“Keep your attention on Jesus Christ as risen from the dead and descended from David. This is according to my gospel. I suffer for it to the point of being bound like a criminal, but God’s message is not bound.” 2 Timothy 2: 8-9
But God’s message is not bound…
After reading those words from the Apostle Paul not too long ago, I immediately thought of two different passages in the Old Testament. I thought of the following verse in Psalm 119:96
“I have seen a limit to all perfection,
but Your command is without limit.”
I also like how the Message translates that same verse. “I see the limits to everything human,
but the horizons can’t contain your commands!”
I also thought about the passages in the Book of Isaiah where the prophet writes how God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. (Isaiah 55: 8-11) Isaiah uses a great example of how rain and snow fall from heaven and accomplishes what it needs to accomplish. It saturates the earth, nourishes the seeds, makes the harvest grow and provides food. In the same way, God’s word rains down from heaven and accomplishes what it was sent to do. It satisfies the hungry and the thirsty. God’s words are never wasted. God’s purposes will always prevail.
“so My word that comes from My mouth
will not return to Me empty,
but it will accomplish what I please
and will prosper in what I send it to do.” Isaiah 55: 11
Here are few reminders that have been swirling around in my brain as I looked at the common theme between these verses.
- We might be limited by our circumstances or our resources but God isn’t.
- The works that God wants accomplished can not be bound and are not limited by our “humanness”.
- We strive for excellence, yet even when everything around us is not excellent (Paul and a jail cell), even where we see gaps and lacks in our skills, knowledge and resources, God is still sovereign.
- Would Paul have preferred not to be bound? My guess is yes. However, Paul also recognizes the value of his current situation. God is working in and through his weakened state and not at all ideal season. Christ’s power is being made perfect through Paul’s weakness. And this power does the same in and through us.
That’s the reminder for us today. God is bigger than the pits, the shortages, the lacks, and the gaps in our life and in our circumstances. His sovereignty more than fills in the cracks. His power and His purpose can not and will not be contained, bound or restrained.
Stay focused on that.