Wednesday, November 22, 2006

 

Can a man limit God?

Some of my colleagues struggle with the fact that they are not as productive as they would like to be in their work. The see that only a small persentage of their work produces fruit. They are concerned about this, and feel their need to fulfill the great commission. They feel that God has given them a commission, and that they have the responsibility to fill that commission. They even ask the question:

"Are we limiting God".

My question is this, Do you really think that you have powers to limit God? Who do you think you are?? Maybe, you are a strong man, but WOW, How egotistico! Do you really think that The almighty cannot raise up believers from every person alive today if He so chooses?

I am concerned about the powers that you may think you hold.

When Jesus ascended, 500 people watched. He had fed over 5000 men plus women and children. Everyone in the surrounding towns knew about him, and all that is reported in the upper room prayer meeting in Acts 1, was only a mere 120, and He is perfect. He is God. He has told us that we should not be surprised when we are rejected. We should not be surprised when people do not listen, that they rejected Him, they will reject us too.

I am telling you, this frustration is not good. God's plan for us is not that we be stressed and burned out because we only won X number of converts, or baptisms -or didn't win any for that matter. Jesus rejected the crowds -even when they wanted to make Him king.

We have a job to do. We are to witness, disicple new converts, mobilize the new converts into a force of church planters. We fail the task when we disobey our Lord. Jeremiah was a success, even though his ministry produced no converts. Noah preached righteousness, but had only his family with him in the boat. The job of the watchman on the wall is to warn of the coming danger. If the people do not prepare for battle after hearing the cry, the people are responsible for the downfall of the city, not the watchman.

We have the privilege of working in places where others have gone before us. They have laid much of the groundwork. Many have invested their life into the people of the countries that we serve. Many have done well. Their disciples are making disciples. The question is when we stand before an almighty God, will we be found faithful. Will he say well done faithful servant, or will he tell us that we had many more opportunities than we took advantage of.

Just some thoughts from someone who will not live under condemnation because I have been set free from the guilt and false accusations of the enemy.

Comments:
Good post Donnie. I would encourage you share these same thoughts over on the cpf.

My own take on "can we limit God" is not that we have the powers within to hold back God, but that our own shortcomings, sin, pride, stubborness, etc. is preventing God from doing more in our midst than what we are currently seeing.
 
Guy,

I use some strong words in that post. Originally it was on a reply email to the forum, but I changed my mind, and put it here instead, as I think about it some more, and make some changes, I will likely post something. -maybe a day late but... something -provided the argument continues.

-Jonah had all the things that you mentioned, plus a general hatred for those to whom he was sent. You remember the story, he even was angry with God because God chose to save the city.

I am not saying that we need not worry about our integrity. If God shows us a problem, by all means, address it, confess it and turn away. This is an entirely different argument.

If we go looking for an unknown sin that we have committed, Satan will keep us defeated and chasing phantoms for a very long time. He's a pro at that. He has been doing it for years! If he can defeat us over a sin that we didn't even commit, hey he's happy.
 
I think you have some good thoughts here, and even though it might appear that we have "moved on" it is still relative to us all. I would encourage you to go ahead and post your thoughts as well to the cpf.
 
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