and we are the clay. Let us ask the Lord to mold us and make us after His will while we are yielded humble and still.

Illustration:During the Battle of the Wilderness in the Civil War, Union general John Sedgwick was inspecting his troops. At one point he came to a parapet, over which he gazed out in the direction of the enemy. His officers suggested that this was unwise and perhaps he ought to duck while passing the parapet. "Nonsense," snapped the general. "They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist--." A moment later Sedgwick fell to the ground, fatally wounded.

Today in the Word, August 30, 1993.

2. Some people may presume that if God is sovereign than why does He allow suffering in the world? God’s ways are perfect and all of His ways are peace. He alone has the right to fashion us after His grand purposes in processes that only He may understand. Moses wrote in Deut 29:29, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things are revealed to us (His will) are to us and our children forever that we may observe all the words of this law.”

The Lord reveals enough information to us so that we can complete His perfect will for our life. Do not presume that you must understand why things happen to you since it is not necessary to understand everything in order for us to do God’s will.

Illustration:

In today’s culture, we find it difficult to wait for anything. We grow impatient waiting for an elevator. We anxiously pace while waiting for a phone call. We can start acting like caged animals waiting in line at the store. On the highway, we quickly pass one car, just so we can pull back into the right lane to get off at the next exit. At a popular restaurant today, you’ll be given a timer at lunch to prove that they can serve you lunch in 15 minutes. Even credit applications have been sped up, so that Citibank even has a 15 minute mortgage approval. In this culture of hurry up, Jesus invites us to come apart and rest awhile.

Rev. Carla T. Powell, "Come Apart and Rest A While"

Application:

When you are tempted to get presumptuous with God and start asking why certain things are happening to you remember the words of the old hymn and make it your

Song: prayer, “Simply trusting everyday. Trusting in the homeward way. Even when my faith is small. Trusting Jesus that is all. Trusting as the moments fly. Trusting as the days go by. Trusting Him whate’er befalls. Trusting Jesus that is all.”

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