I have had two major life-changing encounters with the Lord in my life. The first and most important took place on March 23, 1968. I was eighteen years old at the time. If you have watched the Gospel Truth for any length of time, you probably know how God changed my life that night.
The second most life-changing encounter I had with the Lord, which is the reason for this letter, took place over several weeks, beginning in December of 2001 and culminating on January 31, 2002. It was during that time that God spoke to me about how I was limiting what He wanted to do through my life.
With that revelation, I determined that no matter how long it took, I was going to change the image on the inside. For decades, the Lord had shown me many things He wanted me to do through this ministry. I had even told other people what they were. But the truth was that I just couldn’t see myself doing them, and that was limiting God.
To my surprise, when I made that decision, things began to change almost immediately. It released something in the spiritual realm when I began to see myself the way God sees me. And if somebody had told me ten years ago where I would be today, it probably would have shocked me.
What excites me most about this revelation is the fact that there is nothing special about me. My mother knew that better than anyone. Before she died at ninety-six years old in May 2009, I had a conversation with her about what God was doing in my ministry.
After I was finished, she pointed her finger at me and said, “Andy, you know that’s God.” I answered, “Yes, ma’am, I know it’s God.” Then she told me, “You aren’t smart enough to do that.” To that, I replied, “Guilty. I’m not that smart.”
What God has led me to do is much bigger than me. And what He wants to do through you will always be beyond your own ability and talent. I’m telling you that if everything you have accomplished has been gained by your own strength and power, you have not yet tapped into God’s will for your life.
Your life can be such a testimony that people will ask, “How did you do that?” And when they do, you’ll have to answer the same way I do—“There is no explanation outside of God’s power.” You won’t be able to attribute it to your charisma, education, or talent. You’ll know it was only possible because you took the limits off God and allowed Him to accomplish His purposes through you.
You might be thinking, I guess it’s too late for me—I’ve missed God. Well, that’s just not true, and it’s exactly that kind of thinking that will limit God. Proverbs 23:7 says, “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” In order to take the limits off, I had to change my thinking and so will you.
Not one of us has ever completely explored the depths of His plan for our lives. We are all limiting Him in some way, and the good news is that we can start removing the limits now. When the Lord first spoke this to me over ten years ago, I had no idea that I was limiting Him. And that was after I had been in the ministry for thirty-four years. I’m living proof that it is never too late.
Think about what happened to the children of Israel after they were delivered by God through Moses. Psalm 78:41 says, “Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.” God had delivered them miraculously, Moses had received the commandments that were written by the very hand of God, and they still refused to believe the promise.
They sent spies into the Promised Land where they found a land flowing with milk and honey. But there were giants in the land, and they were afraid to enter—therefore limiting God. This all took place after God had guaranteed them success, as you can read in Deuteronomy 7:17-18 and 23:
“If thou shalt say in thine heart, These nations are more than I; how can I dispossess them? Thou shalt not be afraid of them: but shalt well remember what the LORD thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt…. But the LORD thy God shall deliver them unto thee, and shall destroy them with a mighty destruction, until they be destroyed.”
God gave them a promise, but He was also saying to them that if they believed in their hearts that the nations were greater than they were, then He would not be able to dispossess them. Wow! They were the ones who would determine what God could do. That alone should be enough to silence the voices of those who believe God is absolutely sovereign.
Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”
The phrase “according to” means in proportion to, or to the degree of, the power that is working in you. If you don’t have God’s love and faith and if you aren’t building yourself up, you will limit or even stop the power of God flowing through you.
I am saying that God wants to move in your life. He wants to bring you into your promised land. He wants to do something in your life that will cause you to wake up every morning excited about the day and full of His joy and peace. But it’s not up to Him if it comes to pass—it’s up to you.
One of the biggest factors that limits God in your life can be learned from Paul in 2 Corinthians 10:12. It says, “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
Ten years ago, I limited God through my comparative unworthiness to other ministers. The problem was, that was the wrong measuring stick and it wasn’t wise.
Measuring yourself by others or the world’s standards is wrong. That is one of the reasons I don’t like to watch a lot of television. They are always trying to tell me I’m going to get sick or that I am going to experience financial difficulties. If you listen to that stuff long enough, it begins to change your thinking, and as a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Prov. 23:7).
I don’t care if everybody on the planet is suffering economically or has the flu—I refuse to participate in either and so should you. Hosea 4:6 says this in part: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” The knowledge we lack is the knowledge of the Word of God. He has promised us healing, and He has promised us prosperity.
If you want to compare something, then compare what the Word says about you to what you believe. Then focus on the Word, and what you think will change. We are supposed to be above only and not beneath, the head and not the tail (Deut. 28:13). We are supposed to be rejoicing in the midst of problems (John 16:33).
Yes, there are reasons that we have problems, but there is no excuse to stay there. I am not condemning any person when I say this, and I am not saying that we live in a perfect world where everything always comes up roses; I am saying that God did not create us for mediocrity or failure. God created us to be winners, and He wants to help us get there.
When you begin to change the way you think in your heart, something happens in the spiritual realm. Your life can be completely transformed, and it doesn’t have to take ten years. It may take a while for the full manifestation to be apparent, but it can begin within days or weeks. That’s what happened with me. I encourage you—take the limits off, beginning now