"Is the Lord's power limited? Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not."
- Numbers 11:23 NASB
I have a sign on my office wall that says, “Don’t Limit God”. It reminds me that if I want to receive all that the Lord has in store for me, I can’t afford to allow myself to doubt His power, goodness, or love—in any situation. When I’m faced with adversity, and my faith begins to waver, I often think of the Israelites, and how their lack of faith robbed them of God’s best. They had witnessed the awesome power of God when He delivered them out of captivity in Egypt. When He parted the Red Sea. When He went before them in a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night. And when He split the rocks in the desert and gave them water to drink. Yet when the Lord tried to lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land, they rebelled against Him. Moses had sent twelve spies from among them to scout out the land, and to come back with a full report of what they found there. Ten of the men came back with a negative report, while two of them—Joshua and Caleb—expressed faith in God’s promise of victory. The naysayers basically said, “There are giants in the land, and we felt like grasshoppers next to them! If only we had died in Egypt!” But Caleb declared: “Do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them." (Numbers 14:9 NIV) To their shame, the majority of the community believed the evil report, and God condemned all of the adults in that generation to wander and die in the desert. Out of the twelve original spies, only Caleb and Joshua survived and eventually entered the Promised Land. The Lord singles out Caleb as especially honored in His sight when He says: “Because My servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.” (Numbers 14:24 NIV)
When the majority of the spies saw only giants, Caleb saw God. He didn’t deny that there were giants, he just looked beyond them--to the Lord and His promise. He didn’t put limits on God. And the Lord honored His faith. Why does God honor faith? Because faith honors God. Scripture tells us: "Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6 NIV) God loves to reward His faith-filled children. Read through the Gospels, and you’ll discover how many times Jesus richly rewarded those who expressed their faith in Him, His power, and His goodness. He often pointed to their faith as the reason for His extraordinary answers to their requests for help. When two blind men came to Him for healing, Jesus asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” When the men replied, “Yes,” He told them: "According to your faith will it be done to you." (Matthew 9:28-29 NIV) Before the Savior restored their sight, He wanted them to know that it was their faith that moved Him to act on their behalf. As I heard one man of God put it—“There is power in believing!”
If you doubt that you and I can put limits on God, then read the passage in Mark’s Gospel that talks of Jesus’ arrival in His hometown of Nazareth. The Scripture says: “And because of their unbelief, He couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place His hands on a few sick people and heal them. And He was amazed at their unbelief.” (Mark 6:5-6 NLT) It wasn’t that Jesus didn’t have the power to help these doubt-filled people, but it was the fact that they were limiting the Savior’s miracle-working power on their behalf by their lack of faith. And this “amazed” Jesus because He couldn’t imagine why anyone would doubt the power and goodness of God. There could be things that God wants to do in, for, and through you right now, that He can’t do until you take the limits off of Him. Today, I challenge you to believe and receive all that God has for you!
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for the times that my lack of faith has prevented You from demonstrating Your power in my life, and in the lives of my loved ones. Help me to cooperate with You for the building of my faith through prayer, praise, and the study of Your Word. Thank You that as I refuse to put limits on You, I will witness Your unlimited power working on my behalf!
- J. M. Farro