Are we limiting God?
Are you and I limiting what the Great God of the universe could be doing in your life and mine? I think the evidence is a resounding “Yes!”. So what can we do about it?
In a recent sermon I gave, titled “One Voice” – within it is a quote from John 14 in the words of our Messiah. I’ve thought and thought: We surely must be limiting our Creator from what he can do and wants to do, because I sure don’t see happening today the things we read about in the book of Acts.
After Christ’s resurrection, we have several of the apostles raising the dead. Peter’s shadow passing over someone was enough to heal that person (Acts 5:14-15). Imagine that – without the person even asking Peter to lay hands on him and anoint him. Lots of people were brought to the apostles, and “they were all healed” (Acts 5:16). Demons were cast out by Philip in Samaria in Acts 8. Lame people – who were begging for money and not for healing – were leaping to their feet with a mere statement from Peter and John (Acts 3). People had visions of angels and of the Lord himself. Deadly snakes bit Paul, but he just shook them off. Paul was left for dead after a vicious stoning, but rose again to continue preaching (Acts 14:19-20).
Now I realize that not everyone’s prayer was always answered with a healing or the response desired. Paul was left with his “thorn in the side” issue. Timothy had an issue of “frequent infirmities”. Many early disciples were severely beaten, tortured, imprisoned and killed. So don’t think I’m saying nothing “bad” will ever happen to us if we apply the message in this blog.
But still – where are these powerful signs and wonders and works being seen today. I realize, we shouldn’t be personally seeking for a sign, per Yeshua’s own words (Matthew 12:39), and yet Yeshua himself promised that if we believe, “these signs shall surely follow”, and then he enumerates healings and more. See Mark 16:17-18 – including casting out demons, speak new tongues, not be hurt by deadly serpents or poison, and after laying hands on the sick, they will recover.
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I think it goes back to firmly believing and not allowing doubts to linger in your life. We all have times of doubt. We all do. That’s only human. See the previous blog on that. But we must not let doubt linger or it erodes faith and keeps a miracle from happening.
It comes down to having such a firm relationship with your maker and Savior that you absolutely trust him, no matter what. When doubt and fear come in, we present it to him and leave it with him. We admit the doubt and fear – as did the man who was asking for his son to be healed: “…Lord, help my unbelief.”
When that relationship is solid, when we’re pleasing God in our life, when we ask for Christ himself to be our advocate in our requests – and deeply understand what it means to pray “in Jesus’(Yeshua’s) name…’, and leave doubt outside – we will start to see some massive miracles. And lots of small ones too. Don’t discount the “small” miracles – like asking our Father to help us find that missing credit card, or wallet, or keys that have mysteriously disappeared.
In my One Voice sermon, I reminded us of what Yeshua said. He said you and I could actually do greater miracles than even he did, if we believe in him.
Our Master wasn’t lying when he said this. But do you believe him?
John 14:12-14 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
Believe that. I’ve seen some massive, powerful, huge miracles and answered prayers at times in my life, and at times I haven’t. But I have seen the powerful ones too, so I know, when our relationship is right and our faith is strong, there’s no limiting God and what he wishes to do.
When we remain in doubt, we erode the power of believing and miracles disappear. Read the example of the towns people of Nazareth, who doubted Christ, and he could do no miracles there, except for a few, DUE TO their unbelief. Read it – Mark 6:4-6.
We certainly won’t have the confidence and faith if we’re living in a life of sin, so repent and change directions and you’ll find your faith stronger when you know you are living a life pleasing to Him. Read the end of 1 John 3:20-24, which shows we have more confidence when we do those things pleasing to God. Even Yeshua said his every action and his life was a life of pleasing his Father. See John 8:29.
1 John 3:20-24 --- “For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. 22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. 23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. 24 Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
Love one another. We’re supposed to even love our enemies. But some of us can’t love our own wife or husband. Some of us can’t love the other believers who attend “over there”. These factions we allow – can be causing some not to be healed. We’re not esteeming the body of Christ when we disregard other true believers. Read it yourself in 1 Cor. 11:27-32 - and therefore some of you aren’t being healed but “sleep”, Paul says.
OK, I get it. We’ll all eventually die if Christ doesn’t come soon. BUT – we could be experiencing his presence much more in our lives, if we would learn to fully believe, doubting nothing – or resolve those doubts when they come. And then ask Christ to be our advocate, to speak for us in HIS name, as we live a life pleasing to God.
Let’s not be like ancient Israel, who – though they saw huge miracles such as the daily manna, the parting of the Red Sea, the daily pillar of fire and cloud, bitter waters turned sweet, victory against their enemies – still LIMITED God. How sad. But sometimes are we any better?
Psalms 78:40-41 – “How often they provoked Him in the wilderness,
And grieved Him in the desert! Yes, again and again they tempted (tested) God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.”
Yeshua meant what he said. We could be seeing massive wonders – if we believe in his name without lingering doubt. But let’s believe. Let’s be pleasing to God – by living in Christ and he living in us.