Don’t Limit God
Book Cover pic
The book is about how God has called us to do something beyond ourselves that require that we take risks. Israel in the wilderness is the main example and how they missed God’s plan for them because of fear and worry. They wanted to play it safe.
God wanted to do so much more with the Israelites who wasted their life and died in the wilderness short of the promise land. God had planned to bring Israel into the Promise land in one year, not forty.
They sent out spies who said there are giants in the land. As a result, they refused to go and delayed God’s plan for that nation for 40 years. They limited God.
“Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.” Psalm 78:41
God doesn’t just sovereignly make things work in your life. We play a major role on whether or not God’s will and plans will be carried out. When we are living in God’s will then we are able to say there is no explanation for the accomplishments in my life other than God is doing it. It is not my great education, IQ, charisma, ability or talent, it is supernatural.
“For you see your calling brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many nobles are called.” I Cor. 1:26
ill. You know that encourages me because I qualify. I like to encourage people to step out of the boat and do what they know they can’t do themselves.
- I was so shy in school I could not raise my hand to ask the teacher a question. Here I am a preacher today.
- I didn’t want to be a preacher but an officer in MC. To get an endorsement for Bible College from my church I had to preach a sermon. My first sermon was a disaster. If you had been there you would have told me to keep my job or go back into the USMC. You would have seen zero potential for me to be a preacher!
I think all of us have missed God at sometime or another because we looked to our own ability and made that the limit to what God can do with us.
We need to learn to be still and shut out the world so God can speak to us. “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
Most people are too busy or have too much going on in their lives to be able to hear Him. No one told me to do this.
Ill. Elijah witnessed an earthquake, fire and mighty wind so strong it broke rocks, but God wasn’t in any of them. He was in a still small voice.
This is the main way God speaks to us. We have to be still.
I think we should all take time to get still and ask God,
Is there something more? Am I doing what You called me to do?
You may not hear a voice. For me many times it is an inner knowing. When I had to make a decision to either re-up another 4 years in MC or get out and try to go to school on the GI Bill, I agonized over the decision. One day while on my knees and my head in my hands I was begging God just to tell me the right thing to do. Suddenly in my mind I saw a sign like with light bulbs flashing and it said one word,
SIGN (love) pic
I took that as from God and made my decision. So we got out and moved to DB for me to go to JR. college.
Ill. As we start moving in the direction we believe God is leading we must stay flexible and not have our mind made up how things will turn out. I thought now for sure I knew I was going to college four years and back in the MC as an officer.
“We may make our plans but the Lord determines our path.” Prov. 19:9
ill. Astronaut Jim Irwin landed on the moon. He said you might think head to the moon was a straight shot. We had to make a course correction every time minutes. We had a range of 500 miles on the surface of the moon that we had to land in. When we landed we were just feet away from missing a 500-mile landing strip.
The point is if your heart will be flexible before God and ask for His will to be done with your life then you may have to make many course corrections but you will finally get to the place God has planned for you to be. It is so important to be listening to God even when you make plans to go a certain direction. We can’t afford to get our hearts so overcrowded with stuff and cares of this life that we can’t hear God when He suddenly calls upon us for some assignment.
Most of you probably don’t have this verse underlined in your Bible.
“And there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here Lord.” Acts 9:10
What would have happened if God had called Ananias’ name and he was in such a state that he was preoccupied with bills, or thinking so much about a business deal, or worried about some family problem that he could not hear God’s still small voice?
God may have used someone else, but the point is what if your life so overwhelmed with the cares of this life that you couldn’t hear God if He were shouting?
How many times has God called our name and because we were doing something else we could not say, “Lord, here I am.”?
Our lives must become conducive to consciously unplugging from other things and listening to God.
We should take time and even special times of fasting and praying and not distracted by TV or other things to ask God some questions:
Am I really where I am supposed to be? Am I on target or off course?
Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice”. He did not say, “My sheep can hear my voice.”
God is speaking. God is giving directions. It takes time to discern the will and direction God is showing. Sometimes we are not hearing maybe because we are drowning out His voice with other things?
Hearing God will involve taking risks.
“What if I was to do something risky, I might die!” But what is the difference between dying and having a slow death due to being miserable and bored doing nothing and taking no risks?
Some people fear what God may ask them to do. If God called them to Africa, then they would love it, it would be awesome.
Some people are failing because they are not doing anything. They are playing it too safe. 2 Kings 7 is a good example:
- 4 Leprous men at city gate outside city dying. Syrian army enemy camp over the hill keeping city in siege. Famine in the city.
“Why sit here until we die?”
If we go into the city there is no food and we die. If we go to the Syrian camp, they either kill us or give us food. In the morning they started towards the Syrian camp. When they got there the camp was empty and no man was there. The Lord had made the noise of chariots to be heard by the Syrians and they fled. They ate and plundered the camp. They said we do not good to keep this good news for ourselves. Went to the city and became heroes.
The point: They took a chance, a risk. Fear of failure is real but a greater fear is to live your life playing it too safe.
How do you get rid of fear?
Ill. Safest place is center of God’s will.
In the book Andrew Wommack tells about a woman in his Bible college who wanted to go on a mission trip the school had. Her husband would not let her go because he was afraid of her flying. She stayed home in submission to her husband even though she told him she heard God. While everyone was on the mission trip, she was driving home and a teenager fell asleep while driving and crossed the road into her lane and killed her. The point is the safest place in all the world is in the will of God. Her husband lives with that guilt.
- There will always be risk. We don’t have time to waste that is not seeking and following what we believe to be the will of God.
I guarantee if you hear form God What He wants you to do with your life it will scare you. It will always be beyond what you can do yourself.
We all need to say and mean it: God I will go wherever You want me to go and do whatever You want me to do. Then follow through on it.
Ill. God will probably give you small tests at first like, “go and witness to that man.” If you freeze and say I can’t do that because I don’t know what to say, you will never find God’s will.
You take the first step towards the man even if you don’t know what to say. Just start talking and see where the conversation goes.
Ill. Giving out gospel tracts – I don’t force a conversation. I just give it and see what happens next. Sometimes the door opens and other times not.
Ill. The other day I believe the Lord told me to go see a neighbor of mine who is a JW. I had not plan of words to say. I just went and we had a nice conversation and he opened up a few places where it could have become a debate but the Lord did not send to me debate with him. Not sure why God had me go there still.
I believe there is so much more potential in all of us than we have ever tapped into. Someone said if you want to go to the place that has the most potential, go to the graveyard. The vast majority of people take their potential to the graveyard.
I have to ask myself if I am reaching my full potential. I don’t believe I have. WE have spent 35 years in ministry and 33 of those full time. I think 35 years has been preparation for what God will have us do next!
We all need to commit ourselves to say to God,
“God I will go anywhere. I will do anything. . . whatever You want me to do, I will do!”
Concl: If you haven’t reached that place then you are limiting God. Take the limits off God and watch what He will do with you.