Summary: Can man limit Almighty God? Psalm 78:41 says "Yes!" Using the Bible as our only reference source, let us take a serious look at the ways man can limit God.
LIMITING GOD IN OUR LIFE
“How often they provoked Him in the wilderness, And grieved Him in the desert!
Yes, again and again they tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel.” Psalms 78:40-41 (NKJV)
Can man limit Almighty God? Psalm 78:41 says "Yes!" Using the Bible as our only reference source, let us take a serious look at the ways man can limit God.
I. OUR LACK OF FAITH LIMITS GOD:
The Bible provides numerous examples where lack of faith on the part of some negatively impacted many. Some of these Bible examples are:
1. Ten of the Twelve Israelites Sent to Spy Out the Land of Canaan.
The faith that these ten had in the power of God to give Israel victory over the inhabitants of Canaan was virtually non-existent. We read in Numbers 13:30-33 (NKJV)
“Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, ‘Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it."
"But the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.’ And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, ‘The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight."
The lack of faith on the part of the ten unbelieving spies brought frightening consequences to the Israelites. Consider:
’But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness. ’And your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and bear the brunt of your infidelity, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness. ’According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, and you shall know My rejection."
"I the LORD have spoken this; I will surely do so to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. In this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die."
"Now the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation complain against him by bringing a bad report of the land, those very men who brought the evil report about the land, died by the plague before the LORD."
"But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive, of the men who went to spy out the land.” Numbers 14:32-38 (NKJV)
2. Lack of Faith Limited the Miracle-Working Power of Jesus in Nazareth.
Mark 6:5-6 tells us: "Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief." (NKJV)
The account in Matthew 13:58 tells us "Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief." (NKJV)
Both gospel accounts witness to the fact that the unbelief that prevailed in the hearts of the people of Nazareth hindered the miracle working power of our Lord Jesus Christ. Both texts leave the impression that because of their unbelief many returned to their homes sick, lame, blind and demon-possessed. How tragic!
When we limit God in our lives, we are not the only ones who suffer loss. Those who would have been blessed had we manifested great faith will be deprived of the subsequent blessings they would have otherwise received.
3. Lack of Faith Limits the Extent of God’s Work through Us. Consider:
“And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?" So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ’Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:18-20 (NKJV)
4. When Lack of Faith is Overcome, the Power of God is Manifested: Consider:
“Then one of the crowd answered and said, ‘Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not."
"He answered him and said, ‘O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me."