They Limited the Holy One



In every one of our lives there are limits or boundaries we face. These may be external such as traffic signs given for the protection and safety of ourselves and others, or they may be internals such as strongholds of the mind that keep us bound. Of course, not every external limit is good nor is every internal limit harmful. Where would we be if men’s consciences put no restraints on them; where could the underground church of

China take the gospel if the governmental restrictions were removed?                                                                             

As believers we learn to submit to the limitations that we face, both internal and external, when they are consistent with God’s will. Likewise, we learn to see our weakness (i.e., limiting factors) as opportunity to see the power of God revealed. His power is perfected in our limits, even so much that our limited comprehension cannot grasp all that He can and will do in us and through us.

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us… 

Clearly, the limitless One is willing to override our limitations and He certainly would unless we, ourselves, limit the Holy One!

Psalm 78:40-42 How often they provoked Him in the wilderness, and grieved Him in the desert!   Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power: the day when He redeemed them from the enemy.                                  

Scripture abounds with the promises of God to bless His people. Father’s heart, mind, will and eagerness to deliver is, of course, seen in Christ’s ministry as He went about doing good, setting people free from self-imposed prisons and from the shackles of Satan. On the other hand, Christ could do little to bless people in the face of their unbelief despite His willingness to do so.

Matthew 13:57-58 So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house… Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Old Testament or New, it is clear that when men forget the goodness of God, it severely limits Him in how He can bless them. By submitting to our own limitations apart from His mighty work in us, we live with unchanged boundaries of life. We see the same old constraints. We see our lack of power or ability to do anything about it and we fall into complacency or despair. But when we look into the perfect law of liberty and act, the Spirit who brings liberty changes us from glory to glory.

James 1:22–25 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the word, this one will be blessed in what he does.


2 Corinthians 3:17–18 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.


Jesus said, “Ask…seek…knock…” and it shall be given, found, and opened. Paul said God supplies according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. We need to take our limits off God. How else will we change? How else will we rise up in the high calling and fulfill our destiny? How else will we accomplish that for which we have been created?


Yes, I have limitations and you have limitations but He has none. Yes, we limit ourselves through selfishness, learned fears, remembered failures and foolish choices, but God has none of these! Yes, others seek to limit us by their words, actions, attitudes and control, but God is not moved by them! Yes, circumstances will rise up against us and yes, Satan is against us… but “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” and “in all these things we are more than conquerors”.        

We must recognize that our limitations are not the end of our story; they are only the beginning of His power!

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Recognizing our limits and calling on God and His grace will change us. Consider Jabez who was identified as “Pain.” Imagine the limitations of going through life known as “the little pain” and then as “the big pain”. Notice how he called on God to change him, change his identity and reputation, and enlarge his territory or border.

1 Chronicles 4:9-10 Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh; that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain! So God granted him what he requested.”

That is just what you and I need to do, asking God to undo and redo, to remove the borders from our lives and make new ones. God granted Jabez’s request and He’ll surely grant ours.

May you have a wonder-filled and blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year filled with the enlargement of God who is ever so willing to change your identity and reputation and enlarge your territory into greater spheres of influence!