March 8, 2013

Why Do We Limit God?

A few days ago, a friend of mine told me about something that he really wanted to see happen in his life, something he wanted to achieve and that he hoped he would. He went on to say he has prayed about the issue several times and hopes that God answers His prayers. And just a few seconds after saying that, he started second-guessing himself. He started wondering if really he would get what he wanted, and started piling the odds that were against him to achieve that particular goal. He started doubting his abilities and told himself that, it would be difficult for him to make it.

In that instant I found inspiration to talk him out of that mindset, out of the negativity, the self doubt and to give him confidence. But after talking to him, I realized that I too have been guilty of that same behavior at some point in my life.

There have been times when I needed something so very much and after praying and committing it to God, I would find myself asking all kinds of questions. Questions like what qualifies me to have that and not the next person, if I was good enough for what I wanted, if I was really ever going to get it and/or how would I overcome all the hurdles to get it?.

I realized after talking to my friend and examining myself that, so many of us are guilty of this. We want something and we go down on our knees to ask God in prayers as He asked us to. For some of us, we are praying for a new job, some are praying for a baby, some are praying for a job promotion, some for success in exams and so on. And after we make the prayer, we get on our feet and start wondering if that prayer will be answered or if it will come to pass. We start looking for answers or excuses why the prayer will not be answered,we start listing our shortcomings and sometimes even use the past to justify why that prayer will not come true.

Well, fellow Christians, if you have done this in the past or are doing it right now, then what you are actually doing is limiting God.Anytime we go to God in prayer and come back to doubt ourselves and our abilities, we are not only doubting ourselves but we are doubting that God will come through for us.We are doubting His power, His love,His grace,His kindness and His mercy.

When we doubt ourselves, we are saying that we are unworthy of Christ's love and His blessings. We are saying that we don't really believe in Him as we claim to,we are saying that there is only so much that He can do and we are trying to be god of our own lives by answering  all those questions and putting in all those limitations.

Psalm 55:22 says 'Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you;He will never let the righteous fall'. Didn't this singular verse just ask us to cast all our cares and burdens onto God for He will sustain us? Casting our cares means taking our problems, desires and wants to God in prayer and sustaining us means He will see us through and grant us that which we have asked for. When we take a burden or concern to God in prayer, we should really free ourselves from it after prayer and let God do His work.

Mark 11:22-24 reads 'So Jesus answered and said to them,"have faith in God.For assuredly,I say to you,whoever says to this mountain,"Be removed and be cast into the sea",and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you,whatever things you ask when you pray,believe that you receive them,and you will have them'. Questioning ourselves after a prayer says very little of our faith and yet Jesus urges us to have faith in God in this passage. It doesn't matter what we are praying to God for or what miracle we  are asking Him for. What matters is that we we have faith in God, believe in Him and have absolutely no doubt in our hearts and whatever it is that we are seeking for will be granted.

Let not the unanswered prayers of the past be a measuring rod for why God can't do in your life what you ask of Him, for surely there had to be a reason why that past prayer went unanswered(topic for another day) and only God actually knows why. Live in the present and believe in God's abilities and promises for that present situation or prayer.

God assures us several times in the Bible that He listens to us and will answer our prayers when we pray. Passages like John 14:13-14 which reads 'Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it' and Mathew 7:7 says ”Ask, and it will be given to you seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.'

As children of  God and as Christians, we came to know of the love of God from the Bible.It is the only proof of His existence coupled with the miracles in our lives, when we know we couldn't have gotten out of a particular situation on our own. As Christians, we made a conscious decision to have faith in God,we chose to believe and that is what sets us apart from non-believers.

We are not ordinary people but extraordinary people bathed in the love of God and basking in His glory filled with promises.And though we live with unbelievers and pray for the same things as unbelievers, our attitudes and mindsets should set us apart from them. For while they sit and questions their abilities, doubt themselves, reminisce on the past and dwell on their failings,we on the other hand have to rejoice. For we serve a living God, a God who keeps His promises, who answers His children, who knows their minds and thoughts even before they come to Him in prayer and who would not forsake them or allow them to be shamed.

So go ahead.Go on your knees and make that fervent prayer to God about that new job you applied for, that baby you desire so much, that promotion you are longing for at work, that exam you are about to write, that new business you are about to launch and so much more.Make that prayer with all your heart and faith,get on your feet and forget about it because God is now in control of everything.Working behind the scenes,putting the right people in your path, leading you to the right door and direction, opening new opportunities for your, emboldening you even without your knowledge, building you up and strengthening you,connecting all the dots and voila,your prayer is answered.

And for Him to do all of that, we have to let God be God in our lives and stop trying to answer our own prayers. For if we could actually do it ourselves, then  we would have no reason praying to Him but since we can't , we have to let Him do His work after we pray. 1 John 5:14-15 says 'And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.'

I would leave you with one of my favorite Bible verses, the first part of Psalm 46:10 which says 'Be still and know that I am God' . I just found out that still comes from a Hebrew word meaning to 'let go' or 'release' and it just gave a whole new meaning to this verse and makes it all the more powerful. Whatever you ask God for in prayers or whatever miracle you are believing Him for, let it go and release it to Him, because He is still on the Throne and has sovereign control over every thing. And that second part, know that I am God means let God be God of your life and see how beautiful He makes everything in and around your life.

Have a blessed weekend .

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