Is the LORD’s power limited? (Numbers 11:23)

The LORD said to Moses, “Is the LORDS power limited? Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not.”

Numbers 11:23

“Is the LORD’s power limited?” It’s a question that every believer has to resolve. For Moses, the question is asked when he — having seen God part seas and guide through pillars of fire and cloud and rain bread from Heaven, not to mention the plagues in Egypt — wonders how there will be enough meat to feed Israel — 600 000 men, not counting women and children — for a month. Moses was caught in the trap that so many of us fall into, the trap of focusing on our deficiency.

I should lead with the reality that God has nothing to prove to me. He knit me together in my mother’s womb; has sustained me all the days of my life; has provided for all my needs; has protected my life — sometimes miraculously. All this to say that God has already provided abundant proof of His power and ability to accomplish what concerns me. More and more, I find that my prayers take the form of, “God, I know You can, but I’m not sure if what I want You to do is the best thing, so ….” I can go on for hours that way and God, having all eternity, is patient enough to let me ramble my way through the thought process.

“Is the LORD’s power limited?” My conclusion is both yes and no. I’ll start with the no. God’s power is not limited in scope. He is able to do absolutely anything, provided it is in concert with His nature and will. Can He create something out of nothing? Sure. He’s done it before. Can He lie? Nope. Not in His nature. While this might be viewed as a limit to His power by some, I think that being able to accomplish what He sets out to accomplish without prevarication is actually a greater display of power. Let’s see those who cry “Limited power” on God’s inability to lie go out and accomplish their stated goals without lying. At all. Ever. Won’t happen. But God is able to accomplish His goals — all of them — without lying. Most impressive. But I did say that I conclude that His power is limited. I think that His power is limited by our expectations — or lack thereof — and consequent requests. We think that God is either unable to do something or not really needed for it, so we don’t invite His power. For example, we fall sick. James tells us to call for the elders and get prayer for healing. Most of us call a doctor and get a prescription. Is that bad? No. God gave us doctors, too. But we don’t see healing because we don’t ask for it. Or we ask, but for completely the wrong reason. Another example is provision. Some of us work long hours to make money and find that there never seems to be enough. So we work Sundays and every other day and night we might get to church and fellowship with God’s people. We work so much that we don’t even stop to say “Good morning.” to God while we’re drinking our coffee. Our priorities are all out of whack and we wonder why we can’t make ends meet, when Jesus told us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all the things we need would be provided. Doesn’t mean we stop going to work. It means we make God our first priority and He will provide what we need, including the ability to work well; to work as if for Him. It is this lack of trust and failure to invite God to show Himself mighty on our behalf that limits His power, I think. He is not lacking in power. He is lacking in people looking for Him to display His power on their behalf.

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