Limiting God

A man decided he wanted to live in a new house. He met with a contractor and after they discussed every aspect of the project they shook hands on the deal. Since the site was at the end of a narrow, rutted road it was decided the construction would not begin until all the material had been delivered.

Three weeks later the carpenter and his crew started moving dirt and pouring concrete. A week after that the owner showed up one morning with a can of red spray paint. He walked around the stacks of material and started marking some of it with the paint. The builder was confused. He asked “What are you doing?”  The land owner replied “Do not use any of the material that has red paint on it. Do the best you can with the rest of the stuff.” He ignored all other questions, got into his pickup and drove off. It was the last time he visited the scene until the house was completed.

The carpenter continued to work to fulfill his part of the agreement. He did the best he could with the limited material and soon completed the project. When the owner came for his last inspection he was dissatisfied. He could not understand why the work was not up to the standard of the construction crew’s usual work.

Do we behave this way with God? We accept the blood of Jesus as payment for our sins. We become God’s children. Then we begin the process of discipleship, trying to become like Christ. But when the Holy Spirit comes to guide and help us, we withhold parts of ourselves. We say “Help me. Mold me. Shape me, but don’t change my attitudes, preferences or habits. You are not allowed to alter my likes and dislikes. My favorite forms of recreation and pleasure are off limits.”

Then we wonder why our lives are not producing the joy, peace, power and contentment we feel God has promised. We don’t understand (or accept) that God needs us to commitment all of who we are in order for us to become all of what He wants us to be.