Summary: Sin can do what natural disaster and governments can’t do... limit God’s ability to bless and prosper. Israel of guilty of limiting God from blesing them as He wished. See how they did it.

Limiting God.

Psalm 78

I want to talk to you today about "Doing the impossible."

This is not a sermon to inspire you to do great things, to reach higher, or accomplish more, or like the old tennis shoe that used to advertise " faster or jump higher."

In fact, when I talk about doing the impossible I am not even speaking of a positive experience. I’m not talking about using God’s power to accomplish great things or reaching some level of Christian living that many would call impossible.

I AM talking about doing something that can not be done by natural disaster, government sanctions,, science, time, space, disease, education, armies, or riches.

And that thing is to LIMIT GOD, to shorten His arm, to place constraints upon God almighty.

Paul wrote of it in Romans 8 that "I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present not the future , nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Paul was saying that when God chooses to love, or strengthen, or bless, or guide or anything else He may choose to do.... there is nothing in all of creation that can forbid Him or constrain him LIMIT HIM.

No one can place a fence around God and tell Him that he must stay in it.... or draw a line in the sand and tell Him that he may not cross it.

He is God, the Almighty, all powerful, the creator of all.

To think that I might constrain God is worse than thinking that I might walk into the flow of molten lava charging down the side of a mountain and hold up my hand and restrain its flow.

It is like thinking that I could put up an electric fence in my yard to keep a tornado out.

Paul said that nothing in all of creation can limit God. And yet, and Paul would agree, that is exactly what we do with great regularity we set limits on God’s love, and blessings, and power.

HOW ?.... you may be wondering.

Well, there are many ways in which we accomplish this. Today I want us to look at the 78th Psalm and see the way that Israel did it... and see how we are guilty of the same ways of limiting Almighty God.

Join me, please, in turning to Psalm78.

1. They Limited God by SHRINKING.

verse 9 says, "The men of Ephraim, though armed-with bows, turned back in the day of battle."

They had everything they needed... leaders, equipment, they had been trained for months, they had the right weapons.... and yet, when the battle began to heat up... they RAN AWAY!

These were God’s troops. They did not even need to be good soldiers. God was on their side and He would fight for them. God had won battles where the soldiers never lifted a hand. At other times he had let them slaughter from behind.

They had no need to fear, they were more than prepared... and yet they shrank when the opportunity came.

They did not have to be strong or experienced... just show up, just be willing to enter the battle... God would do the rest.

Then God could use them or work in spite of them .. but still God would have the opportunity to use them and to Bless them, to strengthen their faith, to show his might, to encourage them.

This was the only thing that could limit God’s ability to do that… refusal to give God a chance.

They stymied, frustrated, thwarted, and circumvented God and His desire to bless them, to give them the victory.

God could still win the victory.... he didn’t need them in the first place.... but now, He could not give the victory to them or bless them for their willingness.

God wanted to throw open the doors of heaven and shower them with blessings and they nailed the door shut.

And so do we.

Who among us has not stood in the place of opportunity to let God use us… a friend who was lost and we had an opportunity to speak up about our faith, about how God loved them, of how Jesus died on the cross for them.

There you stood with the ammunition and training you needed... remember God is the one who will fight.... and when the battle or the opportunity comes.... YOU SHRINK!!!!

You clam up, the cat gets your tongue, your mind goes blank, your heart pounds out of your chest.

Remember.... God is on your side, he will work through you.... He will give you the words. Maybe you are not able.... but HE IS... all he wants is a body to work through, a mouth to use.... He could win the person without you.... but then He could not give you the blessing, you could not grow

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