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Are You Limiting God?

Honesty time: I did not want to write this post because I’m probably doing exactly that. Asking the question “Are you limiting God?” presents Him the perfect opportunity to tell me all the things that I’ve refused to give up - people, comforts, experiences, fears, etc. Often I worry that, if given the chance, God will send me on an insane mission to part the Red Sea like Moses, or march around Jericho like Joshua, or call out demons like Jesus. Or even worse, He’ll make me talk to strangers.

I limit how much God can change me, and I limit how much I want God to change me. I’ve limited God in so many other ways. How much He could love me. How He can intervene in a difficult life situation. How well He can succeed in His plan for me when that plan involves, well, me. Part of the reason I doubt Him is that I have projected my limitations and my insecurities on God, as if by a twisted associative property He’s affected by my weaknesses more than I’m affected by His strengths.

Gideon dealt with the same problem in Judges 6:14-16:

The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

The Lord answered, “I will be with you..”

God directly told Gideon he had the strength to stand against Midian, but Gideon limits himself (and God) with the belief that he is the least of the weakest clan in Israel. He feels too small for even God to notice. But God’s response is straightforward: “I will be with you.” I will be with you, and that’s enough.

How does one surrender doubtful thoughts like Gideon’s? Your answer might look different than mine. God has provided so many tools to get in touch with Him. For me, surrender often comes during intense worship. As I was brainstorming this article, Hillsong United’s “So Will I (100 Billion X)” started playing, and I stopped everything to let the imagery of God’s unspeakable beauty and glory wash over me. When I’m raising my arms and singing about God as Creator, Lord, and Savior, it’s harder to think about all the roadblocks I’ve pushed in front of Him.

Think about a spiritual practice that helps you to also have a softer heart, or if you don’t know what that is yet, explore different ones. You might connect best to God through quiet meditation, reading convicting Scripture, walking through nature, writing in your journal, or talking out loud. Whatever you decide to do, take the time to be honest with yourself. Are you limiting God? How? Why? Do you fear sacrifice? Or something else? When it’s just God and you, there’s no reason to lie. The honesty is for your benefit, not His.

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