Living Within Limits

Living Within Limits and Loving a God Who Has No Limits

Advent Series Part Two: Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6)

Learning to live with Parkinson’s Disease has been a crash course in acknowledging my limits. I’m grateful for brain-training exercises from my physical therapist designed to counteract the drawing inward and the self-protective shrinkage of movement that comes with uncertain balance, joint pain, and the unpredictability of one hand continually going rogue.

“Don’t stop doing something just because it’s hard,” she counseled. “Get down on the floor to do those exercises as long as you can so that you will have to get yourself back up again.” So I extend my limbs half a dozen different ways, stretch out my fingers to their limit, and, at least for that half hour of exercise, I’m taking up ALL my space these days.

Even as I fight my limits, this new diagnosis is tutoring me in the wisdom of accepting my creaturely dependence upon a limitless God. While I am contingent, derived, and limited, God is self-existent, uncreated, and infinite in all his perfection.

Mighty God–Powerful Warrior

God is a mighty warrior who fights for his people. Much of the military terminology in the Bible is lost on me, but I recently spent time at a women’s retreat sharing the beautiful imagery of God as our rear guard.

I loved remembering that Israel escaped from slavery with the wealth of the Egyptians and the clothes on their backs only to find themselves suddenly trapped between the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s army. It was then that the fugitives experienced God’s guiding presence, as their rear guard: “…the angel of God who was going before the host of Israel moved and went behind them, and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them.”

God moves to protect us at our point of greatest vulnerability. Our Mighty God wraps up and bookends history as the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last.

Mighty God–Completely Unlimited

God’s omnipotence asserts that there are no limits on his ability to act.
God’s sovereignty asserts that there are no limits on his authority to act.”

Jen Wilkin–None Like Him

Whatever God wills, he does. All that power would be frightening if it was not bound up in One who is infinitely wise, utterly good, and perfectly holy. Even when God is behaving in ways I can’t comprehend, his intertwining goodness and sovereignty have been my comfort.

Even when God is behaving in ways I can’t comprehend, his intertwining goodness and sovereignty have been my comfort.

News commentators and off-the-mark theologians bend over backward either to exonerate or to implicate God whenever tragedy strikes. Orthodoxy requires us to look squarely at the truth that God could have stilled the storm, kept the bridge from collapsing, prevented the earthquake, struck down the despotic dictator, and spoken peace to our troubled world.

But, often, he does not.

If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God’s sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled.”

R.C. Sproul

God is free to use his power according to his own design. He announced through Isaiah that his Son would come to us in the same way–as The Mighty God.

This is amazing news for those who are weak.

Two great gifts of Christmas come to all who greet this knowledge with joy:

  1. Reverence: Believers experience a combinate of admiration and fear that we were created to know. In its absence, pallid substitutes strive to provide a temporary thrill, but there are only so many roller coaster rides, and then it’s back to humdrum dailiness. Knowledge of the Mighty God in his role as Creator and Keeper of our lives is our one lasting connection to awe.
  2. Refuge: The God who has delivered his people in the past stands ready to rescue again–not necessarily from suffering and death, but from final and ultimate defeat. No matter what happens on this planet, no matter what happens to our bodies, we can take refuge with confidence in his power.

How does the reality that the Mighty God is a powerful warrior and unlimited in his ability to do what he wills comfort you personally?

Holding you in the Light,

God is free to use his power according to his own design. He announced through Isaiah that his Son would come to us in the same way–as The Mighty God. This is amazing news for those who are weak.

This is Part Two of a four-part series for Advent featuring Isaiah’s prophecy of a coming Messiah. Join me next Sunday for Part Three where we remember that our Everlasting Father cares for you perfectly and is a giver of good gifts. If you missed part one and want to catch up, click here on Wonderful Counselor to read and consider just exactly where YOU go when you need wisdom or comfort.

A Dose of Truth for Your Advent Season

This is your invitation to join me and my newsletter subscribers in memorizing and meditating on Isaiah 9:6 during the Advent season. Obviously, all you really need in order to do this is a Bible and the willingness to put in the work. However, if you’re interested in some help and encouragement, I’ve created a PDF for you that includes printable resources including:

  • The text of Isaiah 9:6 as pictured above
  • First letters of the verse to push you along in your memory work (Have you ever tried this method? It really helps me!) The first letter of each word triggers your brain to say the right word without actually giving you the word in print.
  • A Meditation Guide for each name of Jesus: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. Each little card invites you to think about the Name in terms of who Jesus promises to be for you and what he wants to do in your life.

If this sounds helpful to you, get your copy by simply entering your email and then clicking on the button below…

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and an affiliate of The Joyful Life Magazine, two advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. If you should decide to purchase any of the books or products I’ve shared, simply click on the image, and you’ll be taken directly to the seller. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Photo by Elena Kloppenburg on Unsplash

8 thoughts on “Living Within Limits and Loving a God Who Has No Limits”

  1. No matter how many times I have studied God’s purposes in suffering, My mind still goes to “Why?” when a tragedy occurs. Having come to know that God is good and that He has a purpose in all He allows helps even when we can’t understand.

    Like

    1. I’m reading a book that is taking me through Job, and the answer God always seems to give to “Why?” ends up being “Who?” We’re in good hands, but, like you, I struggle when God acts in ways I don’t understand.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for diving deep into Isaiah 9:6 this Advent season. It’s providing me with a new reverence for the names that Isaiah declares belong to God.

    These words really hit home today —> “God moves to protect us at our point of greatest vulnerability. Our Mighty God wraps up and bookends history as the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last.”

    You are learning this firsthand. Thank you for your vulnerability in sharing.

    Like

    1. Isn’t the scriptural imagery for God’s protection and provision just rich. Honestly, he bends over backwards to communicate just how “in” with him we are, and yet we persist in our doubts. Thanks be to God for this season of renewal and recommitment!

      Like

  3. I too find myself wondering “why” when mournful events occur. I have to remember though, the answer would surely lead to more “whys,” much like the game toddlers love to play. Or, I’d start asking questions that begin with, “But what about . . . ?” You are right, Michele: “God is free to use his power according to his own design.” And that design is always for good purpose, even when we cannot see how. Thank you for these blessed assurances, my friend, all the more meaningful because you’re affirming them from the midst of Parkinson’s Disease. I commend you for persevering through your exercises each day!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.