“Limiting God”


Almost everybody wants to see a mighty move of God in their life.  But often there are things that get in God’s way; obstacles that act as barriers to blessings.  There are two very specific items I want to deal with in this article that the Bible clearly shows us to be things that limit God’s power to work in an individual’s or a people’s life.

But, before I move any further in this article I want to clarify a few things.  1) Just because one may be in the waiting process, it doesn’t mean these items that are going to be discussed apply to that individual or their situation.  Sometimes, for His own wise reasons, God just has us waiting for His right time to move.  And, 2) The two items that are going to be listed here are not the only things that form themselves as a blockade to one’s blessings.  A truly seeking heart will prayerfully peel back the layers of self for a close-up examination of the inner man to see if there is anything else that may be getting in the way.

As I was reading my Bible, I came across Psalm 78:41 which states, “Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.”  This psalm is reciting Israel’s history and it highlights several of their rebellious moments.  Particularly, God’s deliverance of them from Egypt, and their provocation of Him in the wilderness, through sin.  The verse above brings out those same disobedient actions as limiting God.  Their sin made a mark or drew a line prohibiting them from the fullness of God and what He had to offer.  Rather, they ended up provoking Him to anger.

Disobedience is one thing that will definitely limit God’s ability to work in you, through you, and for you.  Disobedience evicted Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-11) when God’s blessing was for them to live in paradise.  Disobedience turned Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:17, 26) when God’s blessings wanted to deliver them out of that city of sin.  Disobedience caused Jonah to end up in the belly of a fish (Jonah 1:3, 15-17) when God’s blessing was for him to be a great witness to a great city.  And, there are oodles of more cases noted in the Bible.  Disobedience will always forfeit God’s best in one’s life.

As I was pondering this verse in Psalm about limiting God, I was reminded of a time when Jesus wasn’t able to do great works in Nazareth, His hometown.  Matthew 13:58 tells us, “And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”  He was limited by their unbelief.

Now, we all know by now Jesus’ ability to do absolutely anything.  One thing He won’t do is infringe, encroach upon, or overstep one’s belief.  Mankind is a creature made with a free will.  It is His hope and desire that one would fully believe who He is and all that He says He can do.  But, it is a choice that every individual must make, by faith, for his, or her self.

The Bible tells us in no uncertain terms that, “Without faith it is impossible to please him:” (or, to agree with Him), “for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him,” (Hebrews 11:6).

God is the God of all possibilities, but a lack of faith and belief will hinder those possibilities.  Unbelief caused that first group that attempted to enter into the Promised Land to be made to turn back (Hebrews 3:19).  God’s best wasn’t for them to wander in the wilderness for forty years.  His blessing was for them to go in and possess it at that time.  Their own unbelief refused the blessing for them.  Going back to Psalm 78 in the recitation of their history, there are other noted instances where the unbelief of the people came to the forefront (Psalm 78:22, 32).

In the New Testament, if it had not been for Jesus on the boat with His disciples they may have perished in the storm.  Jesus had already done miracles and even taught many powerful parables, but when the storm blew, they freaked out and asked Jesus, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” (Mark 4:38).  But after Jesus stilled the storm He asked them this one question: “How is it that ye have no faith?” (Mark 4:40).  Faith matters.

Back to Jesus’ experience in Nazareth, in parallel verses found in Mark, the Bible tells us, “He marvelled because of their unbelief,” (Mark 6:6).

God, throughout the Bible, wants the best for His people.  God would rather add blessings to our account rather than subtract them.  If God blesses and takes care of the birds of the air and the grass in the field (Matthew 6:25-29), “shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith,” (Matthew 6:30).

But He says in Matthew, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you,” (Matthew 6:33; emphasis added).  Go after a life of obedience and faith!  Reject those hindrances to the blessings.  The things that stand in one’s way and limit God’s moving in their life have to be put down that He can raise His people higher.

We hear a lot of inspirational messages dealing with the subject of “No Limits.”  And, that’s wonderful!  But, in order to have a life of no limits one needs to make sure God isn’t being limited in their life through disobedience and unbelief.

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