Did you know that you can limit a limitless God’s ability to work in your life? It is true!
In this article, you’ll discover examples from the Bible in which God’s people limited Him, but how you can remove these limitations and experience His power to overcome!
Here are the topics we will cover:
- How is it Possible to Limit God?
- Way #1: Unbelief
- Way #2: Willful Sin/Disobedience
- Way #3: Unforgiveness
How is it Possible to Limit God?
It seems unbelievable that we can limit God’s ability to work in our lives, even though God is without limit.
But consider that the Lord created us in His image and likeness; He did not make us as robots!
Because we have the power of choice, we can choose to go our way rather than God’s way.
Ephesians 3:20-21 tells us about the power we have when we follow the Lord’s leading.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
Did you catch the phrase “according to the power that works in us“?
As believers in Jesus, we have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead within us (see Romans 8:11).
While the Holy Spirit’s power is unlimited, we can limit His influence upon our hearts. The Bible says that all life issues originate from the heart (see Proverbs 4:23).
Conditions that short-circuit the Lord’s power in us include:
- Willful Sin/Disobedience
Let’s take a closer look at these conditions.
Way #1: Unbelief
Our faith that God keeps His word is the basis of our relationship with Him. In Romans 10:9-10, He promises:
“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
When someone disbelieves God’s word, they resist the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus called “the Spirit of truth.”
Because the unbeliever resists the truth, it cuts off their ability to receive from the Lord!
We see this in Matthew 13:53-58, in which Jesus returned to His own country. He had the power to work miracles among the people, but they could not receive from Him:
“Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these parables, that He departed from there. When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” So they were offended at Him.
But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.’ Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”
Way #2: Willful Sin/Disobedience
The Lord’s plans are better than any we have for ourselves, yet disobedience and practicing willful sin can limit His ability to work in our lives.
We see this in God’s experience with the children of Israel:
“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.”– Psalm 78: 40-41
James 4:17 defines sin as follows:
“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”
The Israelites saw God’s power when He delivered them from slavery in Egypt and on their journey to the Promised Land. He provided His presence, protection, and provision.
In spite of the Lord’s goodness, they turned to other gods and practiced idolatry.
The Lord promises to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are loyal to Him (see 2 Chronicles 16:9). However, to engage in willful sin, the person must harden their hearts against Him!
Willful sin grieves the Holy Spirit because He loves us and does not want us hurting ourselves nor others.
Because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Life while the wages of sin is death, the two oppose one another!
Now as Believers in Jesus, we have an advantage that the Israelites did not have; grace imparted to us through the indwelling Holy Spirit gives us power over sin according to Romans 6:14-17:
For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.”
Obedience to the Lord is the key to abundant life in Him through the Holy Spirit’s power!
Way #3: Unforgiveness
Finally, people can limit God’s ability to work in their lives through unforgiveness. The reason unforgiveness limits God is made clear in Matthew 6:14-16:
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
My pastor once said that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die. This statement is more accurate than we may think.
According to Reverend Dr. Michael Barry, over 61 percent of cancer patients have issues with unforgiveness.
Forgiving others does not mean approving what the other person did; rather, it means releasing the person from the emotional debt they owe you – just as the Lord released your sin debt.
So there you have it – 3 ways a person can limit the Lord’s ability to work in their lives.
We never want to block God’s power, so let’s examine ourselves and if they exist, remove limitations so God’s power can work within us to its fullest extent!
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
P.S. Are you struggling with the challenges of emotional eating? Many people with eating issues know what to do but have a hard time doing it. That is where you need a community that supports each other!