Monday, March 2, 2015

This Far, but No Farther

 In describing his sovereignty to Job, God reminds Job that he can say to the sea: 'This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt' (Job 38:11).

It is interesting that many people try turning the tables and say to God: “This far you may come, and no father; here is where what you will receive from me must halt.” Maybe they aren’t quite so brash about it but that is the underlying spirit.

We draw a line and decide that is as far as we will go. We will forgive only this many times. We will surrender our will only up to a point. We will put up with only this much. Our love will only go so far. “I have surrendered these things God, but don’t ask me to give up those.”

As I am often reading and studying these days what we call the Sermon on the Mount (I prefer “The Sermon on the Kingdom”), I find myself being challenged again and again to see where I may have quietly (so as to not attract too much attention from God or man) drawn a line here or there, saying “This far, God, but no farther.”  As I think about this, something in me shakes, but that can only be because that “something” is the idea that I still know better than God.

To allow the reign of God (his kingdom) to come to our lives means the end of the “this far but no farther” way of thinking.

Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.

Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me.


  1. I am reading and being challenged by your book on Ephesians. I am learning what unity looks like and how to work it out! Understanding grace has been essential :) Thank you for helping me with that!

  2. Thank you for your words! I could read the Sermon on the Mound everyday and feel challenged. To live a life only for God's Glory and nothing else -- that is the goal!!

  3. A.W.Tozer on the self life:
    “Self is the opaque veil that hides the face of God from us. It can only be removed by spiritual experience, never by mere instruction. We must invite the cross to do its deadly work in us- there must be a work of God in destruction before we are set free.
    It is the veil of our fallen, fleshly nature living on, unjudged within us, uncrucified and unrepudiated. Its I the closely woven veil of the self-life (self –righteousness, -pity, -confidence, -sufficiency, -admiration, -love and others. These are not something we do but something we are, and therein lies both their subtlety and their power), which we have never fully acknowledged, of which we have secretly been ashamed, and which for those reasons we have never brought to the judgment of the cross.
    In human experience this veil is made up of living spiritual tissue; it is composed of the sentient, quivering stuff of which our whole beings consist, and to touch it is to touch us where we feel pain. To tear it away is to injure us, to hurt us and to make us bleed. It is never fun to die.”