Are We Limiting God?

Limitless by Nature

God by definition of His very nature is limitless. His presence is infinite, His power is absolute, His knowledge is utterly complete. Despite this, however, man has in different ways attempted to place limitations upon God. These limitations are not always intentional, but are the by-product of attempting to understand God in man’s own terms.

To be properly reverent before our God, one must take great care to avoid creating limitations such as:

Limiting God’s independence

At first, this rightly seems as an exercise in folly. Of course, one cannot tell God what to do, or override the decisions of the Almighty. But, how often does man, when facing a choice made by God through His divine providence, complain about a choice he/she disagrees with? Consider the view of Job’s day where “bad things” only happened to the “sinful”. Or the nation of Israel in 1 Sam. 4 who used the Ark of the Covenant as some kind of “magic box” that would win them battles. When man decides he/she knows what God should do better than God, have we not attempted to limit His independent will as God? Have we not turned Him into an idol?

Limiting God’s authority

This overlaps with the previous in some ways, but here focuses upon God’s authority in how we worship and how we live our lives. At first, this rightly seems the worst possible thing to do. God, being the Creator and ultimate power has the right to direct His creation as He sees fit. But, how often does man actually follow the command of God? Man seeks to worship as he/she sees fit, sometimes arguing that God would prefer it, because it means “more” to man. Man might “acknowledge” God in their lives, but refuses to make Him their highest priority. If God’s authority is not the “last word” in how we worship or live our lives, have we not attempted to limit His authority?

Limiting God’s influence

At first, this rightly seems impossible. Of course, God has ultimate control over His creation and exercises that control all of the time. God used various means of interacting with man throughout the ages: personally, through prophets, and ultimately through His Son and the inspired Word. But it is important to understand that, because of how God created us, there are things He will not do - most important of them being the overriding of man’s free will. Because of this He entrusts to those who follow Him the responsibility of sharing the Gospel – the responsibility to give man that choice to obey. Whether God’s people live as He asks and shares that message is up to us. If we refuse to do what God has asked of us, have we not limited His influence?

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