"The limits of my language are the limits of my mind." Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) British philosopher, of Austrian origin.
Limits are necessary in life. Without Limits there is no security and responsibility is lost. We find limits in all areas of life. However when we come to the realm of the Kingdom of God, although there are limits there too, sometimes God challenges us to go a few steps beyond the limits to enter the dimension of the unknown to us but what is known to God.
The Bible tells of a day when a young man who loved to live within limits approached Jesus but after a light but deep discussion, he turned around and returned to his box for fear of the unknown. Let's look at the passage in the Spanish Version.
"And behold, one of them approached him and said: Master, what good shall I do to obtain eternal life? And He said to him: Why do you ask me about what is good? Only One is good; But if you want to enter life, keep the commandments.
He said *: Which ones? And Jesus answered: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you will not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and mother; and love your neighbor as yourself.
The young man * said to him: All this I have kept; What am I still missing? Jesus said to him: If you want to be perfect, go and sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me. But when the young man heard these words, he left sad, because he was the owner of many goods. Matthew 19: 16-22.
In this interview between the rich young man and Jesus we found a boy who had lived comfortably within known limits. He had kept all the commandments and therefore felt proud, comfortable and fulfilled even though he felt that something was missing.
So when the Lord said to him, you know the commandments, he raises his head with an air of pride and satisfaction and says: "All that I have kept since my youth." In other words, everything revolves around living within limits, I want to tell you that I have passed the exam. I have lived within limits.
"Music is a broad thing, without limits, without borders, without flags." León Gieco (1951-?) Argentine singer-songwriter.
However, the Lord tells him: "You lack a Thing." Since you have lived within the limits, you now need to step outside the limits and do what you have never done. If you want to be perfect, go and sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me ”.
Those words shook this man. Jesus was asking him to go beyond the limits, to do what he had never done, to say what he had never said, and to go where he had never gone.
The Word shows us that he left sad because he owned many assets and he did not want to go beyond the limits.
Beloved, The kingdom of God has its limits but sometimes the limits extend beyond our perspective and that's when Jesus tells us. We go beyond what you know and do what you have never done.
“The only possibility to discover the limits of the possible is to venture a little beyond them, towards the impossible”. Arthur C. Clarke (1917-?) English science fiction writer.
How many rich men and women like the one in the New Testament leave sad. Perhaps they are not rich in possessions, but rich in ideas, in plans, in dreams, in projections, but poor in challenges.
They dare not go beyond where they are when God challenges them because they are locked in the middle of Seven Limits that God wants you to overcome.
Let's examine these Seven Limits.
- The Limit of Duty. We are good at staying in the field of duty whether it be family, work or religion. Even in our relationship with God we make prayer and reading the Word a duty. There are times when God tells us, put duty aside and now let's do it for Love. There is a great difference between duty and love. This young man fulfilled the commandments out of duty, but he needed to put Love there and that is why he left sad and lost the opportunity to fly in other dimensions. Don't let Duty limit you, add love to duty and the limits will expand. "Love of neighbor knows no ideological or confessional limits." Martin Niemoeller (1892-1984) German Protestant pastor.
- The Limit of the Known. We like the known. We don't want to go into the unknown. This young man had never sold his goods nor had he certainly been close to the poor. That is why he stopped at this limit. In the Kingdom of God, sometimes God surprises us, calls us or sends us into the unknown and that turns into a tremendous adventure. Don't let the unknown hold you back. There is a new world waiting outside of you to explore with the Holy Spirit.
- The Limit Of Prejudices. This young man was very prejudiced as a good Jew of that time. He did not look well to the Samaritans or publicans. He had learned to look over the heads of others. As a man of great wealth, he was prejudiced against the poor. All of us have prejudices towards people, places or ourselves, believing that we cannot or do not know or we will not succeed. Jesus knows how to confront our prejudices.
- The Limit of Guilt. Without a doubt this young man, although he said that he had kept all the commandments in the depths of his soul, felt guilty because at some point he had broken one of them like a good human being. Guilt is what has stopped many from going beyond their personal geography. The enemy of their souls has kept them cornered in the corner of the ring, throwing blow after blow from the falls or failures of yesterday.
- The Limit of Fear. Fear of the unknown or not understanding. Fear of flying Many fears came upon the Rich Young Man as perhaps they have come to you. Jesus is by your side and he tells you. " I am. Fear not. I have overcome the world"
- The Limit of Routine. Rutina is a ghost that has made people not explore beyond their environment. Custom gives me some security, but it robs me of the ability to move forward in life.
- The Limit of Failure. Finally the limit of failure. Selling everything can lead to failure, no doubt this young man thought so. You and I have also thought about it many times. We have been taught in life that failure is bad. Failure is just one more way to learn to do things better every day. The Bible says that the righteous fall seven times, but out of all of them will rise.
The rich young man left sad because these seven limits held him down. But, you and I don't have to leave sad. The Lord never asks us for anything to leave us ashamed.
Although sometimes your challenge to jump the limits seems silly, but it is not.
"Foolishness is infinitely more fascinating than intelligence. Intelligence has its limits, foolishness do not". Claude Chabrol (1930-?) French film director.
When he says let's go, it's because he's coming. When he says give me, it is because he already gave us. When he says he speaks it is because his words are already in our mouth.
The Lord said to this rich man, "If you do so, you will have treasure in heaven." That is the reward of going beyond your limits. God has a treasure in store in the Kingdom. No challenge is left without its reward, no Olympiad without its medal, no challenge without a satisfaction sown in the soul.
It was 1989, we were developing our ministry in Venezuela and God was blessing our ministry when he presented us with the challenge. Sell everything you have, leave your family and go to serve me in Nicaragua. It was time that the war ended there.
Many told us that this was not from God. However, God had spoken clearly, it was a matter of going out of bounds and winning the treasure or resisting the challenge and losing God's opportunity to work. We left for Nicaragua, leaving everything. More than 20 years have passed and we do not exchange the experiences lived beyond our limits, for anything in the world.
Come on. Let us now walk beyond the limits and prove that the unlimited God will be by our side saying… All this I will give to you and you will be the Father of multitudes.