Don’t Limit God!
Don’t Limit God!
Psalm 78:41,42 (King James Version)
41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.42 They remembered not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy.
If you were to ask believers of ways they think they had limited God in their lives, they would likely bring up the times when they were not as nice as they could have been or, the times they didn’t do something for someone else that they should have done. Most of our reasons for limiting God have to do with wrong behaviors. However, if we go to the root of wrong behavior, we will find the source of the problem to be wrong believing. Psalm 78 confirms that.
The first thing we are told in Psalm 78:41, is that the Israelites “turned back,” meaning they had been going in one direction and then changed course. So, behavior did have a part to play in limiting God. Verse 42, points to the source of their turning back. They “remembered not His hand.” The Israelites forgot what God had done for them, and the fact He had delivered them from the enemy. Forgetting caused the Israelites to “limit the Holy One of Israel.” From their forgetting evolved the wrong behavior.
What can we learn from this passage of scripture? Basically, that the source of limiting God in our lives comes from wrong believing. It may seem surprising, but we don’t get tripped up by not believing that God can do great things for us in the future; we get tripped up by forgetting what He has done in our lives in the past. Forgetting opens the door to wrong-believing. When that happens our future becomes shaped by wrong mind-sets which, in turn, can hinder our faith for what lies ahead.
By remembering God’s faithfulness, we establish a pattern of thinking that prepares us for challenges that may come. Right-believing always leads to the open hand of God. Remembering what God has done for us in the past becomes the very thing that allows us to believe He will be there for us in the future.
Sidebar: A word about the fact that Psalm 78:41 says that the Israelites “tempted” or provoked God by their actions. This, of course, was written in the Old Testament before the Cross. As a result of Jesus bearing all of God’s wrath for the sins of mankind, we no longer tempt or provoke God – ever! But our not remembering still has consequences in that our faith is negatively affected when we forget His faithfulness to us. And that does limit what God is able to do in our lives.
It is said that all faith failures are a result of broken focus. Psalm 78: 41,42 is a reminder that keeping our eyes on the faithfulness of God in our past is imperative to having the faith we will need for the days that are before us.
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