That doesn’t sound right, does it? God is almighty, all knowing, ever present and unchanging. He is infinite. How is it possible that we could limit or hinder what God wants to accomplish in us, for us and through us? I’m glad you asked. I want to urge you to read Psalms 78 in its entirety. There you will read about all the ways God cared for His people Israel. In fact, the caption at the beginning of the chapter in my Bible reads, “GOD’S KINDNESS TO REBELLIOUS ISRAEL”.
God’s kindness was expressed to them in so many ways in that day, just as it is us in our day.
· He gave them His laws.
· He fed them.
· He fought for them.
· He guided them.
· He forgave them.
· He restored them.
· He disciplined them in love.
· He gave them victory over their enemies.
The list of God’s goodness and kindness goes on and on, and you find their responses –
· They turned back in the day of battle.
· They did not keep the covenant of God.
· They refused to walk in His law.
· They forgot His works and His wonders that He had shown them.
· But they sinned even more against Him.
· They rebelled against Him.
· They tested God in their heart.
· They spoke against God.
· They did not believe God.
· They did not trust His salvation.
Folks, you just have to read this Psalm slowly and with great thought. Read it prayerfully, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to you any resistance to His work in your heart. Now, listen to this, beginning with verses 40-42. 40 How often they provoked Him in the wilderness, And grieved Him in the desert! 41 Yes, again and again they tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel. 42 They did not remember His power: The day when He redeemed them from the enemy.” Did you notice that statement about God’s chosen people – “And limited the Holy One of Israel.” I wonder how many times through the years I have in one way or another, “limited the LORD who loves me”? You see, this isn’t just an Old Testament account. We have numerous accounts in the New Testament of people limiting the LORD. Do you remember Peter walking on the water to meet Jesus, and then he focused on the boisterous waves and began to sink? He cried out to Jesus and together they walked back to the boat, but Jesus said to him,” Why did you doubt?’ (Matt. 14: 28-33). Paul in his letter to the church in Ephesus wrote and said, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, evil speaking, be put away from you with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Eph. 4: 30-32). In 1 Thessalonians 5:19, Paul wrote,” Do not quench the Spirit.” God is not limited in how He may reveal Himself to us supernaturally given the language of a neighboring tribe so that he could share the gospel with them. He had that language to his dying day. Let me give you one more passage to chew on. Jesus grew up in Nazareth. He taught in the synagogue there and the people were amazed. “where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works. Is this not the carpenter’s son? .....” So, they were offended by Him. (Matt. 13:53-57). Then we read, “But Jesus said to them, ‘a prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house’”. At that point in time, even members of His family didn’t believe in Him. Then verse 58 we read, “Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” I close with one of my favorite verses. If we want to unleash the awesome presence and power of the Holy Spirit, then here is the answer: Hebrew 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Let’s not limit God with unbelief. Let’s come together to seek His continual goodness and greatness.
For His Glory,