“Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.”
We sing the song, “God can do anything,” but we often live as if God can’t do a thing. Our lives often are the cause of God not doing the great works that He wants to do. Certainly, God doesn’t need man to show His omnipotence, but He uses man to demonstrate His omnipotence. When man doesn’t live according to what God wants Him to live, it puts a limit on what God can do.
In the verse above, God said that Israel “limited the Holy One…” Imagine the powerless putting handcuffs on omnipotence. Imagine the finite one keeping the infinite One from showing His omnipotence. God is saying that Israel actually limited Him because of several of their actions. In this chapter, God shows several actions that limit Him. If you want God to show His power through your life, you would be wise to avoid the actions that limited God from doing what He wanted to do through Israel.
First, turning back limits God. Quitting limits God because it is a doubt movement instead of a faith movement. God always shows His strength through faith. When Israel chose to go back to Egypt, it limited God’s ability to show the heathen nations how He was powerful enough to help them conquer the Promised Land. It wasn’t until Israel chose to go forward by faith that God showed His delivering power. My friend, the decision to quit takes you backward and limits God’s ability to show His power through you. Be careful not to quit because quitting is like water that squelches the fire of God’s power in your life.
Second, not taking advantage of God’s forgiveness limits God’s power in your life. God forgave Israel many times, but they chose to let His forgiveness be their excuse to do more sin. Just because God has forgiven you doesn’t mean that you should sin again. The fact that God could use sinful people shows His power to others that He can use them if they will come to Him. When you don’t take advantage of God’s forgiveness to serve Him, you limit His ability to influence others to come back to Him.
Third, a lack of faith limits God’s ability to do great works through the believer. It says about Israel in verse 32,”…believed not for his wondrous works.” Verse 42 says, “They remembered not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy.” You will notice that in both of these verses, Israel didn’t remember or believe the works of God. Why didn’t they believe His works? Because their lack of faith caused them to forget what He had done for them in the past. Doubt has a way of causing the believer to forget what God has done for them in the past. A faith-filled life has a wonderful memory of what God has done in the past, and it motivates the person of faith to continue walking in faith. Whenever you choose to live in doubt, you limit God’s ability to honor your faith.
Let me ask you; are you limiting God in your life? What is it in your life that has limited God’s ability to use you? Let me remind you that this world needs to see the omnipotence of God. Your life is the only way the world will ever see God’s power and ability to save them from Hell. A sin-filled, doubting life will never show God’s power, but it limits His ability to show His omnipotence to the lost world. Let me encourage you to unleash the power of God by choosing to go forward by faith and show the world God’s infinite ability.