On a road trip with my family, I could see the highway all the way to the horizon but I couldn’t see beyond that “line” in the distance. As a little girl I remember saying to my dad, “It looks like we are going to drive off the end of the earth!” He would chuckle, knowing there was so much more road beyond what I could see.
I’ve questioned God in a similar way during difficult times… “Is there anything happening beyond what my eyes can see?” It’s so hard to imagine what God could be doing outside of my human sphere of understanding.
God’s Word has something to say about believing only what is within our small ability to see and understand. Psalm 78:41b says, “…they limited the Holy One of Israel.” I heard a pastor comment that the meaning of the Hebrew term “to limit” actually refers to the horizon or drawing a boundary. In other words, the people could only see as far as the horizon or what existed within the circle they could see around themselves. Fascinated (and convicted) by this concept, I dug in further to learn what it might mean to draw a boundary around God.
When the Hebrew people “limited” God, they were actually saying to Him, “Go here, no further, and stop at the horizon. Don’t work outside of what I can see and understand.” They lacked faith to believe that God is so much bigger than their circumstances and that He has the power to do miraculous things. They preferred to focus only on what they could control, wanting their own will to be done instead of God’s will. In a nutshell, they were saying “Do it my way God and I’ll tell you how to do it.”
Pride and unbelief limit God
Why wouldn’t our all-powerful God overrule this type of attitude and just do His will? Can we actually limit God’s work in our lives? The answer is YES … and here’s how we do it:
- We don’t cooperate with God’s plan for us when we can’t see or understand what He is doing. We refuse to take action that requires faith.
- We don’t obey God unless we agree with what He leads us to do.
- We don’t trust that God is working beyond the sphere of our own circumstances.
- We place our wills above God’s. We want to be in control!
Oh yes, there are many ways we “horizon” God!
Another Bible version of the Psalm 78:41b verse says it this way, “…they vexed the Holy One of Israel”; in other words, they annoyed and irritated God. The people actually provoked God to anger when they refused to trust Him and cooperate with His plan.
How can we “un” limit God?
As followers of Christ, we are called to surrender our wills and follow Him, many times into the unknown that lies past the horizon of what we can see. His plan is always greater than what is under our control. If we want the Lord to do miraculous things that are beyond what we can see and understand, we need to do two important things:
- Have faith and fully trust in the Lord Jesus.
- Obey what He calls us to do, allowing Him to take us beyond our own horizon.
I believe that if we grow in our faith, study God’s Word and obey what He leads us to do, the Lord will work in mighty ways well beyond the boundaries of our horizon.
I don’t want to “horizon” God. What about you… are you willing to trust God to work in your life without limits?
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5