15/08/2018: “Receive the gift of Limits” | Gill Wolfaardt
Emotionally healthy people accept the limits God has given them, they are happy being themselves and are content and joyful.
The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has limits.
Once we accept our limits we can go beyond them.
1 Timothy 6:6 “Godliness accompanied with contentment is great and abundant wealth” Contentment is a sense of inner sufficiency and is basically accepting who God made me to be.
Ephesians 2:10 “We have become His poetry, a created people that will fulfil the destiny He has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfil it. “ Passion translation
Amplified: “ For we are God’s own handiwork ( His workmanship ) recreated in Christ Jesus ( born anew ) that we may do those good works which God predestined ( planned beforehand ) for us ( taking paths which He prepared for ahead of time) that we should walk in them ( living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live. )
The is a very personal scripture. I cannot live the life God prearranged for someone else. I must accept and live the life He gave me. I must align myself with His plan for me.
Rabbi Edwin Friedman’s story of the man on the bridge
How does this story make you feel? Does it sound really unchristian?
We need discernment as to where our responsibility stops and starts.
Matthew 19: 16-24
The story of Jesus and the rich young man. Jesus told him to give away all he had to follow Him. When he walked away Jesus did not run after him. He respected his choice.
We need likewise to respect people’s choices and it often entails letting go. We’ll be able to discern by what is going on in our own hearts. What are the fruits? Am I feeling resentful, bitter, angry manipulated, guilty?
These could be warning signs that I am trying to take responsibility for something God has not destined for me to do.
Sometimes we do things because no one else has volunteered or because we want to appear to be good christians or because we’ve been manipulated. Peer pressure or people pleasing.
Each of us has been given some talents and limits. They are gifts from God. Keep reminding yourself that you are God’s workmanship and that He has a good life planned for you because He loves you.
THE GIFT OF THE 5 FOLD MINISTRY
Ephesians 4:11-13 “It was He Who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the full measure of the fullness of Christ”
Jesus had limits too
He spent the first 30 years of His life being a faithful son, employee and participant in His village and synagogue. At the time of His baptism He was affirmed by God the Father.
Matthew 3 : 16 and 17 . “ YOU ARE THE SON WHOM I LOVE; WITH YOU I AM WELL PLEASED”
Immediately after that (2 verses later ) He is led by the Holy Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. The essence of the temptations were to get Jesus to transgress the limits God had given Him. This continues to be a spiritual warfare issue for those of us desiring God’s will for our lives.
First temptation: Stones to bread
Jesus was hungry ,He hadn’t eaten for 40 days. Satan comes and says , in effect ,” Do something! If you don’t you’ll die and nobody will experience salvation!”
Jesus accepts God’s limit trusting in God and the rocks remain rocks!
Second temptation: Testing God
” Show the people you’re really something. Prove that God is with you. Jump and let the angels catch you otherwise they’ll think you’re a nobody”
Jesus rejects the lie and doesn’t jump but walks down the steps accepting His human limits. He doesn’t do anything sensational to prove Himself!
Third temptation: Bow to satan
Jesus is shown all the kingdoms of the world and satan says worship me and I’ll give you all of these. The lie? “ If you skip over the suffering and the cross, the work of God could be instant.” The truth is we can sometimes by pass our God given limits and end up trying to do God’s work without God.
Adam and Eve’s temptation was also about limits. The garden of Eden had everything they needed, they had freedom to eat any of the fruit EXCEPT for the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
They did not accept that limit and the whole world has suffered ever since
- John the Baptist’s example of embracing limits
- He had a powerful ministry but when Jesus came the the people left to follow Him. John’s followers got bent out of shape and complained to him. Listen to what John says
- “ A person cannot receive even one thing unless God bestows it” John 3:27 Passion translation
Amplified “A man must be content to receive the gift which is given to him from heaven, there is no other source”
John is saying “ I am not God, I am not the Messiah. I accept my limits , I am not the centre of the universe”
Even though Jesus did not heal every sick and demon possessed person or write a book or build a big church , at the end of His life He prayed “ I have finished the work YOU Gave me to do.”
Learning to discern our limits
- Look at your personality
- Look at your season of life
- Look at your life situation
- Look at your emotional and intellectual capacities
When we accept and embrace these limits in our lives we find ourselves more dependent on God, more sensitive and less judgemental of others.
Be faithful to your true self
Do not compare yourself to others. You are unique with unique gifts and talents.
When you find yourself anxious, always in a rush, stressed , irritable ,with your stomach in a knot its possible you may have strayed away from your God given purpose of life.
That is why it is vital to send time each day seeking God and discerning His will for your life. We can never truly love until we learn to love God and ourselves.
Do not neglect to care for yourself. Often its when we have neglected to care for ourselves that we get angry, irritable, exhausted,frustrated .
Self care is not a selfish act, it is good stewardship of His temple.
“Christ in us the hope of Glory” Colossians 1:27
Learn to say no and give others the freedom to do likewise
Each of us has the responsibility to care for what is within our own boundaries. People without boundaries tend to do what others expect of them out of a sense of duty, guilt or pressure.
Some Biblical examples of breaking out of limits because of God’s will
Sometimes God will ask you to do something impossible that you could never do alone and He gives His grace.
- Sarah and Abraham
In contrast Look at King David whose deep desire was to build the temple. God said NO. God set a clear limit. Imagine David’s disappointment and embarrassment.
He submitted to God’s limit realising God had an infinite plan he ,David, couldn’t see.
His response “ Our God is in Heaven. He does what pleases Him.” Psalm 115:3
Lets not be like the rulers in Judges 21:25 “ Every man did what was right in his own eyes.”
Get in step with God
The Message Romans 3:27
“ So where does that leave our proud ( Jewish ) insider claims? Cancelled. Yes cancelled. What we’ve learned is this ; God does not respond to what we do ; we respond to what God does. We’ve finally figured it out. Our lives get in step with God and all others by letting Him set the pace, not by proudly or anxiously trying to run the parade . “