Is It Possible To Limit GOD?

Un-Limiting God! |

The title implies a ridiculous question to more thana few factions of Christianity, in what is know as Western civilization. To suggest that God can be limited, in the minds of many Christians, would mean He is not Almighty. Does this mode of thought line up with the Bible?

God has chosen to work independent of man and at times with man, through the auspices of man’s faith. In fact, man’s choice to believe God is that which moves God to consider a person righteous (Genesis 15:16; Habakkuk 2:2-4; Romans 1:17). Consider Moses and how the Lord worked through Him, even in a most practical way.

In Exodus 17, the Israelites are sent into battle against the unbeatable Amalekites. While Moses has the staff of the LORD extended over Israel on the battlefield, Israel would advance toward winning the battle. When his arms would drop, Israel would lose ground to their enemies exponentially.

In a wonderful move of faith and collaboration, we read that Aaron and Hur gave Moses a stone to sit upon and they held his arms extended until sunset. The result, as God worked through them, was Israel winning the battle against a much great and superior force.

This reveals God working through men, then being limited by men, and then working unhindered once more in His will, by faithful men. This kind of pattern extends and continues throughout the Old Testament, with the nation of Israel and is clearly stated in Psalm 78:40-42.

Psalms 78:40-42 40 How often they provoked Him in the wilderness and grieved Him in the desert! 41 Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. 42 They did not remember His power: The day when He redeemed them from the enemy

It is true that God is all powerful and limitless, but because He chooses to work through humanity, by faith, when the faith of that humanity is faulty or unbelief takes root, it can and does, at times, limit His will from moving forward.

This is not only an Old Testament phenomenon. Remember that where there was little or no faith, in the Lord Jesus Christ, He could not do many miracles (Matthew 13:58; Mark 6:5). In addition, we find the church can be a limiting factor to the what the Holy One of Israel desires to do in a particular area or time.

1 Corinthians 10:6-13 6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Christians who commit sexual immorality, tempt Christ, and complain in a fashion like Israel can and do limit what the LORD desires to, for as long as it persists. It is important to see these violations, as violations of faith in God’s word, Person and plan. The word unbelief is the action in us which limits the work of God. Consider Romans Chapter 11.

Romans 11:19-22 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.

To be cut off means to fall away into judgment. This is made clear by what the Lord Jesus Christ declares in John 15:1-3 where He declares “Every branch in me that bares fruit will be pruned and every branch in Me, that does not bear fruit will be cut off and cast into the fire”.

Unbelief, therefore, is the key factor which limits the Holy One of Israel and it is a big problem for the Christian. This is because unbelief is not to declare that Jesus Christ is not the only Begotten Son of God, but to act contrary in ways to that profession. Consider the book of Hebrews which uses Israel as an example of those who declared we will follow YHWH, but to would not obey Him.

Hebrews 3:7-15 7

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:

 “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, 9where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years. 10Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.’ 11so I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest.'”

 12Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said:

“Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

 Let us remember that this passage declares “Beware, Brethren, lest there be in any of you and evil heart of unbelief in departing the Living God”.

To be cut off, or having and evil heart of unbelief, is to limit the work of God in the individual, the church, and the world. So let us be determined to not be persons limiting the power of God in our sphere of influence. Let us revisit Psalm 78:40-42 to understand ho to be a conduit of God’s limitless will.

Psalms 78:40-42 40 How often they provoked Him in the wilderness and grieved Him in the desert! 41 Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. 42 They did not remember His power: The day when He redeemed them from the enemy

In this passage we see four descriptive words which arise from their lack of faith in what the LORD had done for them in the past: provoked, grieved, tempted, and did not remember.

This is unbelief, for while they professed they believed God, in trials the did not remember His power, and went their own way, provoking, grieving and tempting the LORD.

This is egregious error is a huge sin problem for us as well, but in our Christian culture, we make excuses for not trusting God alone, for choosing from our own understanding and forgetting His word and testimony of power.

When we walk in unbelief, we provoke, grieve, tempt and limit the LORD, not only in our life, but also in our fellowships and the communities of lost men, we live in.

This passage greatly convicts me, and ought to greatly convict all of us. The Church in America is largely based on individual profession of salvation, but salvation is not about a ticket to heaven on the “Jesus Train”. Salvation is the powerful on going deliverance and transformation of the entire man, by the power of God filling and working through our humanity.

In this we are privileged and called to participate in the expansion of His will, until Christ’s comes for us in the clouds. To not embrace this blessing and accountability is to potentially hinder His glory and purpose where we live.

When the Son of Man comes, will He find us faithful and believing in His power still, or simply hanging on till He arrives? The choice is ours, for not everyone who declares to Christ “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but those who do the will of His Father (Matthew 7:21-23).














About Michael J Erdel

Mike is a pastor with The Assembly of God Fellowship. He is the lead pastor at Encounter Church in Fostoria Ohio. His desire is to encourage the Church of Jesus Christ, and declare God's hope through His Son Jesus, to a world which is long on excuses and short on hope. Mike has experienced the truth that when we kneel before Christ, surrendering to Him as Savior and LORD, being led and empowered by His Spirit. To Jesus Christ be all glory and honor.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.