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Looking for God in Our Limits

Posted on May 19th, 2015

Our limits are often the last place we look for God.

But when we fail to look for God in our limits, we simply bypass Him.

In the last three weeks, God has limited me through a bicycle accident that required surgery (breaking my right wrist and dislocating my left elbow) and through personal identity theft (where my banking, credit cards, and online accounts were all compromised). These limits have revealed to me, once again, the condition of my own heart and the challenge it is for me to surrender in trust to Him. O how easy it is to rebel against God right in the midst of my work for Him!

I have been reminded of Robert Barron’s insight that the heart of original sin in the Garden of Eden was their refusal to accept God’s limits and not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:15-17). John of the Cross wrote 500 years ago that only the intervention of God through leading us into dark nights can purify us of the imperfections and rebellions that keep us from union with Him. It is not something we accomplish ourselves through our spiritual practices.

I know God is slowing me down, teaching me dependence and brokenness – but these are hard truths to learn deeply.

Limits are one of the most counterintuitive, difficult truths in Scripture to embrace. They fly in the face of our natural tendency to want to play god and run the world. Yet it remains a steady truth that we return to, over and over, in our role as leaders under Jesus.

Yet God reveals himself to us, and to the world, through limits in unique and powerful ways—if we have eyes to see.

Take a few moments and consider the following question: What might be one limit God has given you in this season – either personally or in your leadership – that actually might contain a gift for you and those around you? You may find, as I have, that God is waiting for you there.


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Church Culture Revolution: A 6-Part Vision That Deeply Changes Lives