Are there self imposed limits to what God will and will not do?
Are there limits that God has placed on Himself? And if so, does it or can it directly effect mankind? For example, does mans free will limit what God can and can not do, with God knowing He gave man free choice? Does this limit God? And are there other limits?
Interesting. As you know I have answered this one on 'free will' a few times, but this question has a lot in it. I am by nature and definition a heart person not a mental or intellectual one. I am happier being childlike. That said, first we can agree that God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. He is not like us, and an omnipotent God cannot and is not bound by His Creation. Matt19:26; Luke 1:37; Jeremiah 32:27; Isaiah 40:28; Job 42:2 and Daniel 2: 20-22.
He is also forever transcending Himself: Psalm 90, 1-4; Isaiah 41:4. So no, man cannot limit the limitless, the infinite.
Scriptures teach us that God is the beginning and the end, indeed Christ told us that He is with us always, even unto the end of time. (The Bible: God's word translation, 1995).
A limitless God cannot be bound anymore than an omnipresent or omnipotent One can. Still He works with infinite possibilities, and gives us - out of His mercy - (one of His greatest gifts) limited freedom. This creates many problems for man but the compassionate hand of the ever-loving God remains outstretched and He is faithful and just and remains to forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9). No, there are no limits, for he has many plans yet to unravel. He cannot be bound.
."Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think" Ephesians 3:20-21.
I do not think there are any limits as to what God can do. Saying that, I think there may be at times limits as to what God will or will not do. Take for instance one of his children wondering away from him. I think he will give you enough rope to hang yourself, but be there to call you back and humble you at the same time. These are the very hard times I think we go through in life is God humbling us when we have done so many things that are unpleasing to him. God will punish his children as your earthly father punishes. Just, of course, in a much different way.
JThomps42. Please read the comment I made with manatita44. God is bound by His word.The example I gave is just one of many. Many thanks for your answer.
In the true spirit of tolerance and accommodation, I wanted to wait to see the views of others. They all appear similar to mines.
manatita44- Please don't misunderstand. I very much liked your answer, I was just trying to provide the same answer to JThomps42 without repeating myself. I believe that God is bound by His word. Many blessing.
first of all...in God is not limited by our free will to get his will done. He does use his people to do his will, when we listen and obey....if we choose not to listen to what God is saying do...fine....he will use someone else...but his will is done...with or without our help. God is not limited.....because he is the beginning and the end...
Absolutely, what God wills; He indeed can and will accomplish; however, He is a loving God thus I believe He is indeed (somewhat) bound by love. Keep in mind, He indeed will admonish us continually until we see His way... So what we consider castrophic or non-loving may not be as castrophic or non-loving in God's view because He "sees" the "big" picture (sort of speak)...
I like the answers here. I put them all together for myself in this way.
God created us in His image, and wants us to grow up to be like him. But we are not his little children, we are his grown children. And yet, much of the time, we do not behave in the loving ways our loving creator does. This creates a dilemma for God. If we were little children, he could limit us. But we are grown up children. He calls to us, guides us, and patiently waits until we do in our lives what He would do.
And what is he hoping we will do? Love our neighbors as ourselves. Love our enemies. How far are we supposed to go in this? Until we are perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect.
Following this idea, the Beatitudes (in Matthew 5) are a seven-step guide to growing into the children our Father wants us to be.
He will limit us by allowing us to live and waiting patiently until we learn to love.
It is sad, all the suffering that happens in time, while he waits for us to receive our glory, and we slowly find our way.
In all other religions, pleasing the God of those religions is "work" based. This means that you must perform in a certain manor to please that God or to gain entrance into hies/her/its kingdom in the after-life. Christianity is unique in that it asks you to share a relationship with God through his Son. This is a free choice. Yes, his Son, and your belief in his existence and Lordship over you is the only way into the Kingdom of Heaven, but--it is given freely with grace...a gift. It cannot be earned. You cannot pull yourself up by your own moral "boot-straps." This is wholly unique against all other religions comparatively. You do not have to strap a bomb on yourself or your child to enter heaven. You do not have to have the right "Karma" to live again, etc. Atheism believes that time+matter+chance=a human life that has no intrinsic value. If you believe in good, than you must believe in evil. If evil and good exist, then there must b a moral law. If there is a moral law, then there must be a moral law giver. Al theories of creation are fantastical or supernatural in nature. whether you believe in time+matter+chance, a universe that has always existed without an author or creator, or creationism. All of these are quite hard to believe respectively...I choose creationism because it makes us all hold intrinsic value which gives a moral law to stand firmly on in my life. It gives me a morality and a moral law giver to base life on. Atheism leaves my feet dangling in the air of nothingness.
Man's free will does not limit God. God knows what a man or woman will choose. That fact doesn't limit your ability to choose, but it doesn't limit God either. God created man to have fellowship with him. It's not fellowship if men and women don't choose it of their own free will.
The only thing I know of that limits God is the fact that He is not willing for anyone to perish, but because he gives us a choice, some of us will.
This kind of thinking can give you a headache. Trying to explain the infinite with a finite mind can be frustrating.
We all know God is totally unlimited in His abilities, He can do anything at anytime He chooses, But He has chosen the channel of faith to work in our lives, So He is limited by our lack of faith, He can only work so much in our lives as we exercise faith in Him.
As He said in one place "as your faith is so be it unto you"
Big faith big answers little faith little answers, no faith no answers.
Example: In Mat 17:19 the disciples asked why they couldn't cast out the devil,
in vs.20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
We know it is God that casts the devil out and He is more than capable but they limited Him by not exercising faith in Him.
Another example: Mat 21:21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
When we exercise faith in Him we can accomplish the impossible, It is definitely God that does the impossible BUT if we doubt that He will answer then He is limited by our doubts.
The condition is If you believe ye shall say and it shall be done, but if you doubt in your heart it shall not be done.
Mat_15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
the woman that Jesus refused to answer at first pressed on with faith that God could answer her need and because she exercised her faith in God she received her answer.
Of course God could have answered her need regardless of her faith but again God has chosen the channel of faith to operate on our behalf.
Also in Psalms the writer is reminding us of the children of Israel in the wilderness
Psa 78:32 For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works.
Psa 78:41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.
They believed not, and they limited Him.
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