Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.
(1 Corinthians 2:9)
THE GREATNESS OF GOD FAR EXCEEDS THE LIMITED WAYS IN WHICH WE SEEK HIM. In all the good things that grow out of love, it is we who are limited, not God. If we enjoy but little of the bounty that is available, it is because our hearts have been hampered by our rebellion against Him. We experience no more than a small measure of God’s greatness, sometimes because of unrepentant sin in our lives and at other times because our vision of God is so inadequate. We need a greater comprehension of what is really possible, a deeper desire for what can be ours.
One of the realities of sin is that in alienating us from God, it also stands between us and the help that He could give us. And there is not one of us so free of sin that we don’t need to hear Isaiah’s words to Israel: “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1,2). The principle embedded in this text is just as important for the devout Christian as it is for anyone else. Sin — any sin at all, however “small” — hinders God from blessing us fully. So if our experience of God seems meager, we may need to quit waiting for God to answer our prayers and understand that He is waiting for us to repent of the sins that keep Him from doing so.
But another tragic truth is that fallen creatures, even forgiven ones, have only a shrunken knowledge of God’s nature and His power. Even if we’ve grown a little in our vision of what could be ahead for us, we still have much to learn. Our God is “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). He is eager to lift us to planes higher than we can yet imagine. Our need is for a bigger desire, a greater sense of what can happen if we’re willing to submit to God as He removes from our hearts the things that hold us back.
“If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never” (Søren Kierkegaard).