Derek Prince - Do Not Set Limits To What God Can Do
This is an excerpt from: Complete Salvation And How To Receive It - Part 1
My theme this evening is 'Complete Salvation and How To Receive It.' I want to emphasize the word complete because I believe so many Christians who've experienced salvation have experienced only an incomplete salvation. They're living in a little corner of a house somewhere whereas there's a great, big, wonderful mansion which God has prepared for them. In fact, I don't believe that there's any Christian on earth today who has experienced the completeness of all that God has provided for salvation and I include myself. I thank God that I have a lot more than I had when I was saved in 1941 but I think there's much, much more for all of us in salvation.
In Hebrews 2:3, the writer says: How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? This is not a little salvation that God has provided for us through Jesus Christ, it is a great salvation. And one of our great dangers is that which is stated here in Hebrews that we would neglect it. Not reject it, not refuse it but just not really enter into it. Just accept it as a theological fact, a doctrine but not embrace it in its fullness in our experience. In Ephesians 3:18, the apostle Paul is praying for the people of God. And remember, that includes you and me here, all these wonderful prayers of Paul for the church, let's make them personal, let's not just accept them as general prayers, but let's make them very specific.
And Paul prays there in verses 17-18 of Ephesians 3: That you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width, and length, and depth, and height. Paul is saying this is not a little salvation that we've come into. To me it's a picture of somebody that walks into a tremendous mansion with many corridors, different types of rooms prepared; and we look, first of all, at the width and it stretches out as far as our eye can see in every direction. Then we look ahead at the length and again, we can't see to the end of it. And then imagine yourself standing on some grand staircase in some wonderful mansion and you look down and you can't see all that's beneath you. And finally, you look up and again, it stretches beyond what you can actually take in with your eyes.
So Paul prays that we'll not just get isolated in some little corner but that we will be able to comprehend, to embrace, to take in all the scope of this salvation. Its width, its length, its depth and its height. In the Old Testament, in fact, throughout the Bible the word salvation has a very wide application. For many people it just means having your sins forgiven and being, as somebody said, a prepackaged soul for heaven. But there's a lot more to salvation than that.
It's interesting if you read through the Bible in almost any English translation, if you're looking for the word religion you have to read and read and read. In fact, in most translations you don't come to it until the epistle of James. There is says 'pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the orphans and the widows, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.' Which is a different definition of religion from what many Christians would offer today.
How many Christians are actually visiting the orphans and the widows? But that's just a side thought. When you look for the word save and salvation, it's all through the Bible. I just want to turn to one passage in the book of Psalms, Psalm 78:21-22. This is describing the Lord's dealings with Israel in bringing them out of Egypt and then taking them through the wilderness. It states why The Lord got angry with His people. If I were to put it in my language, He was angry because they had such a small picture of God and His salvation. I believe sometimes we anger God by the littleness of our comprehension of His salvation. So it says: Therefore, the Lord heard this and was furious. So a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel because they did not believe in God, and did not trust in his salvation. What angered Him? The lack of faith in God's salvation.
And if you analyze that passage, salvation is the all inclusive word for every blessing and every grace and every provision of God from the time that they sacrificed the Passover lamb until they entered their inheritance. It includes protection through the blood of the lamb from God's judgment, it includes supernatural passing through the waters of the Red Sea, it includes the supernatural presence of God coming down upon them in the form of a cloud, it includes being fed every day with manna from heaven, it includes God opening those rocks and living streams of water gushing out. I wonder if you've ever considered what it takes to feed three million people every day. It's not a little.
I saw a picture, years ago, of a freight train that would be required to carry the water and the food for three million people in one day. It was a long, long freight train. And that was just for one day and they were there for forty years. But all that is included in salvation. Included in salvation is the fact their shoes never wore out, their clothes never got old. When they were sick God provided healing. At night when it was cold and, believe me, I've traveled through the Sinai desert, it gets cold at night. It's hot in the day and cold at night. But God had provision for both. Because in the heat of the day He covered them with a cloud and in the cold of the night He provided the warmth and the light of a fire.
And all that total provision is summed up in this one word salvation. God was grieved because they didn't comprehend the extent of His salvation. Then a little further on in the same psalm it says in verse 41: Yes, again and again they tempted God and limited the Holy One of Israel. I have to confess many times I myself have limited God in my concept of salvation. I've had a need and I thought to myself can I really trust God for that need?
I think most Christians today set limits to what they think God will do which are not scriptural limits, they're just the limits of how big we can imagine God's salvation to be. But we need to bear in mind that this grieves the Lord. When His people did not trust in His salvation and when they set limits to what He could do, it grieved the Lord. So let's make a resolve in our hearts that we will not set limits to what God can do, that we will believe in this all inclusive, comprehensive salvation which God has provided.