Humanity always has been marked by a relentless drive for more. When we are not seeking to become like God himself, we are striving to “make a name for ourselves” (Genesis 3:5; 11:4). We do not appreciate limitations, and some of the moments of our darkest despair are when we run face first into our limitations.
Very often, we cannot get other people to behave as we want. Our skillfulness at work inevitably will be eclipsed by someone else’s. The years of our lives roll on, and our bodies age and eventually will cease to do anything at all.
Limitations cause us to grumble against ourselves and others and God himself. But God has given us limits within which to do our work. And it often is the work of others to go beyond where we are able to go.
“But charge Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he shall go over …” Our obedience to God requires us not only to accept the sphere in which he has called us to operate but to encourage those who have been called to something else, perhaps even something that seems greater.
In all of this, we begin to understand what it means really to be a servant to God. We learn the humility of Christ. “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done” (Matthew 26:42). Jesus Christ, in his role as the Lamb of God, faced clear limitations set upon him by his Father. The purposes of God were more important to Jesus than anything else.
Do you know the sphere in which God wants you to serve him? The limitations God has placed on your life will help you discern where God wants you to work. Once you discover those limits, the work needing done should become clear.