The limitations of being human

In His wisdom, God has so designed mankind that we are limited creatures, and that is good news. When we embrace our limitations, we are draw to sabbath rest and continual dependence on Jesus. When we ignore our limitations, we become anxious and burnt out.

It’s interesting to note that many of these limitations were imposed on us before sin entered the world. In a perfect world, God still designed us to be limited, finite.

What are some of the ways that we are limited?

  1. Energy – We get tired. We all need several hours of sleep each night. We can try to stay up late, squeezing every last minute out of our day, but we are only robbing ourselves of the next day’s time.

  2. Time – We were created within time, confined to the present. Therefore, Jesus can say in Matthew 6, “do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

  3. Presence – We can only be present in one place at a time. Additionally, our focus cannot be divided. When we try to “multitask”, we quickly find that we cannot do anything of substantial value. Yes you can chew gum and walk, but can you read and understand an article while listening to your wife share about her day? No. When we try to juggle our attention between multiple things, eventually we drop all the balls.

  4. Knowledge – We are born knowing nothing. Over our life, we must learn to grow in knowledge. Because our lifespan is limited, we do not have time to learn everything. We can only learn so much, so we must choose what is most important. Even if we did have infinite time, the rate at which information is created is obviously greater than the rate at which we can learn. Thus, even with infinite time, we can never know everything.

  5. Strength – We are weak! Yes, there are those who body-build and could bench press a car, but their strength is limited. Statistically, the difference between the weakest and strongest humans who have ever lived is small in comparison with other animals and in comparison with the forces of nature. And due to sin, our bodies disintegrate as we grow older. The strongest man today will grow weak if he is blessed with a long life.

Our limitations are a stark contrast with God’s limitlessness. He alone has infinite energy. He never sleeps; never grows tired.

God created time and is therefore outside of time. For Him, “a thousand years is but a day” (2 Peter 3:8). He sees and experiences all of human history all the time.

God is all-present. He is everywhere all the time, and yet undivided. When He hears our prayers, we have His full attention. He works through all things to bring about His purposes in every person, city, and nation in this world.

God is all-knowing. His knowledge surpasses the collective knowledge of the human race! Thus, He is never surprised. All things work “according to the counsel of his will” (Ephesians 1).

God is all-powerful. He has the power to bring to life what was dead and to call in to existence what does not exist. By His Word, this entire universe was created from nothing. God alone has the power to accomplish all that He sets out to do.

The good news is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, limitless is every way, took on the limitations of humanity. Though He is God, Jesus became a man and dwelled among us, experiencing in every way what it means to have limited energy, time, presence, knowledge, and strength. He is not a shell of a human, He is human, yet fully God.

The God-man Jesus Christ then lived the perfect life that we should have lived, free from sin in His actions, words, and thoughts. And yet, He died the death that we deserve.

By God’s design, we are limited, but by our choice, we are cursed. Each of us are sinners. We have chosen to live as if God is not the King of our lives. Instead, we have set up ourselves as the kings of our lives, choosing for ourselves what is right and wrong, ignoring and rejecting our God-given limitations and designs.

Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death”. Death was never part of God’s design. It’s the result of our sin.

On the cross, Jesus took on the wrath of God in our place, bearing the punishment for our sins. “He who knew no sin became sin so that we might become the righteousness of God”. By trusting in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we can be saved from sin and begin to be renewed from the inside out.

Instead of rejecting our God-given limitations, we can live within them, depending on God for strength.