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Zack Eswine, Sensing Jesus: Life and Ministry as a Human Being:

First, we can only be at one place at one time, which means that Jesus will teach most of us to live a local life.

We will resist and want to act like we are omnipresent. But he will patiently teach us that as human beings we cannot be, and this admission will glorify God.

Others will likewise resist Jesus and want you to be omnipresent. They will use his name to praise or critique you accordingly, but they too will have to learn that only Jesus can be with them wherever they are at all times. This fact is actually good news for them and for us. . . .

Second, we cannot do everything that needs to be done, which means that Jesus will teach us to live with the things that we can neither control nor fix.

We will want to resist Jesus and act as if we are omnipotent, but we will harm others and ourselves when we try.

Others will also resist Jesus. Using his name, they will praise or critique us according to their desire that we fix everything for them and that we do it immediately. But they will have to learn too that only Jesus can fix everything and that there are some things Jesus leaves unfixed for his glory. . . .

Third, we are unable to know everyone or everything, which means that Jesus will teach us to live with ignorance, our own and others’. In other words, we are not omniscient.

Jesus will require us to stop pretending that we are.

Others will resist Jesus and in his name praise us or critique us on the basis of their estimation of what we should know. They will have to learn that only Jesus knows everything they need; his invitation to faith and to trust in his knowing is a good one. . . .

Ask yourself this question: Which are you more tempted to pretend that you are: an everywhere-for-all, a fix-it-all, or a know-it-all? What do you feel you will lose if you stop pretending in these ways and entrust yourself to Jesus? . . .

Jesus invites everywhere-for-alls, fix-it-alls, and know-it-alls to the cross, the empty tomb, and the throne of his grace for their time of need.

—Zack Eswine, Sensing Jesus: Life and Ministry as a Human Being (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012), 55-56.

HT: Crossway Blog

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3 thoughts on “Three Liberating Limitations in Ministry”

  1. A missionary friend of mine was heading to Africa with a suitcase full of supplies for the ministry. She was bemoaning the weight limit and wished she could bring more. I assured her that God knew her limits and had provided them for her benefit.

    We need to see our personal limitations likewise. Our plea of, “But God, surly I can do more,” is answered by him with, “Trust me when I hold you back.” And beware when you do more lest you think you did it on your own.

  2. Andrew says:

    Wow…what a great post.

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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