How about you? Have you ever faced wanting to do something amazing in life, but found yourself being bombarded with the familiar voices of restriction and those harrowing images of performing below average?
Well the positive news is that every person who succeeded in life including our Bible heroes, had personal limitations in critical areas.
Moses questioned his ability to speak and Gideon saw himself too youthful for the occasion. Saul when called before Israel as their new king found himself hiding in the baggage department.
The Bible is full of real people who questioned their capability and the capability of God Himself. Israel as a nation limited God as did Jesus hometown Nazareth when they were geared up for a miracle outpouring, but couldn’t see the divine in the carpenter.
As believers we can limit our potential, especially when we kick God out of the mix and go things alone. Have you ever done that? I have and it’s a painful journey back home. So let’s have a look at six ways we can limit God’s ability in our own life and see what we can do about it.
1. Self-doubt causes God limitations
Jesus took time with His disciples to change their thinking from self-doubt to inspired belief in the Father. He also understood that most of us play out our life according to the mental image we have chosen for ourselves.
In many ways, who we are today is the total sum of our thoughts of yesterday. So with this in mind, if we are all seeking a better tomorrow, it makes sense that we must aggressively address our thinking today.
2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “As I behold Jesus, I’ll be changed into His image.”
The principle is this: whatever I behold, I’m being changed into that image. So our thinking and what we dwell on is absolutely critical if we are to impact our world and make a lasting difference. Most of us need to adjust our mental identity and our inner thinking to match up with how God views us - and I believe we can.
2. Most opportunities come with a Goliath
1 Corinthians 16:9: “For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”
We limit God when we fail to embrace the challenges that we view as larger than ourselves. However, every challenge we are faced with, should force us into hooking up to the very source of life itself - Christ. There is no battle we cannot win with the Lord’s involvement.
We cannot afford to treat this present life as a rehearsal, as we are given only one shot at this. So seizing the God moments before us is critical. Don’t get caught trying to intellectualise the challenges away, but seriously confront every challenge with faith in God’s capability, demolishing the Goliath’s as you go.
When we are faced with a hard mountain we should always be mindful that Christ inside us is far bigger than any obstacle, no matter how intimidating the situation appears. The key is learning to work with the Holy Spirit who dwells inside each believer. Hearing His voice and finding supernatural strength to conquer our own insecurities, mindsets and mountains.
3. The biggest battle - the enemy within
Whilst there is merit in trying to change our external environment, essentially the Christian life is lived victoriously from the inside out and not from the outside in.
Let me explain, God’s kingdom indwelling the believer is always bigger than our circumstance on the outside. We must come to a place where we realise we can overcome every mountain both within and outside through the power of the Holy Spirit who resides inside.
It is important to grasp this critical truth - every challenge we face in life will be a challenge to our inward character and attitude.
One of the most effective means of changing the circumstance outwardly, is to be honest with ourselves in addressing the inward pride, fear, reaction and so forth that surfaces its ugly head with each frustrating external challenge.
Have you ever noticed that most difficulties we face do a pretty good job of highlighting our character defects that need adjustment?
We are so keen to change the outside when most often the biggest barrier to growth is resident inside through poor character. Paul refers to this as the sin that effectively works (energises) inside of us. Strange as it may seem, adjusting our character releases God to work mysteriously on our outside circumstance.
It is almost like God is saying, “if you resolve the inside attitudes through repentance, then I will sort out the outside through my miracles.” I have seen this occur to many times. Remember you change the inside and God will see to the outside.
4. Our own resistance brings automatic restriction
We so easily get stuck on concepts that limit God, and that most often retains us on a pathway void of personal adventure and advancement.
Sadly, we tend to idolise our own thoughts and opinions, forgetting they often have been the biggest contributor to our miscalculation of life, people and situations. However, the spiritual nature inside us always imparts discerning judgements on matters and is never deceived. It is a matter of recognising and flowing with the Holy Spirit inside.
The deciding factor should not be the strength of our own ideas, but the voice of the Holy Spirit that knows how to open doors for breakthrough. How serious is hearing God’s voice? It’s critical, as lives depend on it.
The early disciples were led by the supernatural, not the superficial. Their lives were heavily guided by the Holy Spirit.
5. Protecting our status brings limitations
Has what we built become so important to us that we stop being radical? When we stop pushing forward and making personal sacrifices, but instead stay in protection mode over our achievements, accomplishments, and reputation, we will quite likely say no to God.
We can be successful in one season yet fail to be effective in the next because we are more interested in protecting our past success. Human nature wants to play life safe as it constantly seeks security. But as men and women impacted by God, we must do everything we can to resist stagnation. God’s plan for us is ongoing so we must awaken those dreams that seem risky, big and costly, but have the touch of God upon them.
6. God’s dreams always require God
How many times have we shunned ideas because of financial commitments and fears?
We should never allow our budget to determine our dream in God. God operates on a totally different level.
Even though as believers we have all been given a measure of faith, our willingness to function in it seldom rises above the vision God placed in our hearts. Failure to seriously stir our dream up will bring our spiritual walk to a halt.
Remember at the beginning of our God dreams, there are seldom the resources that can accomplish them. The funds, resources and personnel most often come as we go.
Keep on dreaming, bigger and bigger.
Never camp around achievement. Keep pushing out for fresh God things and fresh influence that seriously extends His kingdom.
Remember, never allow anybody to set the benchmark for your own success.
We must determine to go beyond mediocrity. Beyond a life that never rises above what it sees and hears.
Friend, this can be a reality by walking in a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ who is Himself unlimited.