Copyright © 2008 by Robert Woeger.
Limiting An Unlimited God
Christians need to be continually aware of how they may be limiting God in their lives, and to avoid anything that may be causing limitations to be placed between them and an unlimited God.
All Scripture references in this writing are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible. U.S. Copyright Office Registration Number TX0006828610. Registered on 02/12/2008.
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Preface: Delivering Hope written by Adam Woeger
Hope is what everybody needs and is looking for, whether they realize it or not. Spiritual truths outlined by God in The Holy Bible (His Word) reveal God's plan for mankind, and are full of true hope for those that would seek and discover it. My mandate from God is "to deliver hope to a lost and dying world." I will endeavor to faithfully carry out this instruction and assignment from God by way of this writing, and the writings, audios, and other media referenced herein. Delivering hope to a lost and dying world should be evident in each and every thought and action of a Christian, as we are always on display to the outside world who is examining us. The failure to adequately display the true hope that lies within us in Christ is one of the reasons the world gives for not accepting Christ. Our hope, that only Christ brings, makes us different from the world and sets us apart.
Without hope, people tend to live with despair, agony, and many regrets. They are suffering their way through life, without any real anchor or true hope to guide them, grasping at straws and temporary things to try and make themselves happy. They long for distractions to fill their time so they don't have to face truth and reality.
Christ is the only true hope for people to believe in. He is the Savior of the world, and we won't desire Him until we are convicted that we need saving. The topic of Sins is necessary to address, or else we will not have a desire to change, and seek Jesus. Please read my writing entitled Sins for more about this important subject. We must firmly believe in/on Christ: "...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved..." Acts 16:31.
We must so desire to seek Him, and serve Him, that nothing else matters to us. We must be willing to forsake all earthly things for Him, if required. Believing is not a one-time thing, but a continual belief in Christ, which is demonstrated when we put our trust and faith in Him: "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5,6.
Facts about Hope
1. Hope is power.
2. Hope is strength.
3. Hope is security.
4. Hope is eternal. True hope lasts forever and will lead to eternal life. Only we can decide to lose hope.
5. Hope ushers in peace. The true peace of God comes only through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.
6. Hope is the enemy of Satan. The devil wants us filled with despair and depression. Hope in the Lord overcomes evil. "...but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:21. Hope bears good fruit. "Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it." Psalm 34:14. Don't let the enemy steal your hope and faith in God!
7. Hope focuses on God and not on self. You realize that you can't do anything without God. Humility grows.
8. Hope strengthens our faith and our ability to believe. Faith needs hope and is based on hope. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1.
9. Hope doesn't blame God, but celebrates and worships God.
10. Thanksgiving strengthens and affirms Hope.
11. Patience and waiting are tied to Hope and should strengthen our "position in" Hope.
a. They test/mature our hope.
b. Those who refuse to wait often lose hope and try a "quick fix" solution that may lead to sin and alienation from God.
c. Remaining "steadfast in hope" is a demonstration of "believing God." See Hebrews Chapter 11, the Hall of Faith. Faith needs hope. Hebrews 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
Daily each of us limits God. We may not realize that we are doing it, but every person in some way limits God. Many people long to have a closer relationship with God, but they often struggle through life seeking to find and know Him.
A Vision of Angels and People Working Together
God showed me a powerful and frightening vision when I was in my hotel room in Jerusalem a few years ago. In this vision (or dream), which was so real that I felt like I was there observing and participating in it, I saw how God uses both men and angels together to carry out the work of His Kingdom here on earth. I saw a holy partnership between ministering angels and mankind, a type of teamwork in reaching out to lost (unsaved) ones. I saw assignments and duties being dispatched to men and women through the angels. I would see a person being instructed to carry out a task, such as saying a kind or encouraging word to someone at a specific time. Each assignment was to a particular person at a particular time. There were various types of assignments, but all had the purpose of revealing God to the person who was the recipient of the particular action or message.
God desires to be known and revealed to the world, but unfortunately few truly discover Him. The "workers" were people who the angels gave instructions to, who could either obey the instructions or discard them. Failure to act was unfortunately common, and sometimes the instructions would be given to someone else to carry them out. I saw this happen many times, where the same instructions were given to a second, third, or fourth person, due to the failure of the preceding person to timely and properly act on the instructions or assignments which they had been given by God through the ministering angels. The people who disobeyed instructions were limiting their usefulness to God, yet not frustrating the plan of God, as He is bigger than any man, and He will not be manipulated by anyone. They missed out on the various blessings that would have resulted from their obedience to God's instructions.
Obedience is how one demonstrates his hope, belief and trust in God, and in Jesus Christ. Doing good works does not get us into the Kingdom of God, rather, works should be a natural outcropping or product of the hope, faith, love, grace and peace that lies within us through Christ.
We Need To Choose Not To Limit God
"...choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15.
God is calling us all to choose whom we will serve. Who is your god? Is it the one true God, creator of the heavens and the earth, or some other god? We limit our relationship with Almighty God when we choose gods of this world, and anything and anyone to devote our time to (and worship to) other than Him. God desires there to be a close, personal relationship between us and Him. It is up to each individual to establish that relationship in a personal way with God. He longs to be sought, hungered after, worshipped, appreciated, and loved by us. Only we can limit the relationship with God. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Exodus 20:3.
The goal of this writing is to help you realize the various ways that you may be limiting your relationship with God, and also how you may be limiting the way God can use you to accomplish His purpose here on earth. If you choose to limit God in any way, He will use someone else and you will likely miss out on the blessing. God will not be limited in His Work by any man. He gives us opportunity for service, fellowship, and communion with Him. The proof of our love for Him, and the desire to have relationship with Him, is our obedience to Him.
What follows are various examples and cautions on how we can limit God. Everyone should take stock of their lives and see what areas need to be improved. Only with God's help can we repent from our limiting ways and become the productive person we were designed to be, so that He gets all the glory from our life.
Cautions Against Limiting God
The Holy Bible is full of cautions from God to us about how we should not act. Surely God knows the best way for us to behave in this life. He is not trying to restrict our freedom, but rather is giving us instructions on how to behave toward Him and toward our fellow man. Freedom carries a responsibility to act responsibly to others. Unfortunately, many people today feel it is all right to behave in any rebellious way they desire to satisfy and please themselves, without regard for God and other people. People need to be responsible for their actions.
Limiting God will likely result in a person eventually becoming ineligible to receive the rewards, blessings, and protection that God desires to give to them. It also pushes away the Presence of God. See my writing entitled Presence of God for more about this important matter.
Various Ways We Limit God
Without always realizing it, we can engage in various behaviors that have the end result of limiting God in how He can use us, bless us, and protect us. We have before us an unlimited God, who thinks about us, and has us on His mind. He desires a close, personal relationship and communion with us continually.
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Jeremiah 29:11. God desires to be sought. He wants to be trusted and believed.
Failure To Believe
"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5,6.
"And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." Acts 16:30-31.
When we stop believing in God and in His promises, which are contained in His Word, we set ourselves up for failure, pain, and eventual demise. But when we trust in the Lord, we are blessed beyond measure eternally.
"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8.
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish." Psalm 1:1-6.
God is knocking on the door. Will we accept Him, and His Son, Jesus Christ? Will we believe Him every day to guide and direct our lives? Will we have no other gods before Him? (Exodus 20:3). Will we honor Him with our words, thoughts, deeds and substance?
The choice is up to us. We have a heaven to gain, and a hell to shun. Who do you believe? (regarding your soul)
Not Having A Relationship With Christ
To believe in Jesus Christ, we must first know Him, and have a relationship with Him. He offers a free gift of having a relationship with Him for eternity and having the penalty for all our sins washed away. He made the ultimate sacrifice, so that we may be washed clean through His precious blood that was shed to cover our sins. People limit how God can move on their behalf by their failure to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31).
Belief is not designed to be a one time event or confession of faith, but rather a continual state of believing in Christ. For example, if we have a wedding ceremony, we announce our confession of faith and promise to our beloved. To have a marriage that works and stays in right relationship, we must keep our promises to our spouse and treat them properly at all times. Trust is an important ingredient in maintaining the belief in a relationship. We demonstrate that we believe someone by our actions and words which show trust, appreciation, and respect.
How can we expect God to move on our behalf, when we do not have a relationship with Christ? Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life: "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6. Jesus is the only true door that gives us access to the Father.
"Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out." Luke 13:23-28.
Without a proper relationship with Jesus Christ, how can we expect to receive anything from God? "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." James 1:5-8. We must not waver in our belief of Jesus Christ. Cry out to God, and repent of all of your sins through Jesus Christ's atoning blood. Accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior.
Failure To Continually Touch Jesus
Jesus Christ is a person, just like The Holy Spirit and God the Father are. Jesus is touched by our infirmities and He continually makes intercession for those who are called by His Name. We must touch Him and love Him.
"Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:33-39.
"Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:14-16.
"Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." Hebrews 7:25.
Jesus expects us to reach out and touch Him, have a relationship with Him continually, and keep our part in always believing Him in every area of our lives. He is faithful and true (Revelation 19:11). He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). We should go before Him with worship, thanksgiving, praise, appreciation, adoration, and truth. Never lie, or try to use or manipulate Christ.
Keep God's laws and statutes in your heart continually. "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." Hebrews 10:16-17.
He is seeking those who will have a tender heart before Him. Do you love Him? If you love Him, we must keep his commandments. Jesus said: "If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15.
"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." John 14:21.
"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." John 14:23.
"As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." John 15:9-11.
"By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." 1 John 5:2-3.
The enemy of our souls wants us to give up and lay down our natural protection that comes from being pure before the Lord. I have discovered that there is a protection that comes from virginity, something like a child-like faith and innocence, that keeps us from many evil things that the devil wants to put on us. No wonder the enemy fights so much for people to lay down their virginity and lose their purity that the Lord has given them.
See my writings entitled Sins and Sexual Sins for more about this important subject of avoiding enticements to sin. Contrition and purity are essential to having a proper relationship with God and Jesus Christ. Without these, we are limiting God in how He can use and fellowship with us. We need to keep the door open to access God.
Contrition means to be sorry and show remorse for your sins. It means to be crushed by guilt, and it is sincere and complete remorse for sins one has committed. It is more than just asking forgiveness and repenting (turning away) from your sins. It reveals that you are nothing apart from the grace of God through Christ.
"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8.
"Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him." Proverbs 30:5.
"The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." Psalm 34:18.
"Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation." Psalm 24:3-5.
"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." Psalm 51:17.
"For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." Isaiah 57:15.
We can see the important need for purity in our relationship with both God and man. Anything we do that breaks the bonds of purity sets us up to be separated from God and from the assignment God has for our lives. The lie the enemy has told Christians is that their behavior and sins don't matter to God. To the contrary, every word that falls from your lips, every action and thought, matter to God, and the wrong ones will serve to limit God acting the way He desires to act in and through your life. We must become as little children in faith to God.
"For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him..." 2 Chronicles 16:9.
"And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3-4.
When you choose to walk in unforgiveness to one or more other people, you are opening up the door to a curse being placed upon you. God is very clear about the need for us to forgive others, and not be judgmental or have unforgiveness. Read the story in Matthew 18:23-35, and take note at the end, "And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."
God will deliver a person to the tormentors if they do not forgive their brother his trespasses. Now you can understand why unforgivess can limit God being able to work in and through a life the way that He desires.
We are commanded to love one another, "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." John 15:12. If we love not our brothers, even when they wrong us, we risk putting ourselves on the receiving end of death! "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death." 1 John 3:14.
"Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses." Mark 11:24-26.
If we forgive, then that act of forgiveness opens up the eligibility for our prayers to be answered, but if we choose not to forgive another, then God will not forgive us of our sins or trespasses. There is no quicker way I know of to shut down a move of God in a person's life than their act of unforgiveness toward another. Why do you think the enemy tries to cause strife, division, unforgiveness, and judgment between Believers? To stop the flow, or limit the way God wants to use them for a particular purpose. They disqualify themselves from being used by God by their unforgiveness! Only God can judge us. We should not judge each other!
"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." Matthew 7:1-2.
"Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." Luke 6:36-38.
Too many Christians are limiting God to act in their lives and on their behalf due to their failure to obey the instructions given above concerning judging, forgiveness, condemning, giving, and showing mercy to others. We need to realize how important these behaviors are to God, and we must flee from any appearance of wrong behaviors, actions, and thoughts. Everything we do, say, think, and imagine has a consequence, either for good or for bad.
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Jeremiah 29:11.
God desires to give us an expected end with success and victory, and wishes only the best for His children.
Not Demonstrating Joy
"Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." Psalm 16:11.
"...the joy of the LORD is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10.
When we fail to demonstrate joy to the people around us, we serve to limit God. Our lack of joy shows others that we are not truly in the presence of God, for if we were, we would radiate His joy. I can always "take the spiritual temperature" of people who claim to be Christians by the amount of God's joy I feel and observe that radiates from their life. You can't conjure up true joy of the Lord and pass it off as the genuine article. It either is there radiating from you, or it is not. The lack of God's joy shows that one does not have the strength of the Lord backing them up. I see this often when someone is attempting to minister "out of the flesh."
If a person does not have the true joy of the Lord flowing out of them, then they need to seek God for the reason why His joy is not present. They need to get into the presence of God. For more on this, see my book entitled Presence Of God. Once a person has become immersed in the worship of God, and sits at His feet and in His presence, all worldly things begin to fade away. Sadly, few people seem to take advantage of receiving the joy of the Lord, but instead they allow the cares of the world to overtake them. Seek intimacy with Him, and He will not disappoint. We need the Lord to lift up His countenance upon us and cover over us with His peace.
"The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace." Numbers 6:26.
Our facial expressions often disclose to others how we are feeling. Do we show joy, or are we angry and sad? I often can tell much about where a person is emotionally, mentally, and spiritually by their countenance. I can read their facial expressions, discern the tone of their voice, and usually pick up on the "vibes" they are sending. If they are radiating peace, I feel that. Likewise, if they are radiating tensions and anger, that can be sensed also.
Our job as Christians is to put others at ease, and not put any problems we may be experiencing on others. No one wants to be around someone who is radiating instability, pain, anger, and hostility. True Christians should be messengers of the peace and joy of God. People should come up to us and sense that there is something different about us. You should continually emanate the positive drawing power of the joy of the Lord and peace.
Failing To Receive Our Rewards
Another way Christians limit the best way God wants to move in their lives is by failing to be a reward receiver.
"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6.
You must believe that God is who He says He is. This is this first requirement. If you don't believe in God and in Jesus Christ, you are already defeated, and you should not expect to receive anything from Him! That is like asking to receive something from the tooth fairy or Santa Claus, who are imaginary and never bring you things. God is real and wants to be believed, unlike imaginary people and things that can't deliver anything to you. You can trust to receive what God has promised, if you meet His conditions that He outlines in His Word and you don't do something to limit God in your life. This is why limiting God is so dangerous to your well-being.
As an additional requirement, the Word of God says that "without faith it is impossible to please him." Since "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1), we need faith to strengthen our ability to believe upon God and Jesus Christ. Our hope should be upon Jesus Christ and all of the promises contained in His Word. The Bible is a living book of hope, containing so many promises from God to those who would believe. God's promises are waiting to be tapped into by those who desire to believe Him.
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14.
Remember in Hebrews 11:6 where it says that, "...he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." This brings us to the last requirement here. We must be good receivers of things God has for us in Christ Jesus!
The failure to receive is not God's fault, but falls squarely on our shoulders! "Ye have not, because ye ask not." and "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." James 4:2,3.
God desires to reward those who believe! He promises to reward us, if we diligently seek Him. We can refuse to receive a reward that God desires to give us though. Unfortunately, too many Christians are refusing to receive the many rewards that God is desiring to give them. The enemy has been busy quoting Scripture telling us "remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:35.
The enemy wants us to not stay balanced in Christ's teachings, and will use whatever he can, including a verse from Scripture, to try and confuse or deceive us into not properly receiving from Christ. If it is more blessed to give than to receive, that does not imply we should not receive at all. If we stopped receiving from God and from others, then we would have nothing to give to others! This is a trap of the enemy to keep Christians poor, hungry, ineffective, hopeless, and without the proper amount of faith in God. The blessings of God are provided so we can give to others and be encouraged in our faith. God is truly a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. Stop refusing to receive a reward because of pride, condemnation, or out of a self imposed doctrine.
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1.
Money is a tool, which can be used for good or bad, like any other tool. There should be no condemnation for Christians who are prospering. Having finances is necessary to fund, equip, and advance the Kingdom of God.
You must be absolutely convinced that God "is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." If you do not believe that God is able (or willing) to reward you, how can you believe God for your salvation or healing?
God desires to give good gifts to us: "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" Matthew 7:11.
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." James 1:17.
"God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?" Numbers 23:19.
Failure To Hear And Obey God
God promises, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14.
The above verse is key to obeying and hearing God, and also being blessed by God. If God's people would only listen to the above verse and obey it, the blessings would overtake them. If they would humble themselves, pray, and seek God's face, He would hear them from heaven, forgive their sins, and would heal their land.
Lack Of Hunger To Seek After God
Too many Christians fail to realize that the word Christian means 'follower of Christ'. They are to be believers in Christ and in His teachings. A follower, or believer, in Christ, should always display the characteristics of Christ in every area of their lives. How else can one demonstrate to the world that they are Christ's (that they belong to Christ) without there being evidence of Christ-like fruits being displayed in their life?
God calls all of us who desire to be known by Him to seek and hunger after Him, and to delight in His ways. God delights to fill us with His righteousness (Christ's righteousness) if we will only hunger and thirst for it.
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33.
"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." Matthew 5:6.
Once we have properly hungered, thirsted, believed, and sought God for His righteousness through Christ, we shall be filled and also not be thirsty. We shall be satisfied with the good things God has prepared for us.
"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." John 6:35.
"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over." Psalm 23:5.
"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6.
Believers in Christ serve to limit God when they give a poor confession or testimony of Christ by the way they live their lives and act around others. They claim to follow Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, but sometimes their words, actions, and lifestyles are far from being pleasing to Christ and don't bring glory to Him.
Are you hungering after God and after His righteousness through Christ? We need to hunger after His righteousness, for, "...all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" Isaiah 64:6. We are nothing apart from Christ.
God responds to our hunger, not our needs, otherwise there would be no need to reach. God desires to be sought by us, and will reward us openly. "...thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly." Matthew 6:18.
Limiting God By Our Relationships
So many people get into the wrong relationships in life, whether they be romantic, business, or social. The wrong friends or other kinds of relationships can weigh you down, control you, and burden you to the point where you may find it difficult to both serve and hear from God. Wrong relationships drown out spiritual things and put us in bondage to things of the flesh. They are "time stealers" and serve to distract us from doing the right things in Christ's eyes. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" 1 Peter 5:8.
If the enemy is unable to kill you outright, he will distract you and make you ineffective in serving Christ. Do not be surprised when he uses people to lure us into strange relationships to "get us off track." He is the author of deception and subterfuge. Be careful of each and every friendship and relationship you enter into, to see if it is of the Lord, or not. There is nothing worse than being in relationship with the wrong person. They will waste your time, money, talents, gifts, and energy, and leave you feeling sad, depressed, and in bondage.
See both of my writings entitled Distractions and Relationships for more help on this very important topic.
Being Ignorant Of The Enemy's Devices
The enemy (the devil or Satan), wants us to be ignorant of his devices. In fact, he likely wouldn't mind it if you either didn't believe he existed or else thought of him as a cartoon-like character in a red suit with a pitchfork.
God is very specific in warning us to be not ignorant of the enemy's devices, "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." 2 Corinthians 2:11. The Bible is full of examples of the lies, tricks, and tactics of the devil, which I believe God placed in His Word for us to study so that we know when we are being subjected to an attack or deception of the devil.
I recommend you read The Holy Bible (King James Version) and all my writings, especially Radiance Requires Relinquishment, to help you properly prepare to withstand the wiles of the enemy and avoid his devices. Also check out my web site for many more helpful Christian resources by classic Christian authors which I distribute.
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:10-13.
Perishing For Lack Of Knowledge
We need to take every thought captive to Christ, so the enemy has no advantage over us in the battle for control of our mind. "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" 2 Corinthians 10:5.
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." Hosea 4:6.
Corrupted Bible Translations
The importance of having and using the right Bible translation is an often overlooked aspect for the Believer. For if every word that God speaks is true, wouldn't it seem best to have the most accurate Bible translation, so as to properly hear God speak to you? We know from the section above, that God's people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6), so wouldn't it make sense that the enemy of our souls (the devil) would try and pollute, tamper with, and obfuscate God's Word? While it is true that God is able to protect His Word, that does not mean that every Bible translation put out in the world is the true Word of God. In fact, we need to be very careful about which translation we ingest and spread around to others in our teachings. Not only are most of the modern translations copyrighted and sold commercially for a profit, but there is a competitive nature for control over our minds and pocketbooks by the Christian publishing companies over which translation should be used. Since there is a large amount of money at stake, the various publishers fight over getting as many churches and Christians to use their copyrighted translation. I have a serious issue with someone trying to copyright God's Word. After all, God spoke the Old Testament over 2000 years ago to men, and the New Testament was written at least 1,900 years ago by men. Surely the Bible text itself should be in the Public Domain by now in every major language. In English, this is the case for the King James Version (also called the Authorized Version) in all countries except Great Britain. Since the King James Version is in the Public Domain in the U.S.A., I can freely use it in all of my writings without any copyright notice required or royalties due anyone. I could quote a few verses, up to, and including the whole text of the Bible. Try that with any other major "modern translation".
Since God is the author of the Bible, He would legally own all the rights to royalties from it. Since He gave His Word to us freely, and put no requirement on us to pay for each copy we distribute of His Word, but instead commanded us to go into all the world to preach the Gospel, I see no reason to use and pay for a copyrighted Bible translation. Copyrights are designed to protect works of authorship for a limited time for the benefit of the author or the commissioner of the work. No one may legally use the work of another without permission, unless the copyright has expired and the work has entered the Public Domain, in which case anyone may freely use it.
Before one can rightly study and read the Word of God, we have to know which version of the Holy Bible is the Word of God. I will start off by saying that I will only read and use the King James Version of the Holy Bible. Yes, I used to use other translations as a babe in Christ before I was convicted by God to use only the KJV to read, study, and quote His Word from. You need to settle this matter between God and yourself. Do your own study and research on this topic. If you feel the wording in the King James is archaic, ask God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to help you understand the words. Before long, you will likely have no problem with the words.
While I will not bash any modern Bible translations by name, suffice it to say that they all have suffered from the fruits of two men in the late 1800s named Wescott and Hort. These two men had much influence over the translation ideals used in the process of making many of the popular modern Bible translations, yet by their own words they had sincere reservations about the validity of many things in the Bible and the miracles of Jesus.
I believe the enemy used people like Wescott and Hort, and many other later Bible translators to change, alter, remove, and obfuscate many truths that are contained in His True Word. How can we rely on a popular modern Bible translation that had a vocal lesbian named as one of its key stylistic consultants (Virginia Mollenkott)? There are many web sites that present the truth about the modern Bible translations compared to the KJV. I recommend you do your own prayerful research on this important subject, so that you are not ignorant of the enemy's devices in this regard. Satan has always attacked the Word of God and inserted doubt, beginning with "...And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Genesis 3:1.
There is much confusion between all of these new Bible translations that have been released since 1881. And since God is not the author of confusion, we must sincerely seek whether He is the author of these translations. We know from The Word that a little leaven when introduced can modify a whole lump. Leaven is symbolic of sin. "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace..." 1 Corinthians 14:33. Read also 2 Timothy 1:7.
"Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved." Luke 8:11-12.
Ignoring Study Of God's Word
One of the main ways we get proper knowledge about God is through His Holy Word (The Bible). If you do not own a Bible, I recommend you get a King James Version (my choice) of The Holy Bible on the web or at your favorite bookstore. You may also desire to have an electronic Bible that you can read, search, and study on your computer. Many different Bible search and Bible study software packages are available for you to choose from.
Regardless if you read and study God's Word in electronic or printed form, the key is to be led by the precious Holy Spirit. Pray before reading The Holy Bible, and ask the Holy Spirit to make God's Word real to you! Then, you will start understanding more deeply the words on the printed page. Since the Holy Spirit inspired the various writers of the Bible to write what they did, go to the source and ask Him for help in understanding the principles and words contained in God's Word. The Holy Spirit draws people to Jesus Christ and reveals God's Word to people. He is the best Bible teacher you could ask for, the best comforter, the best source of true Godly wisdom and revelation. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to earth to help us know more about Jesus and His ways.
"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe." John 14:23-29.
"And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:15-17.
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15.
The enemy fights us tooth and nail to not read God's Word. The devil will try to make you sleepy, distract you from reading, try to get you to think that Bible reading or study is boring, etc. We need to not allow ourselves to be separated from The Holy Bible, which is God's Word. We need to continually learn about Christ from His Word to build up our faith, hope, and belief in Him. We need to know more of Jesus Christ, so we can love Him and trust Him more. Be careful not to neglect your pursuit of Christ through failure to study God's Word!
Not Creating The Right Atmosphere
The atmosphere of our environment is crucial to our proper walk with God and worship of Him. Just like you need peace, calm, and relaxation in a protected environment to rest and recover from the stress and riggers of your daily life, you also need a place for protected worship and study of God. The enemy knows this and will try to steal your time and your environment to prevent Bible study, worship, and your communing with God.
You need to set aside time for God. Allocating time and giving God your undivided attention shows respect and honor to Him, and He will reward you for your diligence. Carefully examine the environment and the amount of quality time you spend with the Lord. God desires to be sought by us. Your passion and hunger for Him shows Him how serious you are in your pursuit of Him. His presence will come in when He is invited properly.
Demonstrating Your Lack Of Faith
What are you demonstrating to God concerning your faith? Are you perpetually walking your life out in faith?
"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6. We must seek and believe in Him.
Is your faith like a yo-yo that moves up and down? Or is it the stable, unshakable kind of faith that can move mountains? "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17. Is it no wonder the enemy tries to attack us from properly hearing the Word of God? He is the enemy of our faith!
"...HAVE FAITH IN GOD. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; AND SHALL NOT DOUBT IN HIS HEART, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith." Mark 11:22,23. (upper case emphasis added to Bible verse)
"Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God." 1 John 3:21. Our heart will condemn us if we have unrepented sin. But if our heart condemns us not, we can have confidence or faith toward God, and anything that we ask in His Name He shall do for us.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:12-15.
Christians tend to have not, because we do not ask of God in faith. "...ye have not, because ye ask not." James 4:2. Or else, we have not, because our faith is wavering and we do not really believe God in a particular matter, "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord." James 1:6-7.
We need to have the faith in God to declare, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13. We can stand, in faith, on God's rich promises in His Word: "Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight." 1 John 3:21-22.
"But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith." Galatians 3:11.
We need to be responsible for our own actions. No one else shall be able to carry you into eternal life with God. You can not rest of your grandmother's faith, or on your preacher's faith. You are responsible to God for the decisions you make, and how you live your life! You can't blame someone else, including the devil, for why you missed the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14. You and I must each press toward that mark, and must bear our own personal responsibility, if we reach that mark or not. Life is made up of a series of choices, so choose wisely, being led constantly by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, to live your life pleasing to Christ.
So Many Limits, So Little Time
I could probably spend a lifetime telling you each and every way you could possibly limit God working in and through your life. Instead of filling this text with more examples, I suggest that you ask God to forgive you through Jesus Christ for all your sins and for all the ways you have limited Him in your life. Ask Him to reveal to you by His Word and by His Holy Spirit any and all areas that need to be changed in your life, and ask Christ for His help in changing all areas that are causing limitations to be placed between you and God. Allow Him to make you truly free indeed, without any blockages or limitations in your relationship between Him and you.God Bless You. "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." John 8:36. Freedom.